Deck the Halls Decorista Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday gift guide inspiration kicks off this second week of December.

With the shopping and shipping days left until Christmas growing ever closer, The Places In The Home Gifts for the Deck the Halls Decorista holiday gift guide is primed and ready to lend an idea or two for your deck the halls gift giving needs.

Pinterest board page

We’ve got a wide range of gift ideas for the halls, entryways, bedrooms, home offices, nooks, places and spaces that make up house and home. Santas-route-ornament

Let’s begin with the gift of home as in a hand drawn house sketch of your home sweet home.

Folks, Dave and I did this for my brother and my parents several Christmases ago and it was a huge holiday gift hit.

The local artist also created custom notecards from the images based on the photo shoot(s) of their homes. front door hand drawn custom house portrait

Hand Drawn Original House Sketch

Face it, this silhouette pillow is a stunner.

silhouette abstract throw pillow

Silhouette Pillow

Collecting vintage portrait paintings is my new decorative accessory passion.

Unknown subjects in the beginning become familiar family members over time, adding a sense of curated intrigue to your decor.

Vintage Mid-Century Portrait of Blond Young Girl Signed Painting

Vintage Mid-Century Portrait of Blond Young Girl Signed Painting

File this next holiday gift guide suggestion under S for stunning.

Hand Carved Wood Chairs

Hand Carved Wood Chairs

This set of hand carved wood chairs is this decorista’s dream Christmas gift.

framed-James-Dean-print-John-Young-bedroom

Josh Young Design

James Dean The Rebel Urban Poster Print

James Dean The Rebel Urban Poster Print

Ruffled chenille pillow shams is always an appropriate gift giving theme to go with.

Pure Linen duvet cover 'Diane' with ruffles and ties

Pure Linen Duvet Cover ‘Diane’ with Ruffles and Ties

Alix-Rico-master-bedroom-Provencal-Christmas

Flower Magazine | Styling by Margaret Zainey Roux
Photography by Sara Essex Bradley | Interior design by Alix Rico

French Louis XVI Style Gilt Painted Trumeau

French Louis XVI Style Gilt Painted Trumeau

Music-Themed Trumeau MirrorMusic-Themed Trumeau Mirror

During these strange and Covid-19 times, cozy at home is the mantra many of us are comfortably living with.

cozy at home

Micro Performance Fleece Pajama Pants  
Cozy Teddy Sherpa Zip Lounge Jacket 
Glitter Faux-Fur Lined Moccasin Slippers 

For the Hotter than Cocoa crowd (and you know who you are) this cozy cute two piece pj set has got your name on it.

hotter-than-cocoa-pjs

Secret Treasures Women’s and Women’s Plus Hotter Than Cocoa Set

Luxe Embossed Micro Mink Twin Faux Fur Blanket

Luxe Embossed Micro Mink Twin Faux Fur Blanket

Winter cold and holiday stress play heck with our skin.

Pamper yourself with a holiday-at-home spa treatment of sorts with the Estee Lauder Life & Glow Skincare Gift Set.

I personally use all these products, and absolutely love the performance and scent of the entire Resilience Multi-Effect product line- aroma therapy, if you will.

Christmas is the holiday for the senses.

We see, touch, hear, taste, and smell the beauty, love, joy, excitement, c’est si bon, and scents that nudge a cherished memory from Christmas past as well as serving as the catalyst for new experiences sure to become traditions.

Further making things merry and bright, Macy’s is offering an additional 15% off select beauty items and sets with code FRIEND for a limited time.

estee lauder resilence skin care gift set

Estee Lauder 4-Pc. Lift & Glow Skincare Gift Set

Wrapping holiday gifts to rival artistic perfection is simpler than you think.

Deviate from the traditional with colors, textures, and patterns suited to the theme of the gift(s), giver(s), and/or recipient(s).

Striking in both color and pattern, this toile nursery rhyme gift wrapping paper makes a lovely presentation.

Toile Nursery Rhyme Reversible Baby Shower Gift Wrapping Paper1

Toile Nursery Rhyme Reversible Gift Wrapping Paper

Add embellishments such as fresh greenery, velvet or silk ribbon, and top it off with a chic ornament and you are good to go.

gift-wrapping-embellishments-pink-blue

State-themed gifts give home for the holidays a whole new meaning.

High Chancellor Crocwell portrait Serving Tray

High Chancellor Crocwell Portrait Serving Tray

Audubon on Louisiana - by Ben Forkner (Hardcover)

Audubon on Louisiana – by Ben Forkner (Hardcover)

Well-appointed accessories used in the busy blogging- working-working from home-creating-planning-scheduling-balancing act lives we lead need not be plain, boring or ugly.

Stacked Cube Crystal Table Lamp

Stacked Cube Crystal Table Lamp

Music and a stylish bluetooth speaker to stream it through is a necessary tool of the blogging trade.

JBL - GO 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker - Gold

JBL – GO 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker – Gold

Gift the on-the-go decorista with this hot or cold beverage Spode Blue Italian Travel Mug.

Spode Blue Italian travel mug

Spode Blue Italian Travel Mug

Spode’s Blue Italian features a detailed Italian countryside scene with an 18th century Imari Oriental border.

Classic and gorgeous wrapped up in one lovely gift.

Ceramic Vase

Ceramic Vase

Desk accessories unique in form and presence serve as a catchall and catch the eye accent.

Victoria+Bookends

Victoria Bookends

Raemon+Scroll+Bookend Raemon Scroll Bookend

Home Sweet Maison

Home Sweet Maison: The French Art of Making a Home
by Danielle Postel-Vinay

Disco Cube Cocktails - by Leslie Kirchhoff

Disco Cube Cocktails – by Leslie Kirchhoff

Pattern on parade best describes these next gift guide recommendations.

Leopard - by Hilary Alexander (Hardcover)

Leopard – by Hilary Alexander (Hardcover)

Leopard and zebra and cheetah, oh my!

zebra-gifts

Lana’s Shop S/10 Zebra Note Cards

Studio 55D Cheetah 10 1/2" High Gold Finish Table Accent Figurine

Studio 55D Cheetah 10 1/2″ High Gold Finish Table Accent Figurine

 

Erin Gates by Momeni Acadia Animal Print Faux Hide Area Rug

Erin Gates by Momeni Acadia Animal Print Faux Hide Area Rug

Bringing this fashionista meets decorista favorite out of media retirement seems stylishly appropriate for the holidays.

bull-dog-in-tutuStyle Me Pretty

Traditional holiday parties may be out of vogue this holiday season, but I say seize the holiday moment, dress up in sparkle and shine finery, and throw a ’tis the season soiree for you and yours at chez moi.

tulle-maxi-skirt

Tulle Skirt

multistrand+fauxpearl+and+goldtone+coin+necklace

Multi-strand Faux Pearl and Goldtone Coin Necklace

faux-fur-wrap

  Faux Fur Collar Wrap Stole

Textured Post with Simulated Pearl Linear Earrings - A New Day™ Ivory

Textured Post with Simulated Pearl Linear Earrings – A New Day™ Ivory

Big Letter Necklace by Caitlyn Minimalist

Big Letter Necklace by Caitlyn Minimalist

Velvet Cinch Jewelry Pouch Organizer - A New Day™

Velvet Cinch Jewelry Pouch Organizer – A New Day™

Pop on over to Pinterest to see the other goodies on my Gifts for the Deck the Halls Decorista holiday gift guide.

Happy Holiday Shopping!

Love your style!

In Holiday Style Hostess Gifts

I don’t know about y’all, but I’m ready to get the holiday style hostess gifts party started.

My here a list there a list, everywhere a list- list approach to holiday shopping and gifting is resulting in shopping carts brimming with goodies for home and hostess.

holiday style hostess gifts

shopping cart

Sharing the finds on my holiday style hostess gifts list and moodboard (yes, I mock up gift boards) with Mama Places In The Home proved a source of match game inspiration and direction.

The combination of matching gift with garb another is my decked out and dressed up holiday thing.

I’m a firm believer in head to toe house to home style, and in this season of gathering and gifting I like to give items that hit the holiday hostess style high note.

do small things with great loveThere’s Something About Lilac on Tumblr

Hostess gift etiquette works off the theory of appreciation.

The hostess/host strives to make every detail of the gathering perfect and memorable, and here’s where party guest gratitude comes in.

Your token of appreciation doesn’t need to be extravagant or expensive to be thoughtful and stylish.

josh-young-holiday-decorating-tips-domino

Josh Young – Domino

Spot accents and accessories in animal print chic are always in season.

glass cheetah ornamentsGlass Animal Print Ornaments

Safavieh Handmade Soho Yamina Leopard N.Z. Wool Rug

Safavieh Handmade Soho Yamina Leopard N.Z. Wool Rug – 2′ x 3′

animal print upholstered chairs Christmas foyer

Victoria Magazine

panther-embroidered-tartan-pillow-cover-red-stewart

Embroidered Panther Tartan Pillow Cover, Red Stewart

Merrylife Sherpa Throw Blanket Plush Fleece Comfort Soft Home Decorative Couch Blankets Travel Use CheetahMerrylife Sherpa Throw Blanket 

‘Tis the season for hosting and attending holiday celebrations, and that means dressing for the occasion in holiday style.

The holiday season only comes around once a year, and it’s a magical time  to revel in a little glitz and glamour in all shapes, sizes, types, and tastes.

Framed Leopard Day To Evening Bag1

Framed Leopard Day To Evening Bag

2-Piece Leopard-Print Faux Fur Hair Clips Set

2-Piece Leopard-Print Faux Fur Hair Clips Set

Baggu - Set of 3 Pouches

Baggu – Set of 3 Pouches

Small Antique Gold Trinket Box With Handle

Small Antique Gold Trinket Box with Handle

Mud Pie 4-Piece Circa Spreader Set

Mud Pie 4-Piece Circa Spreader Set

wrapped gift in pink

Martha Stewart

Bowknot Back Crop Ribbed Knit Top in Black

Bowknot Back Crop Ribbed Knit Top in Black

Sweet Your Heart Bowknot Sequins Pleated Skirt in PinkSweet Your Heart Bowknot Sequins Pleated Skirt in Pink

pink pastel Christmas treeSouthern Living

Diamonart 2 CT. T.W. White Cubic Zirconia Sterling Silver Star Drop Earrings

Diamonart 2 CT. T.W. White Cubic Zirconia Sterling Silver Star Drop Earrings

Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris Eau de Parfum Spray

Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris Eau de Parfum Spray

The Complete Novels of Jane AustenThe Complete Novels of Jane Austen

Fragrance for home and hostess.

Illume Oud Wood Reed DiffuserIllume Oud Wood Reed Diffuser

Color, texture, and pattern shines in the holiday style hostess gift ideas spotlight.

tartan plaid accent chairs

Midwest Living

Off the Shoulder Satin Finish Blouse with Halter Bow Sash DetailCeCe Off the Shoulder Satin Finish Blouse with Halter Bow Sash Detail

How They Decorated Inspiration from Great Women of the Twentieth CenturyHow They Decorated Inspiration from Great Women of the Twentieth Century

Cook Like a Pro : Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks - by Ina Garten (Hardcover)

Cook Like a Pro : Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks – by Ina Garten (Hardcover)

Ina cooks and entertains like the pro she is.

Dublin red old-fashioned glasses

Dublin Red Double Old Fashioned Glasses

 

Etched Floral Wine Glasses, Set of 4 Created for Macy's

Etched Floral Wine Glasses, Set of 4 Created for Macy’s

winter holiday bouquet1

Fashion jewelry and/or a classic fashion piece in seasonal colors as a hostess gift?

emerald style statement bracelets

Esmeralda Emerald Green Rhinestone Statement Bracelet
Vince Camuto Dark Moss Green Button Hinge Bangle Bracelet

Friends love to gift the gift of sparkle and shine.

snow-covered-woods

Pinterest

Blue and white makes a grand holiday style presentation.

Journee Collection Loxley Women's High HeelsJournee Collection Loxley Women’s High Heels

Blue and white makes a grand holiday style presentation.

Blue and White Floral Biscuit Jar

Blue and White Floral Biscuit Jar

geometric_jar_gift_wrap Geometric Ginger Jar Gift Wrap Sheets

French Bistro Appetizer Plates, Set of 4, Mixed BlueFrench Bistro Appetizer Plates, Set of 4, Mixed Blue

snow soiree

Antique Mercury Glass Candle HoldersAntique Mercury Glass Candle Holders

Adelaide Faux Fur Pillow

Adelaide Faux Fur Pillow

ILLUME ® Balsam and Cedar Scented Mercury Glass Candle

ILLUME ® Balsam and Cedar Scented Mercury Glass Candle

Godinger Rabbit Head Ice Bucket

Godinger Rabbit Head Ice Bucket

It’s the most wonderful gift giving time of the year.

Complete the home for the holidays sentiment with stylish and chic in holiday style hostess gifts for home and hostess.

love your style

Holiday Kitchen Chatting Thanksgiving Turkey, Tools, and Tips

Thanksgiving is on the way to a holiday dining table near you, and today we’re holiday kitchen chatting Thanksgiving turkey, tools, and tips.

gorgeous turkey

Better Homes & Gardens

In this pre-Thanksgiving calm before the holiday prep, cook, and serve storm, I’m utilizing my time to gather the roasting pan, carving set, kitchen essentials and necessary information needed to ensure total Thanksgiving turkey success.

Thanksgiving turkeyHerb, Lemon, and Garlic Turkey

How big of a bird will I actually need?

How do I properly defrost the thing?

How long do I cook a Thanksgiving turkey?

To stuff, or not to stuff, that is the question.

You’ve got questions, and this blog post has got answers.

Let’s talk turkey.

From the folks at Delish:

How much turkey do you need?

how-much-turkey-to-you-need-chart

Thawing the Frozen Thanksgiving Turkey

For Refrigerator Thawing:

Place turkey on a tray to eliminate leakage to other areas of refrigerator.

Thaw breast side up, in original unopened wrapper on a tray in the fridge (40 degrees F or below).

Allow at least 1 day of thawing for every 4-5 lbs.

Suggested thawing time for a frozen turkey:

4 to 12 pound turkey:           1 to 3 days
12 to 16 pound turkey:         3 to 4 days
16 to 20 pound turkey:        4 to 5 days
20 to 24 pound turkey:        5 to 6 days

Cold Water Thawing:

Thaw breast side down, in original unopened wrapper.

Cover the turkey completely with cold water.  Change the water every 30 minutes.

Estimate a minimum thawing time of 30 minutes per pound.

4 to 12 pound turkey:        2 to 6 hours
12 to 16 pound turkey:      6 to 8 hours
16 to 20 pound turkey:     8 to 10 hours
20 to 24 pound turkey:     10 to 12 hours

The good people at Butterball offer cooking calculators and conversion charts for everything Thanksgiving turkey.

Here’s the link: Butterball Calculators and Conversions Chart

The Amazon Echo calls up Alexa the answer machine, now we’re cooking playlists, recipes, and the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line® (connect with the Talk-Line through social media, live chat, texting — even Amazon Alexa).

All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen) Smart speaker with Alexa in Twilight Blue

All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen) Smart speaker with Alexa in Twilight Blue

Prep the bird and don’t forget to tie those bad boy turkey legs together with cooking twine.

Taylor Kitchen Twine

Thawed turkey roasting times in a 325 °F regular oven:

6 to 10 pounds:      2 to 3 hours (unstuffed)       –     2¼-3½ hours (stuffed)

10 to 18 pounds:    3 to 3½ hours (unstuffed)   –     3¾-4½ hours (stuffed)

18 to 22 pounds:     3½-4 hours (unstuffed)    –      4½ – 5 hours (stuffed)

22-24 pounds:        4-4½ hours (unstuffed)     –     5-5½ hours (stuffed)

24-30 pounds:        4½-5 hours  (unstuffed)    –      5½-6½ hours (stuffed)

Thawed turkey roasting times in a 325 °F convection oven:

6 to 10 pounds:       1½-2 hours (unstuffed)       –    1¾-2½  hours (stuffed)

10 to 18 pounds:     2 to 2½ hours (unstuffed)   –    2½-3¼ hours (stuffed)

18 to 22 pounds:     2½-3 hours (unstuffed)      –      3¼ hours (stuffed)

22-24 pounds:        3-3½ hours (unstuffed)       –      3¾-4¼ hours (stuffed)

The turkey is done when the temperature with a meat thermometer reaches 170 °F  in breast or stuffing.   

Cuisinart Wireless Meat ThermometerCuisinart Wireless Meat Thermometer 

Use a food thermometer to check the turkey in the thickest part of the breast.

If you stuff the Thanksgiving turkey, the center of the stuffing must also reach 170 degrees F.

Cross contamination between turkey and stuffing is a concern, so just make sure both turkey and stuffing reach 170 degrees F.

Let the turkey stand 15 minutes before carving.

Safe Turkey Prep, Thawing, Stuffing, Cooking, Clean Up Tips:

Always wash your hands before and after preparing or eating food.

Thaw turkeys in the refrigerator, never on the counter.

Don’t wash raw poultry before cooking.  It can spread germs to other areas.

Place stuffing in the turkey just before cooking.

Cook raw poultry thoroughly to an internal temperature of 170 degrees.

Wash your counters, cutting boards, and utensils after they touch raw meat.

Don’t feed your pets raw food. 

Tools and Tips

Kitchen tools that get the job done are just one part of the turkey buying, thawing, prepping, and roasting are essential.

graniteware-oval-roaster-black

Graniteware Oval Roaster

The black graniteware covered roaster speaks holidays to me, but I’m always open to a new trad roasting pan that gets the Thanksgiving turkey roasted to perfection.

Nordic Ware Copper Roaster XL Large

Nordic Ware Copper Roaster XL Large

Cajun Classic 15 Oval Aluminum Roaster GL10050

Cajun Classic 15″ Oval Aluminum Roaster GL10050

As I source and suggest I just ordered the Gibson Home Kenmar High Dome Oval Roaster Set.

Gibson Home Kenmar High Dome Oval Roaster Set

Gibson Home Kenmar High Dome Oval Roaster Set

All-Clad B1 Hard Anodized Nonstick Roaster with Rack

All-Clad B1 Hard Anodized Nonstick Roaster with Rack

Oster 18qt Roaster Oven Black CKSTRS18-BSBOster 18qt Roaster Oven Black CKSTRS18-BSB

Ninja Foodi 9-in-1 6.5qt Pressure Cooker and Air Fryer with High Gloss Finish

Ninja Foodi 9-in-1 6.5qt Pressure Cooker and Air Fryer with High Gloss Finish

Going the pressure cooker and air fryer route gives the holiday cook a holiday helping hand.

Turkey breast is the requested option of the Places In The Home crowd, and I usually go with a 3lb. bird breast.

Here’s my two-step how to air fry a Thanksgiving turkey:

Remove any netting from around the breast, lightly coat turkey breast with olive oil and season with preferred seasonings.

Select the air fryer or air crisp function and set fryer to 350 degrees.

The first round of “frying” is for 20 minutes.

Now comes step 2.

Using caution as not to burn yourself, turn the turkey breast and re-coat with olive oil and seasonings.

Set to air fryer or air crisp function at 350 degrees for an additional 30 minutes or until internal temperature of turkey breast reaches 165 degrees.

Allow turkey breast to rest in the place for 10-15 minutes.

 For the slow-cooker cooks:

Time saving culinary companion pieces aka time-saving kitchen tools and gadgets qualify in my recipe book as a sous chef.

Emile Henry Artisan Deep Ruffled Pie DishEmile Henry Artisan Deep Ruffled Pie Dish

Things can get mighty hectic in the holiday kitchen, and a cook is only as good as the kitchen gadgets, tools and accessories he or she uses.

Anchor Hocking Laurel 9.5" Rosewater Pie PanAnchor Hocking Laurel 9.5″ Rosewater Pie Pan

Historic-Farmhouse-Litchfield-Shines-After-Brightening-Restoration-cupboard

Connecticut Cottages & Gardens

A well-stocked and organized holiday pantry becomes the star of the kitchen show everyday of the week, but it’s especially popular at holiday hosting time.

pantry-storage-containers Lock & Lock canisters from QVC are my go-to storage containers to store sweet potato puree to cornbread to chocolate walnut fudge.

Lock & Lock 4 piece Tall Canister Storage SetLock & Lock 4 piece Tall Canister Storage Set

Classic style measures up in the holiday kitchen.

Corning-Ware-measuring-bowls

Corningware Cornflower 4 pc. Measuring Bowl Set

 

Aluminum Bundt PanAluminum Bundt Pan

Holiday in the Kitchen tip:

Choose dishes and recipes you’ve met and mastered to prevent a cooking-baking meltdown.

If your dying to try that new dish you saw in a cookbook, on social media, or on a cooking show, prepare it a week or so out to get the hang of it.

Nordic Ware Autumn Wreath Bundt® Pan

BakerEze 6 Pc Copper Nonstick Bakeware Set, Muffin Cake & Cookie Pans

BakerEze 6 Pc Copper Nonstick Bakeware Set, Muffin Cake & Cookie Pans

 

Lodge 7 Quart Oval Dutch Oven - Oyster WhiteLodge 7 Quart Oval Dutch Oven – Oyster White

Pots, pans, Dutch ovens, and cocottes with high performance cook and serve capability add a kick to your kitchen style.

Staub Ceramic 16-oz Petite Artichoke Cocotte - BasilStaub Ceramic 16-oz Petite Artichoke Cocotte – Basil

 

Lodge 5 Quart Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch OvenLodge 5 Quart Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Holiday in the Kitchen tip:

Take an inventory of the dishes that have to be cooked on Thanksgiving day and the total prep to stove to oven to table time.

Allow ten extra minutes per recipe to help rule out any issues.

Circulon Innovatum 2qt Stainless Steel Nonstick Covered Straining Saucepan with Pour Spouts

Circulon Innovatum 2qt Stainless Steel Nonstick Covered Straining Saucepan with Pour Spouts

silicone-spatula-set

Plymouth Silicone Spatula Set

Select by Calphalon 12" Cast Iron Round Skillet

Select by Calphalon 12″ Cast Iron Round Skillet

Instant Pot Duo 6qt 7-in-1 Pressure CookerInstant Pot Duo 6qt 7-in-1 Pressure Cooker

The Pioneer Woman Instant Pot DUO60 7-in-1 Frontier Rose 6-Quart Programable Multi-CookerThe Pioneer Woman Instant Pot 6-Quart Programmable Multi-Cooker

copper measuring cups

Thyme & Table 4-Piece Copper Measuring Cup Set

Thyme & Table 4-Piece Copper Measuring Cup Set

Carbon Loft Owen Rolling Kitchen IslandCarbon Loft Owen Rolling Kitchen Island

cream-mason-cash-mixing-bowls

Mason Cash Mixing Bowls

mixing-bowls-hobnailTabletops Gallery Hobnail 4-pc. Mixing Bowl Set

 

Wilton Bake It Better Non-Stick Baking Pan Set, 3-PieceWilton Bake It Better Non-Stick Baking Pan Set, 3-Piece

Wilton Bake It Better Copper Oven Crisper BasketWilton Bake It Better Copper Oven Crisper Basket

Sing it with me, friends.

♫ I can mash potato, I can mash potato ♫

Starfrit Rotato Express Electric PeelerStarfrit Rotato Express Electric Peeler

Holiday in the Kitchen tip:

Mashed potatoes will stay warm for an hour or so in a slow cooker set to low.

Holiday in the Kitchen tip:

If you slightly scorch the gravy, don’t panic.

Add 1 teaspoon of smooth peanut butter until the burnt flavor is gone.

You may need to add more peanut butter.  Do so 1 teaspoon at a time.

Aladdin Heritage Vacuum Bottle 24oz, PlaidAladdin Heritage Vacuum Bottle 24oz, Plaid

Holiday in the Kitchen tip:

Use a vacuum bottle (Thermos) to keep the gravy warm and free up another stove burner.  

BLACK+DECKER ComfortGrip 9 Inch Electric KnifeBLACK+DECKER  9 Inch Electric Knife

 

Thyme & Table Gold Chef Knife Set, 3 PieceThyme & Table Gold Chef Knife Set, 3 Piece

open-refrigerator-House-BeautifulHouse Beautiful

Holiday in the Kitchen tip:

Cut up vegetables such as green onions, bell pepper, celery, garlic, and root vegetables ahead of time and store in the refrigerator in air tight containers.

Farberware 12 Inch by 18 Inch Hardwood Drip Trench Cutting BoardFarberware Hardwood Drip Trench Cutting Board

Pyrex® 6-piece Glass Food Storage Container Set with Wood Lids

Pyrex® 6-piece Glass Food Storage Container Set with Wood Lids

The countdown to Thanksgiving turkey times is on, here’s hoping this in the holiday kitchen chat offers the information and source suggestions  needed to ensure total Thanksgiving turkey success.

Relax.

Turn up the music.

Enjoy the day!

Love your style!

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

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

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

winter pillows 1

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 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 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

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

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Happy New Year 2019

Ringing out the old year and ringing in Happy New Year 2019 in style with a performance of Auld Lang Syne by the legendary Rod Stewart.

Talk about classic style!

Robert Burns’ Scottish poem written in 1788 and set to a Scots folk melody, Auld Lang Syne is the traditional musical ode to New Year recollecting events over the year, thoughts of old friendships, nostalgia, old times, and days gone by.

As seen in the video, the long standing Scottish tradition is to sing Auld Lang Syne just before the stroke of midnight with everyone sitting or standing in a circle holding hands, arms crossed so their left hand is holding the hand of the person on their right, and their right hand that of the person to their left.

Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians popularized Auld Lang Syne as it became the traditional song of New Year played immediately after the ball drop in Times Square.

Guy-Lombardo

My sister-in-law, a staunch New Year’s traditionalist, rings in the New Year with a Happy New Year phone call to us complete with Guy Lombardo’s version of Auld Lang Syne playing in the background.

Should old acquaintance be forgot, 
and never brought to mind? 
Should old acquaintance be forgot, 
and old lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear, 
for auld lang syne, 
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, 
for auld lang syne.

Dave and I wish each of you a very Happy New Year 2019!

May New Year 2019 bring you joy, health, blessings, happiness, good fortune, inspired projects, and beautiful surroundings.

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Merry Christmas 2018

Dave and I wish each of you a bright, blessed and Merry Christmas 2018.

Merry Christmas 2018

May you enjoy the beauty of Christmas in the presence of love, joyous occasion, bountiful blessings, delicious delights, and spectacular style.

We consider it an honor that you choose to spend time at Places In The Home, and we send you love from our home to yours.

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Pretty Pictures, Ribbons, and Busy Days Before Christmas

Pretty pictures, ribbons, and busy days before Christmas puts the wonderful in it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Busy times bring happy holiday times, so let’s get this party cracking.

let's-get-this-party-cracking

Is your Christmas list of things to do wrapped up with a big bow on it?

Mine is not as there’s still things to do, presents to wrap (Merry Christmas, fellow present wrapping procrastinators), goodies to bake and box, gifts to deliver, and halls to deck.

norman-rockwell-Christmas

I liken the last few days before Christmas to that of a fabulous performance, building to a crescendo of epic and joyous volume.

Music is an integral part of my daily routine, even more so when it comes to the holiday jingle all the way.

Traditional tunes make the playlist, but discovering new holiday songs and new arrangements of old favorites is a gift all its own.

smooth-jazz

I’m streaming Smooth Jazz JJZ on iHeart radio, loving the holiday songs from Dave Koz, Luther Vandross, Tony Bennett, Joyce Cooling, Rick Braun, Boney James, Gerald Albright, John Tesh, Diana Krall, Mannheim Steamroller, and the incomparable music from my friend, Chris Botti.

I don’t believe I’ve ever shared with you all how my fan to friend relationship with Chris Botti began.

Chris Botti-1

Dave the Builder and I were on our way to yes, you guessed it.  Las Vegas.

Part of the fun is in the pre trip prep, so before our trips out to America’s Playground I would stream the Las Vegas smooth jazz station (changed format, no longer a listener) to set the mood and the tone.

I learned from listening that the station was sponsoring and promoting an evening of smooth jazz set to air air on the local Vegas PBS station and hosted by Chris Botti.  I checked to see if we would be in town on the night it was set to air, and to my delight it was on arrival night.

Being a regular to Vegas coupled with the fact we would be in town eight nights, as my dad used to say, Vegas does not close.  I knew I wanted to watch the special, so I told Dave I thought I would spend the first evening in, order room service, and take in the show.

Dave confirmed he was not expected to do the same, trying his best to hide his thank goodness glee.

George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston (IAH)George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston (IAH)

We had a small, but unhurried layover at Bush Intercontinental Houston.  Dave popped into a store for something or other, and I walked on down to the gate area.  I was half looking over my shoulder, half checking out our fellow travelers, when I noticed a guy walking by carrying a soft instrument case over his shoulder.

You know how when at first you don’t recognize someone, but after a few minutes you realize hey, that’s _________.

The hey, that’s ________ turned out to be Chris Botti.

When Dave strolled up to the boarding lounge, I asked him if he recognized the guy down at the end of the gate area.

No.  Who is it?

It’s Chris Botti.

Are you sure?

Yes, I’m sure.

Is he on our flight?

It took me less than a second to process the situation and put two and two together.  Smooth jazz American classic trumpeter extraordinaire, staunch supporter of PBS, hosting gig in Vegas this evening- yes, I do believe he is.

The boarding call for first class passengers goes out, and one Mr. Chris Botti heads that way.  When the boarding call for coach passengers rows this through that is announced here we go.

Upon boarding I spot the jazz man sitting in back row left window in first class talking on his phone.   Dave and I settle when fan to friend inspiration hits me.  I retrieve my printed boarding pass from my briefcase, turn it over, and write a note to one Chris Botti.  I spot the flight attendant and motion for him to come see.

“Would you mind giving this note to the blond hair gentleman in the back row left window seat in first class?”

The flight attendant was happy to be a player in my flashback to grammar school note passing caper.  I put in the note my plans to watch the special, and it would be among one of the more special dinner and a show-Welcome to Las Vegas evenings.

Not long after reaching cruising altitude, the flight attendant came by our row with a message.

“The gentleman said to tell you he would meet you in baggage claim at McCarran.”

Excited to say the least, I was looking forward to our impending face to face meeting.  Somewhere between the four corners and the ending of the movie, Dave the Builder announces “here comes Chris Botti.”

Chris came back to meet and greet, and thank me for my support of PBS and the smooth jazz artist community.

We gabbed for several minutes, met again and gabbed some more in baggage claim at McCarran.

Emails, conversations, and concert meetings find us here almost thirteen years later.

I hit the fan to friend jackpot for sure.

Christmas-Menu

Now on to the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day menu at Places In The Home portion of the show and tell…

Our Christmas Eve traditional come casual, come comfortable, come hungry get together is super laid-back.

The menu is simple comfort food.

The no-fuss plan places me in the middle of the fun instead of in the kitchen all evening.

Been there, done that at Thanksgiving.

hamburger-pattiesWho doesn’t love hamburgers cooked low and slow?

This group surely does, and the requests to “make them like Reed & Bell” is one this cook aims for.

Reed-Bell-Drive-InJohn Margolies Roadside America photograph archive (1972-2008), Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Reed & Bell Drive-In was a hometown hamburger and cold frosted root beer institution.

Reed & Bell hamburger patties had a crisp edge, and the top of the buns were lightly brushed with hamburger grease.

Delicious.

Yes.

Healthy?

Of course not, but see delicious.

Reading this post out loud to Dave, he reminds me Reed & Bell hamburgers ring super close to In-N-Out hamburgers.

They most certainly do, Dave.

Homemade potato salad is the side of choice accompanied by a platter of dills, gherkins, chips, bread and butters, assorted cheeses, red, green (Christmas colors), and sweet onions, sliced tomatoes, and fresh crisp lettuce.

Traditional Christmas Day fare is tradition.

Sliced spiral ham, Southern sweet potato casserole with walnut brown sugar crunch topping, seasoned green beans, deviled eggs, cranberry sauce, and yeast rolls.

Traditional favorites of egg nog, fresh apple nut cake, walnut fudge, date nut roll, and almond peanut butter cookies round it out.

Southern-Living-50-years

Christmas came early to me when I received this fabulous surprise present from my darling nephew and niece-in-law.

Southern Living 50 Years: A Celebration of People, Places, and Culture promises to be a good read and a lovely addition to the coffee table library.

blue-crystal-beads

Shiny and bright.

Christmas-colors

gold-angel

Do you treat yourself to a to me from me Christmas present?

Holy-Mary-Christmas-display

That’s exactly what I did this year when I found the Holy Mary statue at Paul Michael Company.

Holy Mary statue

dining-table-Christmas

The Canadian Snowbird couple sent pictures of the Christmas cookies they baked together for their holiday game night party.

I admit I am one of those moms who asks her son and daughter-in-law to take and send photos of the little things in their lives.

It’s the little things in their lives that add up to big memories in ours.

gingerbread-cookies

Pretty pictures, ribbons, and busy days before Christmas remind me the present is in the process, and the gift is in the giving.

Pretty Pictures, Pretty Ribbons, Pretty Busy Days Before Christmas

Merry Christmas, dear friends.

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