Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Creative for Christmas

Happy Wednesday, My Lovelies!  Lately I've been getting my creative on for Christmas.  I found this cute book at the bookstore, and I thought it would be fun to send a few of the cards to Shelley at school:  Exam Grams to encourage her while she studies for semester exams!




Check it out!



I colored these cards using Prismacolor colored pencils.




Inside of card




Back of card




Folding the envelope
















Aren't they *fun*  FYI: I found out today at the post office that these cards require extra postage because they are square.  Who knew?  I bought special stamps because the Christmas cards I ordered this year happen to be square, too.


This adorable book has Christmas cards and envelopes to color and fold.  The envelopes can be closed with the adorable stickers included in the back of the book.


For those of you who've followed me for a long time, you know that I share an Advent calendar beginning December 1st.  I share scripture plus "something else."  You can look in the archives and see what I've shared in the past.  This year I'm doing something a little different:



Oh, yes....each little flap on the front of this book reveals a cookie, and the corresponding recipe is inside the book.  I purchased this book at Anthropologie.


Doesn't this look like fun!  I will bake a different cookie everyday.  My family, friends and neighbors will share in the bounty, LOL!  Please stop by tomorrow for the fun.  (Here's a hint:  Tomorrow's cookie involves chocolate!)

Since there will be sooooooo many cookies around here, maybe I should copy The Nana Diana and encourage my peeps to rescue cookies as they escape leave our house.  Look at what she does with her gingerbread men cookies.  Such a cute idea!



You can see how she makes the cut and take gingerbread men door hanging HERE on her blog!




Speaking of getting creative:  If you live in Birmingham, why not take art lessons at Red Dot Gallery? I've been taking there for almost seven years, and I love it.  Check out the video below, and you can see my art teacher, Dori.  Red Dot offers gift certificates for art lessons!  Easy for Santa to slip into your stocking!



Red Dot Gallery from Hunter Davis on Vimeo.



What is your favorite Christmas cookie?  Do you share recipes?


Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Cute Christmas Ornaments

With Christmas right around the corner, I've been looking for a few cute Christmas ornaments to fluff our Christmas trees.  We should be decorating ours this week, and I have several presents to wrap already!  Here are the ones I found:

These two ornaments are my favorites from MacKenzie-Childs:


Mr. Art @ Home collects Vespas, and I love candy canes!  I would love a lime green and Courtly Check and Courtly Stripe Vespa.




These two ornaments are from Anthropologie:



                               




                                

My daughter loves turtles, and I absolutely adore the library books ornament.  Sadly, the library ornament is sold out *sadface*.
I wanted it most of all!




The ornaments below are from Terrain:



                           




                              

I think the felted wool gingerbread ornaments are the cutest!  And the rose gold ornaments are too pretty.  I love anything rose gold!



I already bought a few ornaments from Pier 1 for our new garland.  The penguin one is my very favorite!



                           

He's ice skating!  




Last but certainly not least, these ornaments support my two teams!
              


This set is from Belk.
Roll Tide Roll!



Yesterday I was reading my sweet friend Kris's blog,  Junk Chic Cottage .  I fell totally in love with her Christmas tree covered in white ornaments.  Check out the sweet chandelier ornament below:




Kris's tree is truly stunning.  See it HERE.



I will leave you with this fun ornament animation from Terrain.



Terrain Holiday Village 2016 from Terrain on Vimeo.

These plush ornaments are too, too cute!

Have you found any pretty ornaments for your tree this year?  If you have, I want to know where you found them!


Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill



Monday, November 28, 2016

The Most Deliciously Moist Cake {ever.}




Happy Monday, My Lovelies!  I hope all my American friends had a Blessed Thanksgiving!

I serendipitously found the most amazing gluten-free recipe for cake.  It was such a hit during Thanksgiving week that I wanted to share it with you.  Everyone loved it, and it only lasted two days. It's easy and pairs well with fresh berries and pineapple.  I also added whipped cream and a little powdered sugar.

I actually found this recipe on a bag of Bob's Redmill Almond Flour.  It sounded good, so I decided to bake it.

Moist Almond Cake

Ingredients:
3/4 cup Butter (soft, at room temperature)
1 cup Sugar
4  Eggs
1/2 cup Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp Almond Extract (I substituted 1 tsp. butter extract)
1-1/2 cups Almond Flour
1/2 cup Organic Coconut Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Sea Salt

Instructions:  

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray Baker's Joy in a 9 X 13 baker.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 7 – 10 minutes. 
Add in eggs, one at a time, and beat until fully blended. Add milk and extracts and mix until combined.

In a separate bowl, combine Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour, Organic Coconut Flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until creamy.
Pour into baker and smooth top.   Bake until set and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely.

Add your favorite berry or pineapple plus whipped cream and powdered sugar if desired.

After the cake cools, refrigerate it.  I think it tastes best the next day for breakfast!





Please let me know if you try this delicious cake.  You can also bake two eight inch rounds and ice them.



Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill


Friday, November 25, 2016

Literary Friday: Lost Among the Living *plus* Once Upon a Book Club Review



Happy Black {and Literary} Friday, My Lovelies!  This week I read the most amazing book included in my new obsession, Once Upon a Book Club.






This is how I received my box of goodies.  Isn't this the cutest mailer *ever* ???





The subscription box not only comes with a book....it also comes with gifts!






















So this is how it works:  As you read the book, you'll find post it notes asking you to open your gift. 





Each gift is pertinent to the plot.  So much fun!




"In the morning, when dawn finally came, I found leaves scattered on the floor of my bedroom..."







"It was a picture like any of thousands of others - the impatient boy, holding his little sister's hand for a portrait in the bright sunlight."






"[I] dressed in one of my new dresses, a pair of my new stockings, and my new shoes."




These are the cutest book socks *ever*



"Whatever it was had been tucked into the bed with me, resting against my body...It was a book, a large, flat book...."




I love this little sketchbook.  :)


I won't share all of the presents with you....I'm sure you get the point.  The gifts truly made reading the book a fun activity, and the online discussion questions have been fun, too.

Another thing that made the experience rewarding:  the book is fantastic, one of the best I've read all year.

According to Goodreads:

England, 1921. Three years after her husband, Alex, disappeared, shot down over Germany, Jo Manders still mourns his loss. Working as a paid companion to Alex's wealthy, condescending aunt, Dottie Forsyth, Jo travels to the family’s estate in the Sussex countryside. But there is much she never knew about her husband’s origins…and the revelation of a mysterious death in the Forsyths’ past is just the beginning…

All is not well at Wych Elm House. Dottie's husband is distant, and her son was grievously injured in the war. Footsteps follow Jo down empty halls, and items in her bedroom are eerily rearranged. The locals say the family is cursed, and that a ghost in the woods has never rested. And when Jo discovers her husband’s darkest secrets, she wonders if she ever really knew him. Isolated in a place of deception and grief, she must find the truth or lose herself forever.

And then a familiar stranger arrives at Wych Elm House…

My Review:

Because this post is long enough as it is, I'll keep my book review short.  If the best historical novel had a love child with a creepy gothic novel, it would be Lost Among the Living.  I enjoyed the setting: Post World War I English countryside, a haunted manor house inhabited by a family loathed by the local village.  The novel also has a second personality because it's a love story. Jo and Alex's love story begins quickly and passionately, but there is no closure because Alex's remains aren't found after he crashes his plane over Germany.  Jo's interactions with Alex's family confirm that she knows very little about her husband.....he's a stranger to her.  Combine this storyline with a ghost that only Jo can see (Jo's mother is confined to a psychiatric hospital for schizophrenia) and you have a book that I certainly couldn't put down.  This is one of the best books I've read this year.  It will definitely make my top three list.


Here's a peek at my latest Once Upon a Book Club box.  For some reason they sent me October's instead of December's.  Maybe I ordered it because I've been wanting to read the book in it.  I need to go back and read my emails!  I'll post a review on it in the near future.












Lost Among the Living qualifies for Diana's Gothic Fiction Reading Challenge.



Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill




Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Christmas Decor Up Close

















 




































































I hope y'all have a Blessed Thanksgiving!

I'll be back Friday for a VERY SPECIAL Literary Friday.  You won't want to miss it, even if you aren't a book worm!


Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill