Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Happy List: It's Been a Happier Year!

My Happy List


Rules:
1.  Use the button coding above in your linked post.
2.   Link-up with the URL to your happy post.
3.   Visit other bloggers' Happy Posts, and have fun!



Good morning, My Lovelies!  It's Tuesday, so it's time for My Happy List! I'm combining a year in review with some of my more recent happy.

I'll start with the recent happy!

My Happy List

1.   We went to New Orleans for Christmas and visited our friends Chris, Charlotte, and their kids.  It was so much fun getting to visit with them in their stunningly gorgeous uptown home!  We enjoyed walking on Magazine Street (mostly in the rain) but that's okay.  We still had fun!  Two highlights for me was visiting Sucré and Plum.

Plum has some of the most unique, fun items on the planet.  It's a toy store for adults!  Hold up….mayhap I should clarify….it has fun stuff for kids of all ages, not adult toys.  :/  Never mind.




I love their selection of NOLA pillows!


This is what I bought for the art studio to hold small handled brushes.  I'm always losing them!

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See the zippers on the sides of the pouches?  Aren't they *fun*


We love to visit Sucré whenever we're in New Orleans.  Mr. Art @ Home loves the Nectar Ice Cream. I love the coffee, especially their Tchoupitoulas Blend.  I bought some home, along with some sipping chocolate!


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The sipping chocolate is for Shanley Belle, and the Tchoupitoulas Blend coffee is for me.  Shanley's boyfriend Charles bought me the Hot Cocoa pot.  I love how it blends hot cocoa with water or milk.


2.   I won a nice prize from Marfi @ Incipient Wings.  I won Mermaid, and it is the very best book!  I can't wait to share it with you in  couple of weeks on my Literary Friday post.


I also won a snuggly blankie, hot chocolate, and some peppermint mini marshmallows.  I've never had peppermint marshmallows before, but I love all things peppermint, so I know I'll *love* them.  UPDATE:  I do love them!  I just had some in my hot cocoa!  :D

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Rich milk chocolate is my favorite flavor.  It mixes well in my new chocolate pot!


3.   I put up some of our Christmas decor, but I keep most of it out until Twelfth Night.  While I was organizing old decorations, guess what I found??? This pretty runner!  I bought it after Christmas several years ago, and I had forgotten all about it!  I love the red ticking, and I bought it at the same time I bought the cute little dishtowel.

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*squee*  It was like Christmas all over again!  Finding the table runner made me happy.


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I also found this lovely runner and napkins on sale (75% off) at Sur la Table.  This will stay out until I decorate the table for our New Year's Day brunch.



…and now on to my Year in Review!

2013 was a very good year for Art @ Home although I did not get many new followers at all.  But that's okay….I truly treasure each and every single one of you!

The biggest project of the year was the kitchen counter redo.  


You can see the entire kitchen reveal here.

We also replaced our bathroom countertops:


2013 was the year for countertops in the Treleaven house!


I participated in three rather big link parties:














My Canadian friends also let me participate in Christmas Cookie Week.  I was so honored!



You may view my archives and read about the Week of Christmas Cookies!!!


I received the most emails and comments on the Coddled Eggs 101 post. I think I even received more emails than comments on this one:



I was truly shocked by the most viewed post of 2013:


By FAR the most viewed post of 2013!

My favorite posts from 2013 are:












Yesterday, I posted my favorite songs of the year.  Most of them were featured on my Musical Monday posts hosted by Miss Angie.

In May, Mr. Art @ Home gave me a blog design courtesy of Miss Angie.  I love the new look of my blog, and it's a better organized space now.  I have ideas for 2014, and I hope to continue to improve Art @ Home!

I'm grateful for the support for My Happy List and Literary Friday.  Y'all might be a small group, but you're mighty in your support, and I thank-you all from the bottom of my heart!

I'll share our New Year's Day brunch with y'all tomorrow afternoon, and a Best of 2013 post for Literary Friday on Friday, January 3rd.

Until next time…

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Monday, December 30, 2013

Musical Mondays: My Favorite Songs of 2013

Musical Mondays


Happy (cloudy) Monday, My Lovelies!  We've been in New Orleans visiting family and friends.  We had a great time, but I didn't take many photos because it poured down rain the entire time we were there, practically….*but* we still had fun!

Here's a list (with links) of my favorite songs of 2013.   They're in no particular order.

1.  "Awkward" by San Cisco

2.  "Carried Away" by Passion Pit

3.  "Sweater Weather" by The Neighborhood

4.  "All I Want" by Kodaline

5.  "Head On" by Man Man

6.  "If You Didn't See Me" by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

7.  "Changing of the Seasons" by Two Door Cinema Club  

8.  "The Mother We Share" by Chvrches



Nine and Ten I'll include here since I didn't post about them, but they are two of my favorites.




9.   "Pompeii" by Bastille





10.  "Come a Little Closer" by Cage the Elephant


I suppose that my two favorites are "The Mother We Share" and "Changing of the Seasons."

What's your favorite song of 2013?

Visit Miss Angie for Musical Mondays and read her amazing 2013 Playlist!

Until next time…

Blessings!
Ricki Jill


Friday, December 27, 2013

Literary Friday: Baking With Fruit



This week I read Baking With Fruit, a Love Food book by Parragon.  This is one of the prettiest cookbooks I've ever seen:  The photography is truly gorgeous.  I found it at Books A Million on the sale table for $6.97.  It's hardcover, and has around fifty recipes.  The copyright says 2013, so I feel lucky to have found it at such a great price!

I enjoy cooking seasonally, and this book encourages the reader to bake treats with fresh, seasonal fruit.  It includes several classics, like apple pie and strawberry tartlets.  There are also some unusual recipes, like tamarillo cake with chocolate.  If you're wondering what a tamarillo is, it's a tropical South American plant of the nightshade family that bears edible egg-shaped red fruits.  This might be dangerous….

On Monday, I baked a clafoutis.  Beth told me that the clafoutis is the national dessert of France.  :D

Everyone loved it, and we had no leftovers!  The recipe in the book is for a cherry clatoutis, but I had some frozen blackberries, so I used them instead. Here is the recipe:

Cherry Clafoutis

Ingredients:
2 eggs, separated
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 T vanilla sugar or a few drops of vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
pinch of salt
pinch of grated lemon rind
2 T vegetable oil
1 2/3 cups pitted sweet cherries
confectioners' sugar for dusting
whipping cream, to serve (optional)

Procedure:
1.   Put the egg yolks, granulated sugar, and vanilla sugar or vanilla extract into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy.  Add the flour, milk, salt and lemon rind and beat until smooth.  Let rest for thirty minutes.
2.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3.   Beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks, then carefully fold them into the batter.
4.   Heat the oil in an 11-inch ovenproof skillet.  Pour in the batter and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, until the underside is lightly browned.  Sprinkle the cherries over the surface.
5.   Transfer the skillet to the preheated one and bake for about 15 minutes. Slide the clafoutis out of the pan onto a cake plate.  Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve lukewarm with whipping cream, if using.

Makes one 11-inch clafoutis.

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Mr. Art @ Home loves blackberries! 


Until next time…

Happy Reading!
Ricki Jill

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

My Happy List: It's Christmas Eve!!!


My Happy List


Welcome to My Happy List!  It's Christmas Eve, and I'm as excited as a little kid.  Please link-up your happy Christmas posts and share the *happy*.  Use the button coding above on your post or a link back to this post's URL.


My Happy List

1.   I rewrote my list this morning because of this:

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The sun is shining!!!  YAY!!!


After days and days of dreary, cloudy, rainy, and stormy days, we have *sun* Thank-you, Jesus!!!


2.   I love trying new things, and I learned how to can!!!  I truly did, and I want LOTS of bragging in comments!  ;P  Jolene is the expert, and she's encouraged me.  I used Jane's recipe for Persimmon Apple Butter, and I was so happy that it is delicious, and the canning method worked so I shouldn't kill anyone from botchalism.  :/


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Jane says that the butter is great with salami, pickles, cheddar cheese, and crusty bread!  
I've tried it on oatmeal toast, and it's great!  I used equal parts apples, persimmons, and pears in mine.


3.   Speaking of learning something new....I cooked a clafloutis last night. Pronounced clā-floo-TEA, it's a French cake with fruit baked on top.  I'll share the book on recipe on Friday!


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4.   The Children's Christmas Pageant is @ 4:00 today, and I can't wait.  The little kids' excitement will definitely rub-off on me.  *squee*

5.   We have a naughty elf who keeps moving the cheetah ball Andrea sent me.  It's a mystery I intend on solving!


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At press time, it's hanging over the cross by the bookcase currently....


I'll be back on Friday for Literary Friday and a recipe.

Until next time...

Merry Christmas!
Ricki Jill


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas from Our Home to Yours

Please play video while reading post.


"Somewhere In My Memory"
John Williams
Home Alone soundtrack


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I hope you enjoyed the Christmas tour!  Our home is small, so there's no room for a large Christmas tree.  We decorate with the space we have!  

Happy Fourth Sunday of Advent!

Linking to:


Musical Mondays

Until next time…

Blessings!
Ricki Jill