Merry Christmas To You!

Merry Christmas to you, my treasured friends.


Country Living Magazine – Photography by Rikki Snyder

This Christmas collection of pretty pictures, delightful treats, and Christmas at home is a visual to you, from me gift that hopefully fills the eye and the heart with the most wonderful time of the year sights of the season.



At Home in Arkansas – Photography by Rett Peek


Divinity with Cherries and Pecans



Country Home Magazine


House Beautiful – Photography by Peter Frank Edwards

Forest Beauty

Forest Beauty


Flower Magazine


Curly Girl Kitchen

All is calm, all is bright.




Raspberry Almond CakeRaspberry Almond Cake

The Toy Store Window by Timoléon Marie Lobrichon (1)

The light in a child’s eyes is all it takes to make
Christmas a magical time of the year.


May the beauty of the season be bountiful in the spaces and places of your holiday home.

With much love to one and all,


Taste of Thanksgiving Recipes

Taste of Thanksgiving recipes feed the hunger we crave and gives reason for the gathering season.

Julia Child quote tapestry


Gathering together to feast, family, and friend during the holidays or just because on a Monday in cozy spaces with good food (fancy schmancy or crackers and can cheese) is rooted in connection, love, and celebration of relationship.


Houzz – Tim Moss

Speaking from years of experience, the kitchen is about to be a hot spot of holiday activity.  Music is a must, quality kitchen tools and gadgets essential, organization the sous chef to friend, and the taste of Thanksgiving present and accounted for.


Houzz – Tim Moss

Holiday open houses at favorite antique shoppes result in treasured finds; among them platters O’Plenty perfect for plating birds baked, roasted, and fried.

vintage-new-thanksgiving-platters-1100-Barksdale (1)

Antique Shoppes at 1100 Barksdale

Louisianans do love to do delicious fried turkey when the weather turns cold and the good holiday times roll.

Deep-Fried Turkey Recipe

Country Living – Photography by Johnny Miller

Deep-Fried Turkey


1½ tbsp. kosher salt

1½ tbsp. smoked paprika

1½ tsp. garlic powder

1½ tsp. onion powder

1½ tsp. fresh ground pepper

1¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

1 (12- to 14-pound) whole fresh turkey

Peanut oil (about 3 gallons)


Stir together first 6 ingredients. Remove giblets and neck from turkey, and discard. Drain cavity well; pat entire turkey dry with paper towels.

Loosen and lift skin from turkey with fingers, without totally detaching skin; generously spread seasoning under skin. Carefully replace skin and secure with wooden picks, if desired.

Sprinkle and rub remaining seasoning inside cavity and on outside of turkey. Let turkey stand at room temperature while oil heats.

Meanwhile, pour oil into a deep propane turkey fryer 10 to 12 inches from top; heat to 350°F over a medium-low flame, according to manufacturer’s instructions (about 45 minutes).

Place turkey on fryer rod. Carefully and slowly lower turkey into hot oil with rod attachment.

Fry 35 to 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion of thigh registers 165°F (about 3 minutes per pound plus an additional 5 minutes.  Keep oil temperature between 300°F and 325°F). Remove turkey from oil; drain and let stand 25 minutes before slicing.

Serves 10-12.

-Country Living


Alex Orenczuk TV

Louisiana pecans harvested from area farms characterize the taste of home.

Cinnamon Candied Pecans​​​​​​​​

1 Tbsp unsalted butter

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 cup pecans

½ teaspoon cinnamon


In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, melt together butter, cinnamon and granulated sugar until the sugar starts to caramelize.  Add pecans and stir to coat; stirring often to keep from burning.

Pour candied pecans onto parchment or wax paper allowing to cool.


Southern sweet potato casserole, candied sweet potatoes, and Dave the Builder’s requested favorite, sweet potato pie- Louisiana sweet potatoes are synonymous with Thanksgiving.

Homemade Sweet Potato Pie Recipe with Walnut Topping

Homemade Sweet Potato Pie Recipe with Walnut Topping

Taste of Thanksgiving Recipes

Candied Sweet Potatoes


3 large sweet potatoes, washed, peeled and sliced French fry style

1 stick butter, sliced

1 cup sugar

1 Tbsp water


Places prepared sweet potatoes in pot. Add sugar and butter slices. Add water and cover with lid. Cook on low about 40 minutes or until tender. Do not stir during cooking time.

Place candied sweet potatoes in casserole and serve.

-Cooking with Brenda Gantt

Asparagus With Crawfish Hollandaise

Asparagus With Crawfish Hollandaise


2 pounds green asparagus, trimmed

1 tablespoon canola oil

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

4  large egg yolks

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon salt

⅛  teaspoon cayenne pepper

½  cup butter, melted

½ (16-ounce) package crawfish tails


Preheat oven to 350°.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, and add asparagus.  Top with canola oil, salt, and pepper, and brush evenly with basting brush.  Bake until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, add water to a large saucepan, and bring to a simmer.  In a stainless steel bowl, add egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne.  Hold bowl over simmering water making sure bottom of bowl does not touch water, and whisk vigorously until volume of egg mixture doubles.  Slowly whisk in melted butter until sauce is thick and combined.

Remove from heat, and stir in crawfish.  Serve immediately over asparagus.

-Louisiana Cookin’


Scenes from home.


Regional ingredients rich in taste of home traditions star in our taste of Thanksgiving non-traditional side dishes.


Wild Rice and Basmati Dressing with Sausage and Sage

Wild Rice and Basmati Dressing with Sausage and Sage

Holiday time is coming, and what better time to dazzle the gathered together than with one of these taste of Thanksgiving recipes.


Merry Christmas 2021


God grant you lightness in your step,

A smile on every face you meet,

Loved ones gathered at your hearth,

And at your door, good friends to greet

A holy hymn upon your lips,

A window candle burning bright

And may the Good Lord bless your heart

And come to dwell here Christmas night.

—Irish Christmas Blessing

From our house and hearts to yours, Dave the Builder and I wish you a very Merry Christmas 2021 filled with everlasting joy, peace, splendor, and love.




Christmas Season 2021

The pace for Christmas season 2021 is set to slow in order to savor the season, embrace the true meaning of it all, and cherish the memories old and new that rush my mind and heart.

Christmas season 2021 Pretty At The Holidays highlights a collection of gorgeous images featuring scenes of the season guaranteed to inspire and impress.


John Loecke & Jason Oliver Nixon – Photo Hector Manuel Sanchez
Styling by Kendra Surface – Southern Living Magazine

“Freshly cut Christmas trees smelling of stars and snow and pine resin—
inhale deeply and fill your soul with wintry night.”
—John J. Geddes

living-room-holidays-fire-interiors-Mark-Fox (1)

House & Garden – Photo by Mark Fox

“The rooms were very still while the pages were softly turned and the winter sunshine crept in to touch the bright heads and serious
faces with a Christmas greeting.”
—Louisa May Alcott


“Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it
by giving the light of love to those who need it most.”
—Ruth Carter Stapleton



“We count down the days, just to experience it nearly
exactly as we always have.
It is so comfortable, familiar and perfectly nostalgic
that, frankly, we have no desire to improve upon it at all.”
— Joanna Gaines


Kitchen Ghosts

“Christmas magic is silent.
You don’t hear it—you feel it.
You know it. You believe it.”
— Kevin Alan Milne


House Beautiful – Photo by Gordon Beall

“Some Christmas tree ornaments do more than glitter and glow, they represent a gift of love given a long time ago.”
—Tom Baker


“Christmas is a piece of one’s home that one carries in one’s heart.”
— Freya Stark


Victoria Magazine

“As long as we know in our hearts
what Christmas ought to be, Christmas is.”
– Eric Sevareid


Victoria Magazine

“Bless us Lord, this Christmas, with quietness of mind; Teach us to be patient and always to be kind.”
— Helen Steiner Rice

House & Garden

“Let us keep Christmas beautiful without a thought of greed.”
—Ann Garnett Schultz


Summer Adams

“Christmas is like candy; it slowly melts in your mouth sweetening every taste bud, making you wish it could last forever.”
— Richelle E. Goodrich

Retro Christmas Tree Cake

Retro Christmas Tree Cake

“May your hearth be warm, your holidays grand, and your heart
held gently in the good Lord’s hand.”
— Unknown

Carolyne Roehm candle fireplace mantle

Carolyne Roehm

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold,
everything is softer and more beautiful.”
— Norman Vincent Peale


Festive anticipation is super setting in as Christmas week draws closer, and I fa la la la love it!

Flights carrying loved ones begin to arrive, Dave the Builder is patiently awaiting a pan of Fantasy Fudge brimming with chopped walnuts, and as much as I would love a visiting elf to grant me the pleasure of wrapping all the gifts for me, that’s one Christmas miracle I’m pretty sure is not going to happen.

Christmas season 2021

Holiday happenings, tasks, and undertakings can bring immense joy, however, the holiday hustle an bustle can be quite overwhelming at times.

Balance is a key component of design and decorating, life, and essential at this the most wonderful time of the year.

I’ve adopted a slow the pace, win the race attitude towards Christmas season 2021, seeing the beauty and the meaning of the season through a different lens.

Years of holiday decorating, open houses, and professional retail antiques and design business services brought joy, but I noticed by the second week of December I lost all interest in the holidays.  Can you say oversaturation?

For this reason, I keep my holiday social media postings light as well as my blogging in order to experience the joy rather than looking up and it being all over.

Remember this, my dear friends; the Christmas season is short at best. Treat yourself while treating others to the joy, the beauty, the goodies, and the glory of this beautiful season.

Merry Christmas, dear ones.



Thanksgiving Sides and Holiday Sweets

Gobble and gather together times entice family and friends to come together to share a delicious dinner featuring Thanksgiving sides and holiday sweets.


Today’s post features traditional foundation Thanksgiving sides and holiday sweets recipes I’ve collected from fellow bloggers and assorted social media postings.

Traditional recipes are well represented, but with improved upon ingredients and presentations certain to be requested additions to the holiday menu.



Melting Sweet Potatoes with Maple-Pecan Sauce


Asiago Bruschetta Roasted Asparagus


Autumn Harvest Rice


Green Bean and Mushroom Skillet

Green Bean and Mushroom Skillet

Smashed Baby Red Potatoes

Smashed Baby Red Potatoes

Savory Sweet Potato Casserole

Starches plus tryptophan results in a full, satisfied and sleepy husband, son, brother, and nephews, and that means guilt free Black Friday shopping, keyboard style, for Mama Places In The Home, nieces, and yours truly.


Thyme and Wild Mushroom Stuffing


Pull-Apart Stuffing Ring



Pumpkin White Chocolate Mousse Pie


Pecan Praline Pumpkin Torte


Fresh Apple Nut Cake


Coconut-Pumpkin Chiffon Pie


Gluten-free Pear-Walnut Cake with Vanilla & Cardamom


Dutch Apple Pie


Pumpkin Trifles

pumpkin trifles

No-Bake Espresso Chocolate Pudding Pie


Holiday side dishes blessings and bon appétit!

love signature

Red, White And Blue Accents

Red, white and blue accents inspired by stellar color choices, engaging stripes, and timeless patterns star in this showcase featuring the bold and bright patriotic inspired palette- the original grand pop of color.

Cheng Toile from Dynasty Collection

Cheng Toile from Thibaut Dynasty Collection

red white and blue color palette

Miles-Redd-David-Kaihoi-blue-white-powder-room-photo-Ryan Kurtz

Architectural Digest -Photo by Ryan Kurtz

What better way to create a remarkable space than with unique interior design and decorating giving center stage to red, white and blue accents.


Hillary W. Taylor Interiors – Brunschwig & Fils

Red, white and blue paint colors in deep, rich, vibrant, and dramatic tones and shades promote a full-on color blast, burst, and boom of visual fireworks.


There’s nothing kiddie about the look created in these kids’ rooms.


New England Home Magazine – Photography by Michael Partenio

Exceptionally impressive best describes this antique bed with upholstered headboard and grandly ornate swan footboard.


Mallory Mathison Design

Pattern at play.


New England Home Magazine – Photography by Michael Partenio

Bold and beautiful describes the dramatic impact achieved in the 1842 Vermont farmhouse kitchen of Wendy Valliere of Wendy Valliere Interiors.

Red, white and blue beautiful.

red velvet pancakesRed Velvet Pancakes from Eclectic Recipes

Enticing the eye is mixture accomplished by Eclectic Recipes and this red, white and blue stack of red velvet pancakes topped with coconut syrup and fresh blueberries.

Click on the link below the photo for the recipe.

19th Century French Iron Pastry Table

19th Century French Iron Pastry Table- 1stDibs


Red, white and blue accents bring chic to both the nautical or coastal tablescape.

blue and white draperyTraditional Home



Royal complements navy blue, simply white enhances china white.



Benjamin Moore


Elle Decor



 Cameron Ruppert Interiors

Befitting a palette choice with a patriotic theme pop of color, red, white and blue accents lend bold drama and traditional form to a space.

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