Gathering Around The Simple Yet Elegant Thanksgiving Table

The time of year for gathering around the simple yet elegant Thanksgiving table with family and friends who are family is upon us.  The plan is to place the emphasis on the gathering, the feasting, and generating a feels like home ambiance.

 

cozy

Cozy welcomes family, friends, tradition, and style home, and is the requisite for our home for the holidays celebrations.

house-pencil-sketch-home-for-the-holidays

In keeping with the spirit of the home for the holidays feel,  I’m suggesting these distressed metal houses as a super cute decor addition for the holiday table, sideboard, or bar cart.

 

Better Homes & Gardens Galvanized House Candle Holder Lantern

Better Homes & Gardens Galvanized House Candle Holder Lantern

 

Distressed Metal House

Holiday Time Distressed Metal House Table-Top Christmas Decoration

Battery operated candles (I source faux candles and battery operated lights with safety in mind) or a strand of LED fairy string lights placed inside illuminates holiday style and brings the look home.

batter operated string lights

Decor items that easily make the transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas decoration have a longer shelf life, decoratively speaking.

Around our house, Thanksgiving day officially signals the holidays have arrived, and I believe in taking full decorating advantage of the relatively short decorating season.

For that express reason I ordered the Holiday Time Winter Frost flocked un-lit wreath from Walmart to “spruce” up the foyer for Thanksgiving into Christmas.

Holiday Time Winter Frost Flocked Un-Lit Wreath, 24"Holiday Time Winter Frost Flocked Un-Lit Wreath, 24″

foyer-bench-with-wreath

Peggy Upholstered Bench

Loosely wrap decorative ribbon in earthy fall tones around the wreath in an over and under pattern for a simple yet elegant effect.

 

wreath ribbon assortment

 

Dear Santa,

I’m still in the making up my mind phase of deciding which one of these upholstered benches to place on my Christmas list.

Cozy throw pillows optional.

foyer-benches-2019

Toulouse Wagner Upholstered Bench
Hadrien Wood Bench
Maysonet Wood Bench

winter pillows 1

Better Homes & Gardens Feather Filled Solid Faux Fur Decorative Throw Pillow
Better Homes & Gardens, Fringe & Textured Decorative Throw Pillow
Better Homes & Gardens Decorative Deer Throw Pillow
Down Filled Pom Pom Moroccan Throw Pillow 

Simple yet elegant Thanksgiving table ideas that are affordable, polished, and visually commanding set a lovely holiday tone and table.

dried-protea-flowers

Dried Protea Flowers – Birch Roll with Jute Tie

Take a glass vase from the dollar store, wrap it in birch bark, and fill it with a bouquet of dried Protea flowers.

 

fairytale-pumpkin-7

Place groupings of small gourds or pumpkins to the left and right of the vase.

Simple.

Elegant.

Gorgeous!

candle-decoration-fall-1

Take a glass cylinder vase, jar, or trifle bowl and fill with moss, pecans, walnuts, or sweet gum balls.

Drop in a battery operated pillar candle.

Fall leaves add fall color(s).

Easy peasy.

Serving Suggestions:

 

International Adventure 20-pc. Silverware Set

International Adventure 20-pc. Silverware Set

A Target run and 19.99 + tax gets you this International Adventure 20-pc. silverware set.

Hobster Pressed Glass Coolers, 16 oz.Hobster Pressed Glass Coolers, 16 oz.

Swing by Dollar Tree if your Thanksgiving table is in need of new, replacement, or extra glasses.

Tradition dictates these beverage glasses making an appearance in most every holiday table post.

Why?

  1. I own them.
  2. I love them.
  3. At $1 each, you simply can’t beat the price.

Live Edge Dakota Wooden Serving BowlLive Edge Dakota Wooden Serving Bowl

Thanksgiving feast your eyes upon the newest addition to the holiday sideboard.

Simple Yet Elegant Thanksgiving Table

Dave and I made a quick fall getaway trip up to Bossier City a couple of weeks ago for fun and a visit to Antique Shoppes At 1100 Barksdale.

Among treasures found was this vintage soup tureen.  For less than the cost of two tall specialty coffees,  I secured a lovely serving piece to adorn the sideboard.

“What recipe will fill the tureen on Thanksgiving day?” you may ask.

Autumn Squash Soup (in the taste style of Panera Bread)

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon vegetable or olive oil

2 pounds (l large) butternut squash, peeled,  seeded, and chopped into cubes

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped

2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic (easier to use and flavor packed)

1 teaspoon Kosher salt (or to taste)

1 teaspoon fine black pepper (or to taste)

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

3 cups vegetable broth

1 cup apple juice

½ cup pumpkin puree

2 Tablespoons maple syrup

2  Tablespoons cream cheese, softened

½ cup heavy cream (Greek yogurt or half-n-half may be substituted)

Directions

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Peel squash removing seeds.  Cut peeled butternut squash into chunks and place on a cookie sheet.  Drizzle olive oil over squash chunks and season with salt and pepper.

Bake at 450°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until fork tender.

Using a potato masher, mash the roasted squash cubes.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven or soup pot heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add chopped onions to heated oil and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion becomes soft and translucent.  Stir in minced garlic.

Add roasted butternut squash, pumpkin puree, broth, apple juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper to pot and stir to incorporate.  Bring to a slight boil.  Cover and lower the heat to simmer.  Allow to simmer for 15 minutes to incorporate flavors.

Remove pot from the heat.  Add the maple syrup and softened cream cheese, stirring until cream cheese is melted.

Use a hand blender to blend mixture until smooth.  If you do not have a hand mixer, carefully transfer mixture to traditional stand blender in two batches. Puree each batch until smooth.  Transfer mixture back to the pot and adjust flavors to taste.

If you feel the soup is too thick, add more broth to reach desired consistency.

Roasted Pepitas Pumpkin Seed Kernels with Sea SaltRoasted Pepitas Pumpkin Seed Kernels with Sea Salt 

Garnish soup with a swirl of heavy cream, half-n-half, or dollop of Greek yogurt and roasted pepitas.

Rounding out the decorative details includes a selection of simple yet elegant Thanksgiving table items easy to find in retail stores, produce sections, and online retailers.
Simple Yet Elegant Thanksgiving Table

velvet ribbon  ||  fresh seasonal fruits  ||  eucalyptus garland
friendly village salad plate  ||  rattan placemats  ||  jade dinnerware
acorn salt & pepper  ||  birch candles  ||  candle holder
ornaments  ||  charger  ||  chip & dip

So many if not all of these items will transition beautifully from Thanksgiving to Christmas decor.

Yesterday I dropped by our local Joann store to pick up two small faux cedar wreaths for a holiday project.

More on that to come.

As soon as I walked through the front doors the aroma of cinnamon filled the air.  To say the scent instantly put me in the holiday mood is an understatement.

I spied a huge display cinnamon scented pine cones, and knew those babies were coming home with me.

cinnamon-scented-pinecones

Pine cones identify with fall, Thanksgiving, winter, and Christmas.

Further tie the season and holidays of cozy together by using pine cone ornaments tied with velvet ribbon as napkin rings.

velvet-ribbon-coffee1

Loop ribbon in your choice of design, texture, and color through the top of an ornament ring.

Tie each ornament around individual dinner napkins, securing in a loose knot.

silver-pinecone-ornaments

Custom napkin rings made their way to the table several holidays ago by way of small oval framed pictures secured with wire ribbon and a tucked in ginkgo leaf.

Here’s the fun part.

Announce to your guests the custom made napkin ring is theirs to take home as a from me to you favor gift.

napkin-ring-framed-oval-print

I hope these simple yet elegant Thanksgiving table decor choices lend ideas and inspiration.

“Forever on Thanksgiving Day the heart will find the pathway home.”

Wilbur D. Nesbit

love your style

Spooktacular Halloween Decorating Suggestions

Spooktacular Halloween decorating suggestions come alive at 101 Inspiration Lane for the decorista who dares to bedazzle house and home in haunted fashion destined to thrill and delight the eye.

abandoned house

Can’t you just here the creaking floors?
Go ahead and click on the sound effects to set the mood.
I dare you. 

The National Retail Federation reports those of who decorate house and home for Halloween will spend $2.7 billion (that’s billion with a b, folks) on Halloween theme home decor items.

Another interesting tidbit of retail information is the total spend for 2019 is expected to be the third highest in the history of the survey.  The top record for Halloween spending belongs to Halloween 2017 when spending came in at $9.1 billion.

Halloween-decorating-suggestions

That’s a whole lotta spooktacular Halloween decorating.

*Halloween Decorating Suggestions Tip*

At first sighting of the cute, scary, and practical Halloween (or any holiday) decorations and tablewares that speak Halloween party must-have to you is the time to buy.

Decoristas plan, prep, and purchase party goods earlier and earlier each year, and as they say, you snooze, you lose.

Same goes for ordering from sites with a 10 day to 2  week order to delivery time.

night owl

Flickr

Halloween is a prime time for showcasing your decorating creativity.  Front and back doors, windows, fireplace mantels, staircases, accent furniture, porches, lawns, gardens, patios, and sidewalks become prime players in a game of Halloween decorating dress-up.

Rather it be a pair of jack-o-lanterns,  garden statues fraught with frightful air, or a lavish display in spine-chilling style, affordable is the trick and eye-catching is the treat.

Halloween decorating suggestions

Garden statues easily and eerily stand fabulous as centerpieces for the Halloween feast table or bar cart.

 

Owl Decoy Scarecrow Rotating Head Hunting Decoy BirdOwl Decoy Scarecrow Rotating Head Hunting Decoy Bird

 

The Cathedral Gargoyle Statue

The Cathedral Gargoyle Statue

Is it me, or does this Cathedral gargoyle statue favor the flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz?

flying-monkey-Toto

A delightfully frightening piece of classic cinema that still freaks me out.

wood chip wreath orange 15.5″ Wood Chip Wreath

Seasonal, special event, and holiday decorating can wreak double, double toil and trouble on one’s wallet; reason numero uno why I like to source and suggest items that can pull double decorating duty.

The wood chip wreath featured above is an example of a decor item that can do just that.

raven

 

The fiery orange color pairs well with an artificial black raven crow for Halloween either as a door or wall decoration or a centerpiece.  When the clock strikes midnight on November 1st, it now becomes a fall into Thanksgiving decorative accessory.

bat-mantle-Halloween

Martha Stewart

 

vintage-brass-owl-andironsEverything But The House

birch logs

With a nip in the Halloween night air, a fireside ghost story chat well suits and sets the tone of the evening.

ghost stories

Target

Incorporate costume accessories into your Halloween decorating scheme.

costume accessories

red apple fruit pin

 

crooked witch hat

Crooked Witch Hat

Place a trio of witch hats over a trio of battery operated flameless candles to create bewitching luminaries.

ombre pillar candles trio

Sit it upon gathered black tulle and adorn accordingly.

black tulle fabric

 

Victorian-style-felt-top-hatVictorian Black Top Hat

Place a top hat atop a pumpkin or pair with a magician cape.

magician cape

GOLDSTITCH Full Length Deluxe Adult Cape Cloak Costume

 

pumpkin hat 3

Feathers, a glitter masquerade mask, or a spirited headband make excellent accessories for a no carve pumpkin option.

black-plume

Glitter Black Domino Mask

Glitter Black Domino Mask

pumpkin-top-hat-headband

 

pumpkin_top_hat_headband4

dripping candles

Flickr

Ambiance is an essential component in the entertaining equation.

antique style dripping battery operated taper candles1

Flickering battery operated candles cast a (safe) spell and shadow of mystique.

candle-spool-holders

Washington Old Schoolhouse Antique Mall

Use vintage bottles and/or wooden thread spools as candle holders.

Goodies discovered in antiques and vintage shops produce a Halloween fright night right out of central casting.

clear pumpkin cloche jar

Recycled Glass Pumpkin Cloche

Dim all the lights is not only a Donna Summer disco hit, but my lighting rule for an enchanting evening.

The soft glow of string lights in your favorite color placed inside a clear glass pumpkin jar with lid or under a collection of clear glass pumpkin cloches is a simple yet elegant lighting option.

 

straw wreath

Is it a candle ring or a DIY Halloween wreath?

I won’t keep you in suspense- it’s what you want it to be.

Using your preferred Halloween color(s), wrap a straw wreath with decorative mesh or burlap ribbon.

Spray paint is another way to go, and comes in a wide range of colors complementary to the fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas color palette.

 

spray paints

This Halloween decorating suggestion hocus-pocus focuses on getting more bang for your buck out of items you can use on one or more occasion or holiday.

red-black-mesh

Pin the mesh or ribbon to wreath to secure.  Straight pins can be removed as can the material.

This frees up the wreath to be used for another project.

straight-pins-red

Complete the look with faux flowers, and depending on how tame or terrifying you want it to be, you can add boa feathers, flecked spiders, plastic snakes, masks or rats, skull heads or skeleton hands.

 

faux red mums

boa feathers

Halloween-wreath-embellishments

I get so excited about spooktacular Halloween decorating suggestions that I lose my head.

Resin Headless Jack O Lantern DecorResin Headless Jack O Lantern Decor

dry-ice-jack-o-lantern

Halloween spiders

Mama Places In The Home stopped by today, and wasted no time sharing with me her startled, spooked, fright and delight over the flecked spiders nesting on the dining chairs.

fake-spider

The potion for the proper blend of Halloween haunt is a spot of spooky style mixed with a touch of back in the day tradition.

jack-o-lantern-Halloween-decoration

Michaels

creepy hand goblet

Spooky Skeleton Hand Plastic Goblets

Turns out I hit the Halloween decorating jackpot on last week’s dollar store run.

Skulls, flecked spiders, a black feather boa, and a pack of pumpkin picks made their way to Places In The Home.

skeleton-headPlastic Halloween Skull

skeleton-head-decoration

The Halloween aisle(s) at your nearest dollar store is a Halloween decorating ideas treasure trove.

5-ct. packs of pumpkin picks

The idea is to use the pumpkin picks as cocktail and hors d’oeuvre accouterments.

Halloween-themed-wines-liqueur

 

1 Gal Glass Skull Beverage Dispenser1 Gal Glass Skull Beverage Dispenser

cinnamon-water

Cinnamon water is what’s on the fall-October-Halloween beverage radar.

This stove top method brews and steeps the flavor and color of the cinnamon.  Begin by adding 2 cinnamon sticks to 2 cups of water to a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes.  Allow concentrate to cool before adding to cold water and ice.

I discovered the cinnamon concentrate is also delicious in hot or iced tea.  The concentrate becomes more potent over time, so you may want to taste test as you go.

 

fornasetti-style-pillow-1

 

My Halloween decorating suggestions thinking cap was on tight when I placed an order for several of these pillow covers to tuck into Halloween party favor bags.

These pillow covers are in the style of a famous Italian designer, and a quick eBay search usually results in a super deal with free shipping.

fornasetti-style-pillow-2

Fun, frightful, and fabulous Halloween decorating suggestions offer affordable ideas and easy tips ready to help transform your home into the spooktacular showcase it’s sure to be.

Love your style!

Fall with Apples and Pumpkins

Fall deliciously places the baking, cooking, decorating, and entertaining emphasis on apples and pumpkins, appropriately planting a seed of inspiration.

apple trees picking

Palettes o’plenty are in place under the pines awaiting a pumpkin haul for this year’s local pumpkin patch picking.

pumpkin-patch-2019

I’ve been in  fall baking, cooking, decorating, and entertaining with apples and pumpkins development for a week or so.  Introducing hints of fall finery and a new or improved recipe to the troops here at Places In The Home is part of the fall of it all.

apples-and-pumpkins

Flickr

Baking & Cooking

Those of you who get into fall baking and cooking and taste testing know apples and pumpkins are the stars of the show.

Sprinkles and dustings of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg deliciously dress cored, chopped, sliced, minced, cubed, grated, or diced apples.

bag-Gala-apples

In the Fall Kitchen with Apples and Pumpkins

One small apple measures 2 ¼ inches across.

One medium apple measures 2 ½ to 2 ¾ inches across.

One large apple measures 3¾ inches across.

types of apples graphic

How many apples are there in a cup?

apple-shaped-measuring-cups

1 medium apple equals:

About 1 1/3 cups sliced or cubed.

About 1¼ cups diced.

About 1 cup finely sliced, minced, or grated.

red-apple

How many apples are in a pound?

4 medium apples equals approximately  1 pound.

2 large apples equals approximately  1 pound.

1 pound of apples equals approximately 3 cups sliced or cubed apples.

apples and pumpkins

Coring and Peeling an Apple

Carefully cut the skin off the apple using a paring knife.

Cut the apple into four wedges.

Remove the core out of each wedge.

Cut, slice, or chop the apples according to recipe preference.

fairy tale pumpkin

One 2½ pound pie pumpkin equals 1¾ cups pumpkin puree (which is equivalent to one 15 ounce can pumpkin).

A 3½ pound pie pumpkin equals 2½  cups pumpkin puree.

Did you know that the pumpkin is really a squash?

Pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread, pumpkin sangria, and the big daddy of fall desserts, pumpkin pie, is in the fall tastes and treats spotlight.

traditional pumpkin pie recipe

Traditional Pumpkin Pie Recipe

How to Prep and Puree A Pumpkin 

You can substitute homemade pumpkin puree for any recipe that calls for canned pumpkin.  With that fall baking fact in mind, let’s check out how to make homemade pumpkin puree.

Here we will be using a sugar pumpkin (also called a pie pumpkin), the best for cooking and baking.

sugar pumpkin

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Carefully cut off the top of the pumpkin.  Using a large metal spoon, scoop out the seeds and the “strings”.

Cut the pumpkin in half.

Line a baking sheet with foil and place the pumpkin halves cut side down onto the baking sheet.  Generously rub the outer skin of each pumpkin half with olive oil.

Place in a 375°F preheated oven and roast for 45-60 minutes or until a fork easily inserts into each pumpkin half.  Allow to cool for twenty minutes or until cool enough to handle without risk of burning your hands.

Using a large metal spoon, scoop out the softened pulp.  Place the pulp into in a food processor and pulse until smooth.

staub-ceramic-pumpkin-cocotte

Staub Ceramic Stoneware Pumpkin Cocotte

Pumpkin Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

Ingredients

2 Sugar Pie pumpkins (each about 2 lb.)
Substitution: 4 cups  of canned pumpkin puree

Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing and drizzling

6 Tbs. unsalted butter

2 shallots, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbs. minced fresh thyme, plus whole sprigs for garnish

¼  cup  Marsala

5 cups vegetable broth, plus more as needed

3 Tbs. maple syrup

1 cup half-and-half

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the grilled cheese croutons:

2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature

6 slices artisan white bread or sourdough bread

1 ½ cups grated Gruyére cheese

Directions

To make the soup, using a sharp knife, carefully cut off the top of each pumpkin to remove the stem, then halve each pumpkin vertically.  Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and any stringy fibers and discard.  Brush the flesh of the pumpkins generously with olive oil, then place them, cut sides down, on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake until the pumpkins are very tender when pricked with a fork, about 50 minutes.  Let cool for 15 minutes, then scoop the flesh from the peel into a bowl; discard the peels. You should have about 4 cups of pumpkin.  Set aside.

In a Dutch oven or large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt 3 Tbs. of the butter.  Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and thyme and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute.  Add the Marsala and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pot.   Add the pumpkin and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.  Add the broth and maple syrup.  Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 20 minutes.  Stir in the half-and-half.

Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. (Alternatively, working in batches, transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour back into the pot.)  Add the remaining 3 Tbs. butter to the soup and stir until the butter is melted.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stir in more vegetable broth, if desired, to achieve the desired consistency.  Keep warm over low heat while you make the grilled cheese croutons.

To make grilled cheese croutons, spread the butter on one side of each slice of bread, dividing it evenly.

Heat a large fry pan over medium heat.  Place 3 slices of the bread, butter side down, in the fry pan.  Divide the cheese evenly between the 3 slices in the pan, then top with remaining bread slices, butter side up.  Cook until the bottom of bread is golden brown, then carefully flip each sandwich and continue to cook until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes, turning down the heat if the bread is browning too quickly.

Transfer the grilled cheese sandwiches to a cutting board and let cool slightly while you ladle the warm soup into 6 individual bowls.  Drizzle each serving of soup lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with a few grinds of pepper.  Cut the grilled cheese sandwiches into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes and divide them evenly among the bowls of soup.

Garnish with thyme sprigs and serve immediately.  Serves 6.

-Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen

Decorating

1100 block of Rue du Belier

Country Living

Never underestimate the visual impact of the simple yet elegant seasonal decor accessory.

apple-wreath-supplies

Gorgeous is in the eye and the glue gun of the beholder.

Faux apples, a natural grapevine wreath, and several yards of burlap ribbon  is all you need to DIY your way to a lovely fall wreath.

apple-wreath

In the case of my fall wreath DIY project, I chose to go with a Styrofoam wreath.  Using burlap ribbon from the dollar store, I wrapped the entire wreath to conceal the Styrofoam.

Using a hot glue gun, I glued various sizes of red faux apples and green mini pears from Michaels around the top and sides of the wreath.

Spanish moss serves as an excellent filler and gap cover, and as in the image of the grapevine apple wreaths, burlap ribbon (5½” wide) with a finished edge completes the look.

There’s a bevy of pumpkin decorating ideas out there.  This DIY pumpkin project from Proven Winners utilizes late summer/early fall blooms and foliage to create a Mod Podge magnificent botanical pumpkin.

pumpkin-blankets

We Heart It

Simple makes a simply beautiful statement.

Entertaining

Part of the fun of entertaining is coming up with festive and creative ways to put a seasonal spin on the presentation of drinks, snacks, entrées, sides, and desserts.

“I try to greet my friends with a drink in my hand, a warm smile on my face, and great music in the background, because that’s what gets a dinner party off to a fun start.”

-Ina Garten

apple shaped cheese balls

Better Homes & Gardens

Our Canadian snowbird son and daughter-in-law have mastered the art of the charcuterie board.

I wish they would master the art of prepare it, shoot it, send a photo of it this way, but I digress.

fall-board-cheese

pumpkins-rosemary

Charcuterie | shahr-ku-tuh-ree  refers to the art of preparing and assembling cured meats.

Charcuterie boards feature an array of dried meats, cheeses, fruits and nuts, crackers, breads, jams, preserves, marmalades, olives, pickles, and the like.

bread-butter-pickles

A recent conversation on the topic included a rundown of their charcuterie board essentials.  Great entertaining minds think alike, and we all agreed a gathering of friends or/and family on a crisp fall late afternoon into evening is an excellent entertaining opportunity to bring on a fall cheese or charcuterie board.

pumpkin board

Wood Pumpkin Serve Board

Natural Horn 3 Piece Cheese Set

Natural Horn 3 Piece Cheese Set

There’s no wrong way to do a cheese or charcuterie board.  I put together a small with fall in mind cheese board this afternoon.   It’s meatless, so it doesn’t officially qualify to be referred to as a charcuterie board.

fall-cheese-board

Crisp apples, fresh dates, red grapes, assorted nuts, blue cheese, white cheddar, cream cheese with fig preserves, and dried cranberries fill the board.

A quick walk around the yard later I had fresh rosemary sprigs and mint leaves to use as garnish and filler.

The aroma is spectacular.

fall-pumpkin-cheese-board

What’s in the little vintage creamer?

Honey.

Honey drizzled over a slice of cheese topped with an apple is the taste of fall.

apples-grapes

marmalade-preserves

I love these carved wooden spoons for spooning up preserves and marmalades.

Hand Carved White Oak Wood Snowflake Spoon

Hand Carved White Oak Wood Snowflake Spoon

Ciders, seasonal wines, and apple flavored sangria are all excellent beverage choices to serve at a fall gathering.   Cinnamon water is a recent fall perfect beverage discovery that’s as tasty as it is easy to make.

This stove top method brings out the flavor and color of the cinnamon.  Begin by adding 2 cinnamon sticks to 2 cups of water to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes.  Allow concentrate to cool before adding to cold water and ice.

cinnamon-water

Baking, cooking, decorating, and entertaining with apples and pumpkins on a crisp fall day or evening is part of the tradition and pure fall fun.

love your style

I ♥ Valentine’s Day Heart Shaped Ideas

Valentine’s Day heart shaped ideas get to the heart of the Valentine’s Day dinner, dessert, and design matter.

red-shades-chandelier

Farrow & Ball

Have them seeing red on Valentine’s Day.

watercolor-hearts-pattern-animated-gif

Red makes a Valentine’s Day color love connection.

pink roses in basket

Style Me Pretty – Photography by Ramona Keveza

I have become a big fan of the roses in a box presentation.

The price tag that comes with a dozen roses in a box- not so much.

Here’s what I’m thinking:

Pick up this bright pink heart-shaped paper gift box by Spritz at Target.  Line the bottom of the box and the inner lid with a heart-shaped paper doily.

Pick up a dozen red roses at one of the many flower tents pitched and perfect for your Valentine’s Day flower needs.

Cut plastic wrap to fit the inside of the box.  Drop in a fresh flower floral foam round disk or cut a square one to fit.  Add water to soak disk.

Cut the rose stems to where the roses rest slightly above the rim of the box.  Pack the roses tight and graduate the height of a select few.

At presentation time, loosely weave pink silk ribbon in a zigzag pattern over the top of the bouquet.

roses-red-pink-heart-shaped-box

A Valentine’s Bit of Trivia-

Considered a founding pioneer in the American Valentine’s industry, Esther Allen Howland first introduced Valentine’s Day cards in the United States in 1849.

Howland-valentine

Esther Howland

Quite taken with an ornate English Valentine she received at nineteen, Esther Allen Howard replicated a styling of the card using intricate paper lace and floral decoration details.

Handcrafted Valentine InspirationHandcrafted Valentine Inspiration

The skeleton keys in the above image give me an idea.

decorative skeleton keysK&Company Embellishments Life’s Journey Keys Metal Art

A decorative skeleton key tied with gorgeous silk or vintage floral ribbon becomes a unique you are the key to my heart gift keepsake.

vintage floral ribbon

Vintage Floral Ribbon

Haute Couture Satin Ribbon

Haute Couture Satin Ribbon

Valentine’s Day free printable gift tags from Ann at One Sutton Place.  Click the link to Ann’s blog where you can download these darling Valentine’s Day gift tags.

valentines-day-free-printable-gift-tags

Dining in for Valentine’s Day?

This video by Blossom shows instructions for a super easy rose fold.

Here’s a Valentine’s gift from me to you, my  The Power of Love playlist to set the mood.

Dinner, dessert, and Valentine’s Day heart-shaped ideas.

✓ ✓ and ✓.

Did someone say boozy bouquet?

Flowers.

Adult beverage.

I call this a DIY Valentine’s Day winner.

red heart wreathGet to the heart of the Valentine’s Day matter by working with a theme.  In this case, Valentine’s Day heart shaped ideas.

heart-shaped-rib-eye-steak-HEB

Put some sizzle in your Valentine’s Day grill to thrill dinner with a heart-shaped ribeye steak from HEB.

heart-shaped lasagna

A heart-Shaped lasagna bundt-buon appetito!  Get the recipe from Food Network.

Sourdough Heart RollsKiss the calorie counting goodnight and enjoy sourdough heart shaped rolls from Boudin Bakery in San Francisco.

heart-shaped-cheese-Aldi

Heart-shaped cheeses from Aldi.

70-count Chick-n-Minis

Go fast food gourmet with a heart-shaped tray of Chick-fil-A Chick-n-Minis.

heart-shaped-pizza

Say it with a heart-shaped pizza Valentine Bundle from Pizza Hut.

Metallic Shaped Heart Dinner Plates

Keep the theme going with these metallic heart shaped dinner plates from Party City.

dark chocolate pudding

Dark Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate is in the Valentine’s Day spotlight, and it doesn’t get any better than dark chocolate pudding.

valentines-day-heart-shaped-ideas

Valentine’s Day heart shaped ideas are just another way to have fun with your Valentine’s Day presentation plans.  The dazzle is in the details, the delicious is in the recipe, the joy is in the sharing, and the  is in this Happy Valentine’s Day post.

 

Football Season Tiger Talk: Tailgating Tablescapes Ideas

Conversations, estimations, and prognostications for the upcoming LSU Tigers football season has gone from a meow to a roar.

Norman-Catwell

Football fans- this is not a drill.  If you haven’t scouted the recipes, planned the menus, decorations and tailgating tablescapes ideas we’ve got something to talk about as well.  Football fans and the tailgating nation from conference to conference, division to division take their football and tailgating times serious.  Football fans here in the South surely do, and come rain, sunshine, humidity or hurricane, we let the good tailgating times roll.

LSU_Stadium_night

Tiger Stadium

Tailgating planning and execution is a process that rivals that of an elaborate dinner party.  The selection of a tailgating tablescapes theme and  the perfect decor accessories and tablewares can be an entertaining success from parking to parting.

LSU-tailgatingThe Local Palate

Tailgating has come along way from the hibachi and red Solo cup days, not that there’s anything wrong with that.  Tailgaters decked out in team attire and colors believe in getting the party started early in game day style.

lsu-dooney-bourke

Dooney & Bourke NCAA LSU Handbag

The old adage football is a religion in the South has a lot of truth to it.  The shall we gather at the stadium loyal gather together to get the pregame ritual kicked off in true Tiger style.  Game day chic includes both a pregame bag and a clear bag compliant with stadium policy.

 

Vince Camuto Aryna Clear Cross-Body BagVince Camuto Aryna Clear Cross-Body Bag

Team logo and tiger chic flats and sandals bring style and comfort to the look.  For the away games to college towns where fall is actually fall, gold metallic espadrille slip-on sneakers or warm lined suede boots fit the bill.

 

lsu-sandals

NCAA Women’s Louisiana State University Tigers Purple/Gold Sandal

 

Crossband Leather Slide Sandals

Coconuts by Matisse Crossband Leather Slide Sandals

 

gold-espadrille

Espadrille Slip-On Sneakers

 

Warm Lined Suede BootsWarm Lined Suede Boots

 

Military Anorak Safari Jacket CoatMilitary Anorak Safari Jacket Coat

D&Y-Black-Tiger-Print-Infinity-Scarf

Eye of the Tiger

Tortoise Cutout Drop EarringsTortoise Cutout Drop Earrings

tiger tailgating

Tiger Tailgating

To every sport there is a season, and to every tailgating tablescape there is a reason.   If real estate is all about location, location, location tailgating tablescapes is all about display, display, display.  Pitch your tailgating tent in a prime location, hang a focal point chandelier, and proceed to impress the crowd with your tailgating tablescapes skills and style.

Sonoma Natural Beaded Brown 8-light Chandelier

Sonoma Natural Beaded Brown 8-light Chandelier

I begin by dressing the table in whatever choice of table linens fits this weeks theme.  Burlap is the tailgating accessory that consistently tops the tailgating tablescapes must have table linens list because of its durability and inexpensive price tag.  Versatile for table covers and table runners, burlap, the on-trend farmhouse chic fabric, is a very forgiving fabric.

natural-burlap

Online Fabric Store

There’s no crying in football or spilled chili, dip, gumbo, cocktails, etc…

Spills happen.

If a stain should occur, cover it up with a serving tray or platter for the duration of your tailgating soiree (a hosting trick).  Between tailgating times, head over to a fabric store or online retailer to pick up or order a couple of more yards of this tailgating friendly fabric.

artificial-grass-table-runner

Artificial Grass Table Runner

I really like this artificial grass table runner option.  Dress it up or dress it down style on the field.

burlap-jute-football-field-table-runner

Football Field Burlap Jute 96″ Table Runner

Decorating your tailgating tablescapes with pieces in team colors, seasonal accents, and holiday du jour decor never fails to impress the crowd.  My game changer tablescape works with a casual yet elegant theme.  It brings a bit of juxtaposition to the tailgating tablescapes mix with stoneware plates paired with inexpensive faux wood chargers.

gold-faux-wood-chargerGold Faux Wood Charger

faux-magnolia-wreath

Magnolia Leaves Wreath

Wreaths make fantastic candle rings for tailgating tablescapes, and when  football season is over you can use these for home for the holidays decorating.

STONEBRIAR COLLECTION Medium Rustic Metal Hurricane Lantern

Stonebriar Collection Rustic Metal Hurricane Lantern

silver-candlesticks-vintage

Treasure Chest

Louisiana tailgating must include several lanterns in the New Orleans architectural styles design .

lantern-candle-holders

Dark Metal Lantern

Birch slab round tree slices, woven trays, and baskets make the extra point as serving pieces and decorative additions for the fall football tailgating tablescape of it all.

Birch Slab Round Tree Slices

Birch Slab Round Tree Slices

woven-serving-tray

Woven Rectangle Tray

baskets-for-tailgating

Woven Baskets

Natural Wheat Stacks make the starting lineup for fabulous tailgating tablescapes accessories.

Good look, great height.

Natural Wheat Stack With Ribbon

Natural Wheat Stack With Ribbon

Easy to work with centerpiece options include a team mascot figurine, collectible helmet, and a bronze poly-stone football player sculpture.

 

tailgating tablescapes

collectible-helmet

football-player-statue-sculpture

Arrangements of fresh or faux flowers and plants of the season set a festive and colorful scene.  Crotons, hydrangeas, garden mums, marigolds, branches, decorative feathers, dried lotus pods, magnolia leaves and sunflowers give a festive nod to fall and transport well.

Chrysanthemums

Fir0002/Flagstaffotos

Vases and containers can be as simple as a collection of empty vegetable-sauce-bean cans to dollar store metal vases with rope accents to craft pumpkins to a football cut to accommodate a can in which to house fresh flowers.  When selecting vases and containers, I keep ease of transport, the unique factor, and avoid breakage at all times in mind.

creole-canned-food

metal-vases

Bulk Metal Vases with Rope Accents

birch-bark-pots-vases

Natural Birch Bark Zinc Planter Pots

Boston ferns hanging baskets placed in plastic urns or simply placed tabletop add a touch of casual elegance.

Boston-fern-in-urn

Pumpkin time is coming.   Fresh, decorative, painted, carved or football- the pumpkin is a decorative powerhouse.

Football-Pumpkin-fall

Hobby Lobby

Copper Glitter-Dipped Pumpkin

Hobby Lobby

white-decorative-pumpkin

Hobby Lobby

Silver Galvanized Metal Pumpkin

Hobby Lobby

Simple serves a purpose, a hungry crowd, and an easy cleanup detail.  I keep my eye of the tiger on these 5 gallon college buckets from Home Depot.  I like to pick up several of these tailgating gotta have it staples to use as a carry all, cool all and basic catchall.

LSU-5-gallon-bucket

Tailgating tablescapes wow factor serveware suggestions include cake stands stacked for a tiered effect.  Stacked cake stands work great as serving pieces and chic displays for cheeses, fruits, crackers, breads, muffins and of course, cake.

marble-wood-pedestal-stand

Marble Cake Stand

chocolate-pumpkin-butter

Nordic Ware Pumpkin Wheat Loaf Pan

wood-ellis-stand

Petite Ellis Stand

quick-ranch-bread-sliced

Be sure to shop end of season sales and clearance sections for all your tailgating tablescapes needs.  The very fall and Halloween color choice appropriate Corin melamine serving collection in spice orange is on clearance at Crate & Barrel.

Corin Melamine Long Spice Orange Serving Platter

Corin Melamine Long Spice Orange Serving Platter

The Lodge cast iron bowl is a tailgating must have when serving chili, soup, stew or Frito chili pie.

Lodge 12-Ounce Cast Iron Mini Serving Bowl

Lodge 12-Ounce Cast Iron Mini Serving Bowl 

Vintage wares make chic tablescape pieces.

vintage-wooden-crates-boxes

Treasure Chest

The vintage wood crate is a tailgate tablescapes dream to work with as a flatware caddy, wrapped food holder, cocktail garnishes, or condiment holder.

bread-bags

Bread Bags 

purple-gold-raffia

bloody-mary-garnishes

Stainless Steel Garnish Branches

cajun-garnishes

sauces

coke-crate

Antique Shoppes At 1100 Barksdale

These versatile and sturdy crates add just the right amount of vintage to the look and ease to tote, travel, and tablescape.

Threshold MidTone Large Milk Crate Dark TaupeThreshold MidTone Large Milk Crate Dark Taupe

Chili and chilly is a delicious tailgating combination for fall game days.

hot-chocolate-bar

enamel-latte-mug

Golden Rabbit Enamel Swirl Latte Mug

A woven crate basket can pull triple duty as a tailgate supply tote for a hot chocolate with all the fixings, turned upside down and used as the aforementioned fixings display, and holder of fleece throws in seasonal or team colors.

fleece-throw

I like items that pull double tableware duty.

plastic-urn

Grecian Urn – Bloem

Is it an urn for a fall foliage centerpiece or is it a stylish beverage tub?

plastic-solo-cups-clear

LSU-college-town-glasses

LSU College Town Glass

Tailgating recipes for barbecued anything, Creole seasoned popcorn and lemonade with a kick, cold or hot dips, salads, sandwiches, soups, stews or chili, and tasty tailgating appropriate desserts always satisfy a hungry tailgating group.

galvanized-burger-holderGalvanized Burger Basket

LSU-sauces

sugar-moldSugar Mold

A sugar mold also makes an excellent condiment holder.

whiskey-barrel-burgers

Whiskey Barrel Burgers ~ Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens

pumpkin_sheet_cake

Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Regional cuisine ranks high in taste and popularity with hungry fans, and the cook friendly one pot principal scores extra points for easy.

slow-cooker

boiling-gumbo

Places In The Home Chicken and Sausage Gumbo 

Gumbo or deer chili served with homemade buttermilk cornbread with pork cracklin’s has Louisiana c’est si bon written all over it.

cracklins

Toups’ Cracklin’s

Ingredients

5 pounds skin-on pork belly

4 cups lard

Peanut oil, for frying

Cracklin’ Spice (recipe follows)

Directions

Place pork belly skin side up on a cutting board, and cut into 1-inch pieces.
In a large Dutch oven, place lard and pork belly.  Do not layer pork belly in more than 3 layers.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently; reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, until skin blisters and turns golden brown.  Transfer pork belly to rimmed baking sheets, and refrigerate until cold.*

In a large Dutch oven, pour oil to a depth of 4 inches, and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 380°.  Add pork belly in batches, and fry until puffed and golden brown, about 2 minutes. Let drain on paper towels, and liberally sprinkle or toss with Cracklin’ Spice.

Cracklin’ Spice

Ingredients

½ cup ground chile de árbol

½ cup popcorn salt*

¼ cup ground white pepper

¼ cup minced garlic

¼ cup celery salt

¼ cup sugar

Directions

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.

-Isaac Toups, Toups’ Meatery, New Orleans as featured in Louisiana Cookin’

shop-style

Fans are always looking for a way to celebrate their team(s).  Tailgating gives us a great excuse to get to the stadium early for pregame food, fun and fantastic times.  Fire up the grills and set the tailgating tablescapes, football fans.  It’s tailgating season!

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Grand Old Flag Pop and Splash Style 4th of July Bash

Plans for our grand old flag pop and splash style 4th of July bash are coming together.

charles-faudree-blue-bedroom

Traditional Home

You would think color palette inspiration is what I gleaned from the country French aesthetic of this Charles Faudree decorated bedroom.

Oh, it catches my eye and pops the patriotic palette, but what speaks 4th of July to me is the blue and white plates on the wall.

More on that further down the post.

4th of July bash

Old Glory proudly welcomes visitors and the 4th of July to Places In The Home.

I never shy away from an opportunity to add a pop of color to interiors or exteriors.

red-white-blue-pillowsDisplaying the American flag and decorative throw pillows in red, white, and blue brilliantly colors my world in true patriotic style.

LBR

Our usual cast of characters made an executive holiday decision to hold our 4th of July bash at my brother’s house.

I voted for our 4th of July holiday to look a bit more like this…

Margaritaville

but the majority ruled for our grand old flag pop and splash style 4th of July bash to be a home for the holiday celebration.

boats-on-river-1

Relocating our 4th of July bash to my brother’s house puts us closer to the lake and his pool.

Now that’s smart party planning.

LB-pool-1

My new waterproof bluetooth speaker will make its inaugural debut.  It’s not a party without the grooves and tunes of summer.

bose-speaker-poolBose SoundLink Micro Speaker

red-white-stripes

My Dad was a Veteran and a proud American.  His love of country was rooted in the American flag.

He fought for it, he never shied from his pride in it, and at the end of his life the American flag honored him.

In honor of my Dad, Veterans, and the military servicemen and women who serve our country, our flag flies for you.

stars-flag

What would a 4th of July tablescape be without a red, white and blue centerpiece?

I’m supplying the vase which is actually a cookie jar sans lid and the American flags.

flags-in-jar

Whatever greenery or flower I can find in blooming abundance in nature’s floral department (the yard) will be the center of centerpiece attention.

I happened to notice how full our neighbor’s magnolia tree is at present, and with their permission to “get all you want whenever you want” I’m thinking a bouquet of magnolias is where this centerpiece is going.

magnolia

I’m staying true red, white, and blue with the party palette, but the 4th of July patio table will be set with vintage blue and white plates in various china patterns.

blue-white-plates

Real china plates?

white-flour-sack-towels

4pk White Flour Sack Kitchen Towels – Room Essentials™

Real china plates.

White flour sack dish towels for napkins.

Red Solo cups.

A pop of color, a splash of farmhouse style, and a party staple.

potatoes-corn

Summer sweet corn grown in the fields along the bayou is on the menu.

Some want it roasted, some want it cut off the cob and Southern fried with home grown tomatoes and sauteed Vidalia onions, and some want it boiled or as it was put to me the way nature and the farm to table gods intended.

popcorn-chocolate

Summer sips, snacks, sweets, sides and sizzle simple is on the menu.

Dave the Builder will lead the barbecue pit crew, I’ll handle the sides, my brother is in charge of beverages and appetizers, and Mama Places In The Home is on dessert detail.

patriotic-parfait

From planning to preparing to plating, our grand old flag pop and splash style 4th of July bash is a family affair.

We’re ready to go 4th, color our world and our holiday, and party in patriotic style.

We hope you all have a fantastic 4th of July and if things don’t get planning and preparing crazy around here, I’ll pop in with a post next week.

Until next time.

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Summer Simple Suggestions In Chic Summer Style

Note to summer:  We’ve got a lot of irons in the summer campfire.  Summer simple suggestions in chic summer style for bedecking interior and exterior settings, entertaining, dishing up summer fare, and outdoor living it up easy peasy is greatly appreciated.

summer simple suggestions

Southern, Northern, Eastern or Western Living- regardless of geographical location, summer living and loving decoristas have got the memo, and it’s all about keeping it summer simple and summer simple suggestions.

best-of-summer-Southern-Living

It’s kinda sorta tough to kick back, relax and savor the season when you notice heavy equipment sitting on the sidewalk in front of your house and you, the homeowner, have no earthly idea what it is doing there.

heavy-equipment

Seems our city water department has a little curb appeal water line improvement of their own in mind.

This does not make my summer simple suggestions list.

dug-up-sidewalk

Progress isn’t always a pretty process, and the installation of a new water lines makes it difficult to achieve summer curb appeal style, but we forge on.

sago-palm

We trimmed the unattractive dead sago palm fronds and within a week new green growth emerged.

Here’s a trick in my simple summer suggestions repertoire for getting your Sago palm(s) summer curb appeal ready.

Sago Palm Care

Outdoor planted Sago palm care involves watering the plant regularly until it takes root.

I like the look and the drought tolerant aspect of the mature Sago palm.

Fertilize at least once a month beginning in spring to aid in active growth.

Covering the base of the plant with mulch will help to protect the roots from cold snaps.

In inclement winter weather or fall freeze, we cover the exposed Sago palm with a heavy duty extra large black trash bag to protect it.

shattered

If it’s not one thing, it’s this.

Cue The Rolling Stones, cause it’s shattered.

The lawn and garden guy’s super duper heavy duty weed eater took aim at a loose piece of exposed aggregate, obliterating the exterior glass panel of the patio French garden door.

One simply can’t patio pretty with ugly on parade.

Thank goodness for the friend who frequents our summer patio soirees that just so happens to own a local glass company.

edison-string-lights

CB2 Edison String Lights

Did someone mention summer soiree?

Why, yes.

I did.

It’s time once again to get your summer soiree on, and the ideas for fun in the sun or evening tiki torch, lantern or string light are flowing.

We’re working with what we’ve got in the front of the house, and if you are like us, you’re getting your porch, patio and deck hangin’ game plan down pat.

Comfortable, fun, relaxing, refreshing, simple, tasty and stylish as chic- this is my number one summer simple suggestions formula for a festive summer gathering.

If Ina Uses It

I read with interest an article listing the pros and cons of a charcoal grill.

The pros outnumber the cons, and personal preference trumps all however, the one pro of the charcoal grill worth mentioning is worth mentioning.  Grilling on a charcoal grill ups the flavor quotient and gives great grilled flavor.

grill

Better Homes & Gardens

Brushing the grate with oil helps to prevent food from sticking.

Take three or four paper towels and wad them up in a bunch.

Pick up the paper towels with tongs and dip into a bowl of peanut, Canola or vegetable oil.

Lightly coat the grate and proceed to grill.

charcoal-chimney-starter

Country Living

Ina is a huge fan of the charcoal chimney starter.

Using a charcoal chimney starter is both easy and a safe way to get things cooking.

I hate the taste of lighter fluid, and am leery of it as well.  When you use a charcoal chimney starter there is no need for lighter fluid.

Simply fill the chimney starter about ¾  full with charcoal and light it over several sheets of scrunched up newspaper over the bottom grill grate.

chimney-starter

Weber® Rapidfire® Chimney Starter

Allow the fire to catch and then burn for about 10-20 minutes or until the fire comes out of the top and the coals are glowing orange.

Carefully spread out the charcoal in a single layer across the bottom cooking grate, place the oiled grate on top, and you’re ready to grill.

As Ina Garten would say, how fabulous is that?

Speaking of Simple Summer Suggestions, Ina Garten, Summer Fare and Grilling

ina-garten-sliders

Sliders

Ingredients

2 pounds premium ground beef (80 percent lean and 20 percent fat)

1 tablespoon good Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons good olive oil, plus extra for brushing the grill

1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves

3 teaspoons chopped garlic

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 ounces grated Gruyere

12 small Brioche buns

4 ounces baby arugula

3 medium tomatoes, sliced in 1/8-inch-thick rounds

2 small red onions, sliced in 1/8-inch-thick rounds

Ketchup, for serving

Directions

Build a charcoal fire or heat a gas grill.

Place the ground beef in a large bowl and add the mustard, olive oil, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Mix gently with a fork to combine, taking care not to compress the ingredients.  Shape the meat into 12 (2-inch) patties of equal size and thickness.

When the grill is medium-hot, brush the grill grate with oil to keep the sliders from sticking.  Place the sliders on the grill and cook for 4 minutes. Turn the sliders over with a spatula and cook for another 4 to 6 minutes, until medium-rare, or cook longer if you prefer the sliders more well done. For the last 2 minutes of cooking time, place ½-ounce Gruyere on the top of each burger and close the grill lid.  Remove the sliders to a platter and cover with foil.

Slice the buns in half crosswise and toast the halves cut side down on the grill.

Divide the baby arugula among the 12 bottom buns, top each with a slider, and finish with a slice of tomato and red onion.  Cover with the top of the bun and serve hot with ketchup.

~ from Food Network

hot-dog-1

Culinary experiments put the taste and c’est si bon in the summer entertaining mix.

Summer menus require summer classics, new discoveries and improved additions.

fried-chicken

Fried chicken is practically required eating in the South and a mainstay of the summer dining and picnic table.

Once the Places In The Home gang discovered how good the fried chicken is from the deli at our local Kroger, frying chicken at home has become a thing of the past.

smores-fixins

Here’s my tip for simply summer impressive- it’s all in the presentation.

I go heavy on the presentation and simple with the preparation.

A pack of mini terra-cotta clay pots from the dollar store become individual s’mores supply pots.

Vintage Hershey's Milk Chocolate Metal Tray

Vintage Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Metal Tray

Chippy, rusty, and charming- this vintage Hershey’s Milk Chocolate metal tray would make a great serving tray or decorative accent for the s’mores table.

plum smoothie pop

Vintage ironstone and in the style of vintage table linens set a summer chic table.

A quick trip to an antique shop, garage sale or Goodwill store usually results in an ironstone serving piece find or two.

Vintage picnic wares and baskets bring memories to the table, and can be used for the actual purpose of food and beverage and/or as decorative accents.

basket-hydrangea

Woven Wood Picnic Basket

Dave the Builder and I bought a vintage picnic table from a fellow antiques dealer with the express purpose of featuring it in a summer display at Hopefully Classic.

I used a vintage picnic basket filled with hydrangeas for  a super easy, super cute centerpiece.

You can make quite the keep it summer simple statement with a collection of glass jars or melamine vegetable bowl and whatever flowers, greenery or veggies are growing fresh in your yard or garden.

No garden or flowers on the homestead?

Check out the floral department and produce section of your favorite grocery store.

mini-watermelon

Mini watermelons on a natural table runner of Pittosporum paired with Lemon Lime Nandina is summer simple and summer chic.

corn-centerpiece

Ears of fresh corn with the husks slightly peeled back in order to expose the corn kernels grouped in threes and tied with woven ribbon of your color, pattern and texture choice or metallic twisted rope is another fresh centerpiece idea.

ironstone-tureen

Antique White Ironstone Tureen Cookson Chetwynd Small Serving Dish Bowl

 

summer-serving-pieces

4pc Indoor Outdoor Gingham Napkins  ||  Lyndsay Stripes Cotton Table Runner  ||  Design Imports 18″ Square Farm Fresh Stripe Napkin (Set of 4)   ||  Striped Fete Buffet Napkins in White (Set of 4)  ||  Chambray Fringe Napkins, Set of 4  ||  Basics Watercolor Check Napkins in Navy (Set of 4)

Watercolor Black Plaid Dinnerware

Gingham Napkin 4ct - Black/White - Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia

Gingham Napkin 4ct – Black/White – Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia

Summer Simple Suggestions for Refreshing Treats 

Summer is fun, but summer is hot.

Delicious and easy frozen treats of the leaded and unleaded type make a big splash with guests.

plums

Plums

Plum Smoothie Pops

Ingredients

¼ cup sugar

1 Tablespoon corn syrup

1 lb. assorted plums

8 tsp. fresh lime juice

6 oz. plain yogurt

Directions

Bring the sugar, corn syrup, and ¼ cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and cool.  Puree the plums, cooled syrup, and lime juice in two batches, using a blender, until smooth.  Stir the plum puree and yogurt together in a large mixing bowl.

Pour the mixture into popsicle molds, leaving about ½ inch at the top, as the mixture will expand when it freezes.  Follow popsicle mold manufacturer’s instructions and freeze until solid, about 4 hours.

~Country Living

popsicle-outdoor-throw-pillow

ENVOGUE Indoor/Outdoor Popsicle Pillow

Have you heard about these new scratch-and-sniff Frozen Treats stamps inspired by summer and the whimsical watercolor illustrations of Margaret Berg?   These will be great for those summer cookout-party-soiree snail mail invitations.

frozen-treats-postage-stamps

USPS

Pair your favorite frozen treat with a glass of sparkling wine for a little zing.

Dipping a frozen treat into a chilled glass of sparkling wine pops the flavor notes and takes summer treat to a whole new tasting dimension.

Prosecco grapes is another winner.

These frozen treats are super easy to make and quite refreshing.

prosecco-grapes

Prosecco Grapes

Ingredients

2 lb. green grapes

1 bottle prosecco

4 oz. vodka

½  cup granulated sugar

Directions

In a large bowl, pour prosecco and vodka over grapes.  Let them soak in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Drain in a colander and pat dry.  On a shallow plate, roll the grapes in sugar until fully coated, then serve.

~Delish

original-bomb-pop-frozen-treat

Inspiration is everywhere!

Huber+Popsicle+Throw+Pillow

I saw this VW Bus throw pillow and immediately my thoughts went to summers spent camping with my childhood friend and her family in their VW Bus.

VW-bus-summer-throw-pillow

Louisiana is a long way from the California coast, but the Gulf Coast is a fun place to sand, swim, sun and sing we’ve been having fun all summer long, Louisiana style.

The Beach Boys definitely make up the soundtrack of summer.

he-beach-boys-greatest-hitsThe Beach Boys – Greatest Hits (Capitol) (CD)

My final summer simple suggestions tip is as follows:

Don’t sweat the details.

The simplicity of summer is an easy theme to work with and makes a great backdrop for mixing and mingling with friends and family in the good old summertime.

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I may earn a commission for purchases made through affiliate links

On The Patio, Porch, Terrace, Decked Out Summer Holidays

The on the patio, porch, terrace or deck on summer holidays season complete with summer ready spots of relaxation and entertaining decked out to impress is ready to a kick off.  Memorial Day is fast approaching with the 4th of July and Labor Day arriving sooner than later.  The Canadian snowbird couple celebrated Victoria Day this past Monday, and the snaps of their deck and yard getting summer ready mirrors what many of us are patio planning.

summer holidays

Ollie by Gollie and Caramel the Wonder Rescue love spending time outdoors soaking up the sun.   Winter is in the rearview mirror, and we are looking ahead to outdoor living, entertaining, and my favorite, decorating, with the full-on colors, patterns, and textures that visually convey the message summer has arrived.  The warm temps of spring every days and summer holidays is inspiration central for those who love decorating and celebrating their outdoor living life on the patio, porch, terrace or deck on summer holidays.

beach-style-porchHeather Garrett Design

Summer evenings set to a serene and tranquil scene usher in a leave the fast track behind and escape to relaxation destination.  I love an outdoor space that visually draws you in and stunningly communicates come for the style, stay for the view.

beach-style-deck

Peter Billiards

Crosshatch Weave Bamboo Lantern

Crosshatch Weave Bamboo Lantern

 

Glass+Lantern

Natural Fiber/Glass Lantern

 

Borin+Glass+Lantern

Borin Iron/Glass Lantern

A patio or porch or terrace or deck is a great space to pattern play with a splash of style and a pop of color.  Color, pattern, and texture enhances the look and emphasizes chic summer style.

Orly Rectangle 4' X 5'7" Outdoor Rug - Red / Natural - Safavieh®Orly Rectangle 4′ X 5’7″ Outdoor Rug – Red / Natural – Safavieh®

Cambridge-outdoor-rug

Francia Rug – Dark Green/Beige – Safavieh®

Calypso Geometric Patio Rug Collection - Safavieh®

Calypso Geometric Patio Rug Collection – Safavieh®

Texture blends well with casual chic in this woven wicker pendant in soft gray.

Lanston Wide Pendant, Soft GrayLanston Wide Pendant, Soft Gray

Great lighting is an essential part of framing the space- indoors and outdoors.  I always suggest adding or at least consider adding a chandelier and/or table lamp(s) to your patio, porch, terrace or deck space.  These lighting options inject a touch of casual elegance and make the space more intimate.

 

Mediterranean porch

Gil Walsh Interiors

Pair a table lamp or lamps with a stylish outdoor side table.  These examples are specifically rated for outdoor use.

Calla Indoor/Outdoor Table Lamp in White with Nylon Shade

Calla Indoor/Outdoor Table Lamp in White with Nylon Shade

outdoor-floor-lamp

Elliot Bay Outdoor Floor Lamp

 

Dimond Lighting Sandy Neck Oversized Outdoor Table Lamp in Distressed GreyDimond Lighting Sandy Neck Oversized Outdoor Table Lamp in Distressed Grey

 

Artichoke+Outdoor+Table+Lamp

Artichoke Outdoor Table Lamp

 

Curby Square Concrete Accent Table - Safavieh®

Curby Square Concrete Accent Table – Safavieh® 

 

Christopher Knight Home Puerta Wicker Side Table

Christopher Knight Home Puerta Wicker Side Table

Paper lanterns make an affordable addition to your outdoor lighting scheme.

paper-lanterns-8-in-round-beige-3

Paper Lanterns

We use a fire pit as another form of lighting.

And for roasting marshmallows for summer s’mores.

And mosquito control aka natural buzz kill.

Hohman Firebowl Steel Wood Fire Pit with Handles and Spark Screen

Hohman Firebowl Steel Wood Fire Pit with Handles and Spark Screen

woodburning-fire-pit

Jamaica Woodburning Fire Pit 32″ x 15″ – Copper – Safavieh®

Celebrating the moments of your outdoor living life with a cool refreshing beverage is always a good idea.  Convenience makes a fabulous party guest, and a beverage station or bar cart sur le patio is as convenient as it is necessary.

Summon Outdoor Patio Beverage Cart

Summon Outdoor Patio Beverage Cart 

The image below reminds me of the vintage sewing machine stand I bought at a flea market when Dave the Builder and I were dating.  Dave found a scrap piece of marble to serve as the top and we were in business.

vintage-sewing-stand

I first used the marble top sewing machine stand as a bistro table, then a kitchen island, then a microwave stand, and eventually a poolside bar/beverage stand.   Nothing fancy by any means, but unique (at the time) and very versatile.

patio-decor-accessories

Domino

 

outdoor-throw-pillow-wovenOutdoor Throw Pillow Square – Woven Narrow Stripe Black – Project 62™

 

indoor-outdoor-flamingo-pillow

Indoor/Outdoor Flamingo Pillow

Gauthier~Stacy Inc.

Gauthier~Stacy Inc.

black-white-floor-pillow

Pillow Perfect Outdoor/Indoor Kirkland Black Floor Pillow

 

 

Andaman Fish SculptureAndaman Fish Sculpture

Now you know I will be adding this alligator lumbar pillow to the on the patio, porch, terrace or deck gotta have it list.

Outdoor Alligator Embroidered Lumbar Pillow, Gingko Green

Outdoor Alligator Embroidered Lumbar Pillow, Gingko Green

Are you familiar with the site Wish.com?  My niece-in-law introduced me to this online direct from China shopping site, and I have ordered several things from the site with no issues.  The merchandise quality is good, I have had no problems with shipping dates, and the items arrive as advertised.  I ordered this leaf linen throw pillow cover last summer, and I am so pleased with the product and the price.

Are you ready for the price?

$2.00  including shipping.

A quality look at a super inexpensive price.  That’s a summer style deal I can get on board with.

leaf-pillow

Leaf Linen Throw Pillow Cover

terrace-deck

Gunn Landscape Architecture

 

outdoor-wicker-club-chair

 

Pueblo Outdoor Wicker Club Chair With Water Resistant Cushions

 

outdoor-dining-table

Patio Dining Table – Beige – Signature Design by Ashley

I absolutely love the color, pattern and texture of this patio umbrella.  Green and black is a hot color combination of late, and goes quite nice with the look of summer and summer holidays.

round-patio-umbrella

 

9′ Round Patio Umbrella – Light Wood Pole – Threshold™ 

poolside-umbrellaDomino

Black and white stripes is a summer classic.

Safavieh Elsa Fashion Line 9 Ft. Umbrella

Safavieh Elsa Fashion Line 9 Ft. Umbrella

blue-purple-hydrangea

The vibrancy of summer blooms in seasonal colors is accentuated by color rich decorative planters.

Roped+Bell+Jar+Resin+Stone+Urn+Planter

Roped Bell Jar Resin Stone Urn Planter

 

Hendersonville Old World Floral Garden Ceramic Pot Planter

Hendersonville Old World Floral Garden Ceramic Pot Planter

 

red-pottery-planter

New England Pottery 17.25-in W x 17-in H Red Ceramic Classic Planter

 

Garden hose be gone, or at least housed in this beehive hose holder.

hose-holder

Beehive Hose Holder

 

Do you know what a summer day and this post have in common?

They’re both long.

Summer days, summer nights, and summer holidays- are you ready to show your summer style off on your stylishly decorated patio, porch, terrace or deck?

Love your style!

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