Wednesday, August 31, 2011

So long, August

Three Reasons I Hate to See August End:

1.   Weekends at the lake: we will not go to the lake as often this fall.



Lake Martin, Dadeville, Alabama: view from our front porch


2.   Sunday is the last service at our church, The Church of the Living Waters, until next Easter.



The Church of the Living Waters (lakeside), Stillwaters Resort



3.   The end of August usually marks the beginning of fall allergy season.



Three Reasons I Am Happy to See August End: 

1.   College football season:  Roll Tide!



I guess you know by now that I am a Big Al fan!


2.   After Labor Day, my family always settles into a routine, including a return to the barn for riding lessons for Shelley.



Shelley practicing her two-point on Swayze.



3.   September is when I plan all fall and winter holidays.  I love the planning phase, and I get so excited about the coming months!



I might order this planner from Amazon.  It might be smart having everything in one place!


What about you: are you happy to see August End?  Why or why not?

Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New {cheap} Tablecloth

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Last week, I bought this tablecloth from Williams-Sonoma for a steal: $19.95. It was originally $179.00.  Yay, me!  I rarely ever find things I love on sale like this.  I decided to take some pictures before I finished setting the table because I was losing daylight.  We tried fixing the old camera (for those of you who did not read yesterday's post, my camera broke), got home, and it was not fixed. So we went back to Best Buy, and Mr. Art @ Home upgraded my camera, but I don't think I like it. The old one was under warranty, so I could have replaced it with the same camera, but we were talked into buying this other one.

I would appreciate your honest opinion:  what do you think of the quality of these photos compared to older posts?  I took these late in the day, so it is a bit dark in our dining room.

Okay, so back to the tablecloth.  Do you know what's great about having a glass top table?  You can iron the tablecloth right on the table!  :D  I iron everything.  I am weird that way.  The tablecloth has a garden theme, and I love it.  I am not quite ready to see August go yet, and I will post about that tomorrow.

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It is so hot that we are eating salads tonight for dinner.  



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I really like these twenty year old napkins with the tablecloth.  They were made in India, and I still enjoy using them.



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I use these flower pot napkin rings I bought at Pier 1 years ago all the time.  They are my favorite ones, and I think they go along with the garden implements and flowers printed on the tablecloth.



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Bonnie likes the tablecloth, too!


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 Linking to:



{Primp}







Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Monday, August 29, 2011

Alabama Wildlife

My camera is broken, so I probably won't be able to post what I had planned until I get it fixed. In the meantime, I thought I would share a couple of pictures of ducks and a doe.  I took these photos by our daughter's dorm at the University of Alabama.

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Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Saturday, August 27, 2011

My Happy List #24






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Happy Saturday!  I am slowly but surely getting our house in order, and I am so happy to be participating in my favorite linky party, My Happy List at Dandelion Wishes.  Mamarazzi hosts several fun parties each week, and you should go over to her blog and check them out!

My Happy List

1.   I am happy to report that Shanley is home resting this weekend, and she brought two weeks' worth of laundry  :/   Having my daughter home for the weekend makes me very happy!


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Shanley Belle and her roommate, Taylor Benjamin, at Greek fest last week.  Taylor pledged Gamma Phi Beta.



2.   Shelley has made some very nice friends already this school year.  I am so proud of her good choices, and she is enjoying spending the weekend with her friends.  Shelley's good choices make me happy!



3.   I received a sweet surprise in the mail this week.  I won an adorable embroidered dish towel from Puddle Jumper Creations.  Winning neat prizes on blogs makes me very happy! Thanks so much, Susie!

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4.   I started a painting this week which is a total miracle.  I am hoping to get back into the art studio several days this week.  Starting new paintings makes me very, very happy!

5.   Diane honored me with a mention on her blog and the Versatile Blogger award.  If you have not read Diane's blog, Diane Wants to Write, you are missing out.  I have been following Diane's blog for quite awhile, and I simply adore Diane's voice.  Her posts are written from the heart, and she writes about her family, girlfriends, social activities, work, and beautiful locations around the Philippines. I have never visited there, but Diane's blog makes me want to visit her lovely country.  Please visit Diane Writes here.  Sweet bloggy friends make me so very happy!

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What made your Happy List this week?  Please join Mamarazzi, and share your happy!

Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Friday, August 26, 2011

Literary Friday: The Sugar Queen

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This week I started reading a book that I did not like at all, so I decided to revisit an old favorite because I have had one of those weeks!  Do you ever do that?  Take comfort in an old book you adore, revisiting characters that seem like friends? Here is why my week has not gone very well:  Shanley got sick her first week of classes.  I have been to Tuscaloosa several times, and what we thought at first was asthma and allergies quickly developed into bronchitis.  She is coming home tomorrow for the weekend because she wants to rest.

I am sad that I have only visited blogs that start with A - M.  I still have so many more blogs to visit, but the good news is I have finished most of my neglected chores!  Yay!  So now on to one of my favorite books, The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen.  Of all of her books, this one is my very favorite.  I also noticed some interesting elements concerning mood and atmosphere during this second reading.  I have also posted about The Girl Who Chased the Moon and The Peach Keeper.

I guess by now you are wondering why The Sugar Queen is one of my favorite books.  I love the book because of the characters, the magical elements, and the love stories.  I also love Addison's books because they all have a North Carolina setting.

Josey Cirrini is a reclusive heiress who lives in a large home with her mother and a superstitious South American maid named Helena.  Josey is not your typical Southern Belle heiress, and it is not just because she lives with her mother in her late twenties.  She is a closet sugar-eater.  Literally. She has a stash of candy bars and other treats hidden in a secret compartment in her closet, which is soon discovered by Della Lee Baker, the town floozy.  Della Lee has discovered Josey's Stash because she has moved into her closet. Literally.  Another interesting fact about Josey:  she has a crush on the handsome mailman, and Helena knows all about it!  The question is this: can Josey's mother's practice of placing peppermint oil on the thresholds and windowsills keep out unwanted visitors, and possible suitors for Josie?

Chloe Finley is the owner of the extremely popular lunch counter in the town's courthouse.  She is also living in a dream loft with her lawyer fiance, but there is trouble in their relationship. Chloe has an unusual issue (I wish I had): whenever she is in need of a book, it magically appears.  And if she does not read the book, it stalks her wherever she goes until she pays it some attention.  Chloe has rented a storage facility to store her masses of books, but what Chole really needs is a cozy cottage with a large library.  I really enjoyed the house talk in this book, and I think most of you would like it, too.

Another one of the magical elements I love is Josey's red sweater.  Good things happen to Josey when she wears it, and it isn't just because she feels pretty in it.  I think all ladies at one time or another have a special outfit or article of clothing that makes them feel special while wearing it, and good things tend to happen.  Josey's red sweater is magical for her, and red is definitely her magical color. The mood of the book changes according to what Josey wears.

Josey and Chloe eventually become friends because Della Lee is constantly craving Chloe's sandwiches.  The three ladies have ties that go beyond the love of a mean tuna melt, and I enjoyed the dialogue between these amazing women immensely.  Chloe conveniently knows Josey's mailman, and she gives Josey insight into what makes him a truly special catch.

If you have not read any of Sarah Addison Allen's books, you are missing out. I highly recommend The Sugar Queen.  I know you will like it!

I have decided not to blog about any books I do not like.  I am trying to keep my blog a positive place, and I have only blogged about a couple if books I did not like, and I have regretted those posts.  If you notice on my sidebar that I am reading a book, and I do not post about it, you will know why.   ;P

Would you post about a book you did not like?  Should I reconsider my policy?  I would like to know what you think!

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hippie Chic

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I recently made another craft from the fantastic book Rediscovered Treasures.  You can read my post about this book here.

I chose this project to copy:


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The book used pot holders to cover a pillow, but I used granny squares. There aren't many things (other than tie dye or lava lamps) that screams hippie chic more than granny squares.  I can remember folks wearing granny square vests when I was a child.

I took twenty granny squares, a pillow, gros grain ribbon, and some scissors. That's it!  I randomly placed the squares on my work table, and tied them together with black, pink, and green polka dot ribbon.  Simple!


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Of course I made it for Shanley Belle's dorm room.  I think it will look cute on her bed!


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If you have not looked at this book yet, you must.  I love the projects and ideas in it!

Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Power Lunch

It is difficult for moms to remain creative while packing school lunches.  I have found some wonderfully inspiring blog posts on the subject, and one topic that always comes-up is using more environmentally-friendly packaging.

I am looking at a few tiffins to consider for my daughter's lunch.  I have found several cute options, and I want to share these with you.


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Tiffin from What a Girl Needs



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Tiffin from Happy Tiffin



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You can find this tiffin and other prints from John Lewis




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Tiffin from ModCloth Apartment



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The two tiffins above are from Uncommon Goods.



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This tiffins is made by MacKenzie-Childs via eBay.  And, no, I would not buy it for Shelley to take to school, but I think it is adorable with the pink and white stripes!





My only concern is that they would occupy too much space in Shelley's locker.  I might need to see her locker when it is full of her books and binders before making my final decision.  Should I buy one short and squat or tall and not as wide?  Decisions, decisions!

Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fluffing the Dorm Room

Good morning, guys!  I have visited my blog roll through the M's.  It is going slower than I thought because y'all have been so busy while I've been away.  I hope to be through the list by tomorrow night.  If your blog starts with A - M and I missed you, please send me an email so I can get caught-up with you.

I wanted to share some photos with you of Shanley Belle's dorm room.  We have been shopping for months (mostly Etsy and then eBay), and Shanley is very happy with her room.  If I had to describe her style, I would probably call it Bohemian with a bit of Hippie Chic thrown into the mix.  One thing she did want other than her favorite books:  original art.  Don't you know that made me smile!

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Pottery Barn Teen bedding bought on eBay.  Shanley made the quilt at the foot of her bed.


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Shanley's chest of drawers and desk.  We made the shelves you can see in a post here.  The wicker lamp and vanity mirror are a vintage seventies find from Etsy.


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Shanley placed some of her favorite things and childhood memories on her shelves.  The memory board by Lily Pulitzer has the Avett Brothers' autographs on it.


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Shanley loves her Chelsea Flora Doora and the PB Teen desk accessories.


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Original artwork by Erin Hardin above her book tower.


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Shanley is one happy coed!  She is happy with her room. 



Shanley's roommates are too, too cute, and they are enjoying the Capstone, especially now since rush is over.  There are a couple of more little projects I want to make (and paint) for Shaney's room. More later!

Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Monday, August 22, 2011

Cheerful Home Accessories

*sigh* There is nothing like internet retail therapy, even if you don't buy a thing!  I recently found some fun and cheerful goodies for the home I want to share.

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These vases are lovely.  From Horchow.


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I love the vintage collection tiles from Welbeck.  I think the tiles would make fun coasters, too!


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Rachel Ashwell's Fleur de Lys linen napkins are a lovely addition to the table.


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This emerald ombre covered dish from Anthropologie would look lovely on the dinner table.



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The recycled tin bouquet from Uncommon Goods makes me smile!



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This MacKenzie-Childs honey pot will definitely be on my Christmas List.



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Got to *love* these Moroccan tea glasses from Neiman Marcus.



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I collect Dryads Dancing frames, and I would love to add these pastel patchwork tin frames to my collection.



Have you found anything lovely for your home via the internet lately? Did you buy it? Please share!

I am back, but my home looks like a bomb went off in it!  I have lots of chores to do today, and then I will begin visiting your blogs.  Give me until Wednesday to make it to your blog.  I have missed you guys!  I don't ever want to take an extended break from blogging ever again!

Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill