A Growing Trend: Living Grass Easter Basket

Grass is a quite the topic of conversation lately.

Not that type of grass.

Easter grass.

Which do you prefer, plastic or living grass Easter basket?


A long time spring and Easter tradition involves a run to our local feed and seed store.

We ooh and awe at the baby chicks, check out the spring bedding and vegetable garden plants, and scoop up a half-pound of wheat grass seeds.

The latter purchase results in a bumper crop of live Easter grass.

Egghibit A: my Easter 2013 live and in color living grass Easter basket.

living grass Easter basket

Okay, living grass Easter Temp-tations casserole dish basket, but you get the general idea.

 casseroleGrace Baker with Wire Rack

I lined the bottom of the container with black river rocks from Dollar Tree.

Next, I filled the casserole dish about ¾ full (about an inch below the edge of the dish) with a mixture of potting soil and good old dirt.

Dampen the soil, cover the top with seeds and within two days marvel at sight of growing grass.

landscapingOn another type of grass front yard front ~

Places In The Home is Easter Sunday central again this year.

Company’s coming, therefore, a DIY landscaping session made the all things house that make a home make ready list.

The combination of looking at ugly winter wrecked beds together with well-timed spring Black Friday sales presents the perfect incentive to get in gear with a front yard freshen up.

Ferns for the front porch, ground cover clipped and managed, and sixteen bags of black mulch later we’re making some progress.

The jury is still out on the status of the Sago palm.

I hope it makes a full recovery.


Exteriors lead to interiors, and next up in my Easter entertaining plans is the tablescape.

I’ll share my ideas and suggestions with you all midweek.

Enjoy your Monday.

Love your style!

For Your Dining Pleasure: Dinner Party Ideas And A Course in Bob Ryan 101

With May, June, and July graduations, weddings, and festivities comes the celebratory ritual of culinary and social interaction and entertaining, the dinner party.  Bob Ryan is a larger than life fictional character from the HBO series Entourage.  Portrayed by the late Martin Landau,  Bob Ryan is a lovely idea of a man.

Martin LandauMartin Landau as Bob Ryan

He is well spoken in the language of ramble, but what he has to say is about the art of dining is worth a listen.  Bob will have no part of stressful topics being discussed before, during, or after dining.   Ambiance is key in the art and aid of proper digestion, a priority high on his list of dinner party ideas.

top hat owl

Bob Ryan reasons that proper digestion is an important part of the dining experience.  Fictional or real, the wise old owl has got a point.   What if I was to tell you a rich cup of  Louisiana coffee or tea, fine wine, accent lighting and great music is Bob Ryan 101 at Casa Places In The Home.  In the immortal words of Bob Ryan, “Is that something you might be interested in?”

dinner party ideas

From menu to music to the personalities of the diners, you’ve got to put some thought into it.  Much like the perfect wine pairing, getting it right enhances the flavor of the event.  I don’t believe it is terminal if the music or the wine selection doesn’t perfectly fit with a course, but it can feel like there’s been a death when we are paired with bad dinner guests.  There is an art to accomplishing that particular pairing- a social sommelier, if you will.  In case of social emergency, make sure the wine is flowing and hope the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.


Melvin Sokolsky ~ Jump, Paris, 1965

If the quickest way to a person’s heart is through their stomach, music is the shortest route to their soul.   A casual meal goes well with the greatest hits of whatever decade you have the fondest memories from.   A romantic meal naturally slows down the pace of life, speeds up the pace of the heart, and goes well with a smooth groove.  Music makes the mood, and no respectable formal dinner party is complete without the music.


Your crowd doesn’t have an Appetite for Destruction?


There’s a lot to be said for the advice offered up from a fictional character in a cable series.  Palatable peace existing in perfect harmony in the name of digestion is at the top of my dinner party ideas list.

And yes, Bob, that is something I am very interested in.

Love your style!

Our Family Grows By One: An Engagement Celebration

Big news has come to our family!  There is going to be a wedding in the very near future uniting two of my favorite people in the world.

Our immediate family is growing by one, our extended family by many, and our happy hearts by leaps and bounds. Family is an important ingredient in the recipe of a happy life, and we could not be more pleased the happy couple chose to include The Places In The Home gang in celebrating their joyous occasion.

Aunt Darleen had a 48 hour window to get her engagement party act together.  The future Mr. and Mrs. phoned to tell us they were coming in for the weekend, and that they wanted to have dinner at our house Saturday evening. I immediately knew a surprise engagement family celebration dinner was in order. The menu needed to be a little left of a traditional Sunday dinner with a comfortable and unpretentious vibe.


Blush Rose Punch

Fresh Fruit Tray

Crispy Cheese Straws


Pita Chips and Pretzels


Spring Mix & Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Creole Pecans, and Honey-Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Main Course~

Beef Roast with Golden Mushroom Gravy

Baked Potatoes

Green Peas with Pearl Onions

Fried Corn


Vanilla Creme Cake


Iced Tea

There was a method to my tablescape madness.  Dinner plates in “Emma-tation” pattern fashion featuring double rimmed beaded detail in closed circles, band of gold salad plates, and polka dot design dinner napkins served function and meaning. Round and round we go until we complete the circle of love.

Three hundred white tea light candles lined the walk to the proposal and to the heart of the man K will call her husband.  Eight white and two red tea light candles symbolically surrounded one heart.

The Kate Spade dessert plates were the hit I thought they would be.


From our home to theirs they went, hopefully a treasured memory from a most special evening.

Congratulations, K and C, and thank you both for making a special effort to include us all in your engagement celebration!