Top Drawer Joyce Clark Hicks finds the best for your home and garden

Top Drawer: Joyce Clark Hicks finds the best for your home and garden

CorrespondentOctober 4, 2013 


Incorporating some element of the outdoors and nature can always spruce up your home.


Best recipe

Ann Brill of Cary wrote in to share her recipe for Curried Honeyed Chicken. You’ll need:

1/4 cup butter (or less)

1/4 cup prepared mustard

1/2 cup honey

1 teaspoon curry powder

3-4 chicken breasts or pieces, skin removed if desired

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter; stir in mustard, honey and curry powder. Stir until blended. Pour sauce over chicken in baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until done, turning the chicken pieces once during baking.

“The sauce is delicious over brown or white rice,” Brill promises, “and your home will smell fabulous!”

Designer’s best

Reddoorhome is chock full of great tips and decor inspiration. Designer Donna Talley offers one of her favorite year-round tips for sprucing up your home:

“My go-to styling tool is always incorporating some element of the outdoors and nature, no matter the season,” she writes. “This goes beyond flowers and plants – I recently discovered these natural moss spheres in a great chartreuse-green that live forever! I also like branches and items you can find in your own backyard. But even a $10 bunch of beautiful tea roses from the supermarket can bring life to a room.”

Read more tips at

Best homes

in the Triangle

Wake County’s 48th annual Parade of Homes kicks off Saturday. Nearly 200 new construction homes will be on display from noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 5-6, 11-13 and 18-20. The tour is free and offers a glimpse into the latest in home design and decor, paint colors, landscape ideas, appliance options and creative use of space. Most homes are vacant, allowing your mind to run free with design possibilities. Others are furnished to give you an idea of how to make the most of the space. So grab a friend, a notebook, camera (cameras are not allowed in all homes) and some comfortable, slip-on shoes. You’ll come away with lots of ideas and inspiration. And you may find your dream home, too.

Visit to get addresses of homes on the tour. Pick up booklets with floor layouts and addresses, or download the Parade app for your iPhone or Android phone and explore Parade homes online.

Best Halloween craft

With Halloween just a few weeks away, crafty mom Monica Dood set out to make some spooky candles with her elementary school-aged girls. Dood says you can make mummy candles by lightly coating the exterior of clean glass jars with Elmer’s glue. Wrap gauze neatly around the coated jars, overlapping them slightly. Add self-adhesive googly eyes, which can be found at craft stores. Frankenstein and jack-o’-lantern candle holders can be made by coating the exterior surface of jars with liquid starch and covering them with colored tissue paper. (Or simply paint the jars with acrylic paint and let dry.) Add googly eyes or cut black tissue paper to make the mouth and eyes you prefer. Paint the rim and the top of the jar black to make hair for Frankenstein. Place a votive candle in each jar and light. Enjoy! See this project at and similar ones on Pinterest.

Best for game night

The next time you have family game night, make it easier for the little ones to take part by providing a nifty card holder. An egg carton turned upside down is perfect for holding cards in between creases so that tiny players can see their entire hand all at once. You could also use a chip clip or clothespin to help them navigate game night and make them feel more independent. Thanks to for the great idea.

Seeking our readers’ best

From favorite, quick recipes to no-fail cleaning and organizing tips, we’re scouring the Triangle for our readers’ wisdom. If you have a recipe, cleaning, gardening or organizing advice to share, we’d love to hear it. Send your tips to Be sure to include your name, street address and city. Put “best tips” or “best recipe” in the subject line.

If we use your tip, you will be entered into the quarterly drawing for a Target gift card. Winner of the third-quarter drawing is Lee Ann Roberts of Raleigh, who shared her summer pasta recipe.

Best of the tube

On HGTV: Mission Impossible: After a six-year house hunt, Atlanta high roller Cromwell and his girlfriend Merrill are determined to find the perfect home. But their big budget comes with even bigger expectations. Property expert Egypt Sherrod is sure that she can find them a stylish home that reflects their high standards, and the couple immediately falls for a stunning century home with loads of charm. When they decide to put off their decision, Egypt warns them that that’s a misstep. Hoping to find an even better property, the couple ups their budget by $100,000. “Property Virgins” airs at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

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