Happy Saturday, My Lovelies, and Welcome October!  Is October your favorite month?  It's definitely one of mine because our oldest was born in October, and I love the crisp air and blue skies.

Several of you have emailed me, alerting me that you are no longer getting email notifications for new posts.  The only way you can get notifications is by subscribing to my TinyLetter Newsletter.  I will only send you two per month, and it will include links to my latest posts.



Please fill out the form in my sidebar on the right!


I have great news!  My surgeon has {FINALLY} released me for radiation therapy.  After four weeks of radiation, I will be finished with my cancer treatment.  I was diagnosed in November, so it's almost been a year from start to finish.  I hope that I don't lose a lot of my energy during treatment because I'm finally getting back to my old routine, and it is so nice!  I'm attending DAR meetings, participating in sorority activities, taking art class, attending book club, and I'm getting involved (and attending) church.  I've missed my people, y'all! 


Mustang Sally is sharing September's book club selection.  I will post a review for it and my two other favorite summer reads in a few days.



Here are some other activities I've been doing recently:  

creating floral arrangements;








I love the autumn colors in this one!


decorating our house for fall;













organizing my Fall TBR basket;


Some of these are books I've had for several months, but I've been reading cozy mysteries for the most part this year.
I'll share more about the cozies in a later post.

and creating very simple centerpieces.


For this easy fall centerpiece tutorial, click HERE.


The second fall centerpiece is beyond simple.  I saw it in Christiane Bellstedt Myers's Seasonal Scandi Crafts.  I love her books, and her Christmas one is a favorite.  





The centerpiece is simply a bowl of tiny craft pumpkins with homespun wrapped twine.



I couldn't find the tiny craft pumpkins anywhere, but Christiane lives in England and maybe they're a thing over there.
I do have a bunch of tiny apples, so I used them.
I also didn't have any homespun fabric; I used some vintage floral fabric in fall colors instead.

She also used a very shallow bowl, but I don't have one, so I used a large, deeper bowl.





I also like the brown tones of her twine, and the homespun definitely has a fall vibe.
I think I might try to replicate her centerpiece "more exactly" next year!



I placed mine on our coffee table in our family room.


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Coming soon:



Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill


 



Happy Thursday, My Lovelies!  Today is the first day of fall.  



Does it feel like fall in your neck of the woods?  Yesterday it was in the nineties here in Central Alabama, but I won't let that stop me from enjoying all the fall things.

If you need a little nudge to get into the fall spirit, I have just the book for you:  Jennifer Snow's A Lot Like Forever.

About A Lot Like Forever
Paperback: 336 Pages

Publisher: Entangled: Amara (August 23, 2022)

Whitney Carlisle has everything under control–or at least that’s what she needs everyone in Blue Moon Bay to think. She has always faced the hard times in her life head-on and come out stronger for it. But this time, she isn’t so sure. Whitney knows she needs help, but how can she put that burden on Trent, her fiancé? How can she crush his dreams by telling him the plans they made for a future together have to change?

All Trent Connolly wants is to get married, have kids, and spend the rest of his life loving Whitney. Their relationship has had its share of ups and downs–like any other couple–and they’ve always managed to get through it unscathed. So when Whitney is clearly struggling with something, Trent is ready to help. His fiancée’s strong will is part of what draws him to her–but this time, it feels like it’s pushing him away.

Whatever Whitney is hiding from everyone has to be big. Possibly life-changing. She must believe that revealing her secret would do Trent more harm than good, even if it crushes her under the weight of it. The only thing he can do now is be there for her in whatever way she needs…until a secret of his own comes to light that threatens to steal their chance at forever.

Although A Lot Like Forever is Book 3 in the Blue Moon Bay Series, each book in the series is STANDALONE:

* A Lot Like Love
* A Lot Like Christmas
* A Lot Like Forever






I appreciate it when an author and/or publisher sends extras with books and ARCs.  This book came with a postcard and bookmark.

This is what the postcard says:

Dear Readers:

Welcome back to Blue Moon Bay!  Fall is my favorite season with its changing weather and beautiful landscape of colors, so I love setting books during that time of year.  Pumpkin spice and spooky Halloween movies, the fall harvest, and visiting the corn maze are all very special to me and my family, and I love incorporating those elements into my stories.

This fall romance features a very driven heroine with no time to slow down and a local bar owner who is determined to support her any way he can.  Unfortunately, secrets threaten to destroy the strong foundation they've built their relationship on.  Sometimes love can be tested even when two people are perfect for one another.  I hope you'll enjoy Whitney and Trent's journey to a second chance at forever-together.

Enjoy fall in Blue Moon Bay!
XO,
Jennifer Snow



I enjoy stories set in fall, too!

Here's My Review:

Whitney has a secret: It was love from the start with her now-fiancé Trent, but a bombshell has rocked her life, and she can’t let go of their dreams long enough to tell her husband-to-be the truth that will change everything. 

Ensue a second-chance romance that sweetly wraps back around to show how the couple met and fell in love… and proves to us how their relationship could be unbreakable, if they’re brave enough to take a leap of faith. 

Trent was pure cinnamon roll here— all sweetness and support, with an intense determination anyone could love. It was Whitney who had to grow and adapt to her life being turned upside down when she was already overwhelmed from wedding planning, a sick mother, and a cutthroat job. 

Other than the romance, the highlight of this book is the fall atmosphere! You have all the fall themes, including a haunted house, in a cozy coastal Hallmark town setting that includes both biological and found family. I recommend pairing this book with some spiced cider while wearing flannel. 





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Disclosure:  I received a paperback copy of A Lot Like Forever from the publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review.  Thank-you for asking me to be a part of the tour!





Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill




Happy Wednesday, My Lovelies!  Since tomorrow is the first day of fall, I thought I'd share an easy fall centerpiece tutorial.  I wanted something pretty and easy for our kitchen table.

I was inspired by a recent visit to my happy place, Leaf 'n Petal, in Cahaba Heights.  


This beautiful centerpiece is between three and four feet long.  Its base is a long bread server.



Here's a close-up.

The sweet lady who always helps me was busy with a customer, so I just took these photos so I could show her when I returned.  Yesterday, when I returned, she helped me get the materials together that I needed for the project.  I didn't want to take the container I was using to the shop because I didn't want to risk breaking it, but I did have the dimensions with me in order to purchase the right amount of pumpkins and gourds.

Here's what you'll need for the centerpiece:



pumpkins and gourds
moss
vine
fake berries
container






Instructions:

First, arrange your pumpkins in the container.
Next, place moss in between the pumpkins.



Note:  Place newspaper or craft paper on table before making your centerpiece.  I didn't do that, and the moss made one hot mess!


Next, arrange vine around pumpkins.


This vine has bright green stuff on it.  I took a close-up so you can see it better.


Finally, insert the berries.  I cut them off the stem and inserted them in the moss.


After I spent fifteen minutes cleaning up the mess I made, I placed a table runner (with blues, grays, reds, and oranges) to match the container and pumpkins on the table and centered the centerpiece.  



If you're a local reader, the Leaf 'n Petal has everything to make one, and they have beautiful containers, too.









Come back tomorrow for a book review about a cozy romance set during fall!





Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill



 

 


Hello, My Lovelies!  Welcome to the Welcome Fall Tablescape Blog Hop hosted by Sweet Rita @ Panoply!  




I love fall.  What's not to like?  The days are cooler, the skies are bluer, and everything important is flavored pumpkin spice.  I also love sweaters and sweater weather, pumpkins, college football, bonfires, and Hallmark's Countdown to Christmas.

Because I love so much about fall, it was hard for me to decide on just one theme for my tablescape.  I was inspired by two things: one of my favorite movies and a milestone from my own life:


Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms.
~Joe Fox, You've Got Mail


Don't you just LOVE that movie?  It will truly put you in the fall spirit.  It inspired me to make a bouquet of paint brushes, though, because for the first time in months I was able to go back to my art class in person!  Buh-bye, ZOOM!!!





Come on into our dining room and see what I put together:













I found the plates in an email from West Elm.  I laughed for about thirty minutes when I saw them, and when I noticed that they were on sale, I bought them for less than $10.00 each.
Our daughter Shelley, also an artist, HATES them.  She's insulted because Vermeer's Girl With The Pearl Earring is a favorite of hers, and she also likes Van Gogh.


I wanted my centerpiece to be a vanitas.  I have several features seen in most vanitas paintings, like the flowers, fruit, paintbrushes, painting, and a book.  All represent fleeting worldly pursuits and ephemeral beauty.  The brevity of life is represented by the tea light candles.


According to Wikipedia, vanitas is a symbolic work of art showing the transience of life, the futility of pleasure, and the certainty of death, often contrasting symbols of wealth and symbols of ephemerality and death.  



“Vanitas—Still Life with Bouquet and Skull,” by Adriaen van Utrecht, circa 1642.


This genre was popular with the Dutch Old Masters, and skulls, timepieces, and withering vegetation are featured prominently in these paintings.  (My husband has a skull from school, but I decided not to use it in my vanitas).  These carry the same meaning—life is short and fleeting.  Musical, writing, and art instruments as well as symbols of wealth represent that earthly pursuits are worthless or in vain.






The wooden human figure (or maquette) used in figure drawing is what I'm using in my vanitas in lieu of a skull.  ;P


I like the painterly effect of the table runner.



Klimt, Da Vinci, Vermeer, and Van Gogh
(HA HA)
from the Rachel Kozlowski Dapper Animal collection

The table needed a little humor to balance the vanitas!


Resources:

Luncheon plates and table runner:  West Elm
Chargers, flowerpot, small compote, and votives:  MacKenzie-Childs
Small vase and napkins:  Anthropologie
Paint brushes:  Winsor & Newton and Silver Brush
Teacup and saucer painting artist:  RJ Treleaven
Flower frog and maquette: Gifts from generous friends
Water glasses:  Vintage
White wooden chargers:  Pier1
Flatware:  Horchow




Me and My Captain - Shine On Harvest Moon
Home is Where the Boat Is - Cusp of Fall with Woodland Friends
Hyacinths for the Soul - Whoooo is Ready for Autumn?
The Painted Apron - Early Fall Pumpkin Patch
From My Carolina Home - Autumn Apples Tablescape
Celebrate and Decorate - A Fall Tablescape in Shades of Blue
Living With Thanksgiving - Fall Vibes
Dinner at Eight - Mums Lead the Way to Fall
Thrifting Wonderland - It's Time for a Fall Tablescape
The Bookish Dilettante - Back to (Art) School
Life and Linda - Welcome Fall
Corner of Plaid and Paisley - Fall Tablescape - Autumn Gnome
Red Cottage Chronicles - Cozy Up Around an Autumn Dinner Table






Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill




the favorite

  Happy Wednesday, My Lovelies!  I have been fluffing around the house lately, and I wanted to share with y'all our dining room.  Each y...