Lake Cabin Main Bedroom Redo

Monday, May 29, 2023


Happy Memorial Day, My Lovelies!  I hope you've had a wonderful weekend.  We're still celebrating at Lake Martin with family and friends.

In today's post I wanted to share our recent redo of our main bedroom in our lake cabin.  We've wanted to redecorate for a long time, and we were inspired by our hotel room in Montana.  I wish I'd taken more photos of the room because it was brilliant in its decor and functionality.

What we loved about our room:  The rustic wood-clad walls; crisp white linens; leather headboards; industrial lighting; and floating bedside shelves.

Our cabin is small, so we painted the walls in Benjamin Moore's Super White.  There's a texture on the walls to reduce sound, and we opted not to change that.  Next we upgraded our ceiling fan, and we upgraded from a queen sized bed to a king.

Rather than clad the entire wall with barn wood, we instead bought a headboard.  We found floating shelving with drawers we liked a little bit better than open shelving, and Trip decided to hardwire the lights we found.

We didn't change the carpet because it's in very good condition.

I like that the headboard has random white and gray planks.

I love the little sconces with the retro shape, bulbs, and pulls.

We are enjoying the neutral bedding, and we've added white linen bedding for summer.

Our pine pieces are now sporting jaunty MacKenzie-Childs round and fish knobs.
The chests are opposite our bed, and between them are large sliding glass doors.  We also installed new (blackout) white linen curtains.  I forgot to take a photo of them! 

The only thing we kept in the room is the vintage Mardi Gras poster.  It looks even better with our new decor.

This is quite the departure from how I normally decorate because I'm a maximalist, and I love color.  But that's sort of the point, for the room to feel like a little boutique hotel.

Mr. Bookish was so helpful in helping with the decorating decisions; installing the sconces, bedside floating tables, and ceiling fan; and helping move the kingsize bed up a very steep flight of stairs.  

We also totally changed our porches at the lake, too.  I might share them later if I remember to take some photos.

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

New Cookbook: The Batch Lady: Cooking On a Budget

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Hello, My Lovelies!  Today's What I'm Reading Wednesday post is very special.  It's all about my new cooking obsession:  The Batch Lady: Cooking on a Budget by Suzanne Mulholland.

I think The Batch Lady is a genius!  Every recipe I've tried my whole family has loved, and the beauty is that I am saving so much time in the kitchen.  I'm also saving money,  planning menus more efficiently, and learning best practices for freezing food in advance.

About The Batch Lady: Cooking on a Budget by Suzanne Mulholland

Best-selling author The Batch Lady is back with a budget-busting book to create fresh and satisfying meals without breaking the purse strings.

Shop once.

Get organized, plan ahead and create fresh and satisfying meals without breaking the bank.

Cook once.

Over 100 delicious, simple and energy-efficient batch-cooking recipes that will satisfy the whole family and fill your freezer.

Save money all week.

Learn to hack your monthly bill, save your hard-earned money and eat well on a budget.

I have flagged family favorites so far.  I'm getting quite a bit of mileage out of this outstanding cookbook!

My Review:

The book blurb is correct:  You will eat well!  What I love most about this book is that it allows me to plan and cook early in the week, and then when the weekend rolls around, I pack the cooler from what I've frozen and take it to our lake cabin.  This allows me to enjoy lake activities while spending much less time in the kitchen.  I prepped earlier this week for Memorial Day Weekend, and although we are planning to eat dinner out a few nights, breakfast, snacks, and lunch is frozen and ready to go.

I can think of so many super applications.  Here are just a few:

  • Busy weeknights
  • Holiday preparations
  • Church potlucks
  • Hostess gifts
  • Picnic lunches (especially on the boat)
  • Meals for expectant mothers

If you gift any of these make and freeze ahead recipes, you can make pretty cards with cooking instructions for the recipient.

The only warning I would give to my American readers is that Suzanne is Scottish, so expect a few metric measurements in the recipes.  Use your conversion app because the book is fantastic!

The recipe I'm sharing with you today is Smoky Chicken Burgers.  I've made the burgers a few times, and it's an easy recipe and delicious recipe!  We will throw this batch on the grill during Memorial Day Weekend.  They are prepped and frozen, so all we have to do is defrost them overnight in the fridge, and then grill.  

Smoky Chicken Burgers (Serves 4)


1 pound minced chicken
1 t garlic granules
1 t smoked paprika
1/2 c breadcrumbs 
1/2 t salt
1 egg, beaten

Not many ingredients


1.   Put all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and use your hands to mix everything together until well combined.  

2.   Divide into four equal sections and form into patties.  If you want to cook them now, skip down to number 6.

3.   If you're making ahead to freeze, cut four squares of parchment paper a little larger than the patties.  Stack patties placing paper between patties and on top and bottom.  You will need six parchment squares in all.

4.   Transfer to a labeled freezer bag and freeze for up to three months.

5.   When ready to cook burgers, take the number of burgers you'd like to cook out of the freezer and place them in the fridge overnight.

6.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil.  

7.   Remove parchment paper and place patties on baking tray.

8.  Cook for 25 minutes until lightly golden.  Make sure that the interior temperature is 165 degrees F.

Cook's Notes: 

1.   It's easy to mince chicken in a food processor.  There are tutorials online if your butcher won't do it for you.  We used ground chicken this time, but we grill our burgers on the Big Green Egg until 165 degrees F.  (Usually on a hot grill, 4-5 minutes per side).

2.   I've also tried this recipe with ground turkey, and it was good!

3.   You could also cook them in an iron skillet with 2T olive oil once heated on M heat 4-5 minutes per side.  Again, make sure you use your meat thermometer!

4.   One of the main reasons that we like this recipe is because in case of inclement weather, we can always cook inside, and the smoky paprika makes it taste like it's been grilled.  Options are friendly!  ;P

5.   I used Italian breadcrumbs from The Fresh Market.

You can see the cooked smoky chicken burger in the photo from the cookbook at the top of the post.

I encourage you to visit The Batch Lady's website HERE.  There's information about Suzanne, her books, and many recipes.


Disclosure:  I'd like to thank Harper Collins for sending me an advanced copy of The Batch Lady: Cooking On a Budget in exchange for a fair and honest review.  

Until next time..

Happy cooking!
Ricki Jill

May Flowers

Tuesday, May 23, 2023


Birthday Flowers

April showers bring May flowers!

Happy Tuesday, My Lovelies!  Today I'm sharing lovely flowers with you from our garden and other locations.

One of my favorite parts of the year is when the mountain laurels are in bloom.  Native to Alabama, they always make me smile!  The pale pink ones (below) are my favorites.

This photo was taken in Mount Laurel, a small town near our neighborhood.
It was named for this lovely species!

I've spotted some beautiful floral combinations while traveling, including these from a Louisiana garden.

On my birthday, my Bestie Barbara took me on a field trip to Petals From the Past.  

Petals From The Past specializes in antique roses.  Located in Jemison, Alabama, it is worth the trip!

Here are some of my favorites from my special birthday field trip:

I also saw some beautiful dahlias and poppies!

Below are a couple of climbing roses:

I bought an heirloom rose for my birthday.  Here it is:

"Crystal Fairy" 

Last week, day lilies were the stars at Red Dot Gallery.  Scott Bennet (my art teacher Dori's husband) displayed many of his gorgeous day lilies in a special exhibit.  Many people came everyday to see the pretty flowers.

It was the prettiest live flower art installation.  He's a daylily hybridizer, creating new flowers every year. 
Red Dot artist Jane Marshall exhibited her wood-fired animal-inspired sculpture. 
Everyone enjoyed it!
Photo courtesy of Red Dot Gallery.

This one is named Fancy Dori.  Scott named it for Dori, and it's my favorite.  I was able to see one at the exhibit.
Photo courtesy of Dori DeCamillis

During Christmas, we suffered a deep freeze that lasted for several days.  Needless to say, we lost lots of shrubbery, especially our Sasanqua "Shi Shi Gashira" Camellias and gardenias.  We were so disappointed because we had replaced much of our landscaping after the tornado of 2021, so our new plantings were just about 1 1/2 years old.

We've spent a few weekends replacing what we lost.  This was difficult because there is a shortage of camellias due to demand: We weren't the only ones who lost them!  We chose to replace a few with the Sasanqua "Alabama Beauty" Camellias because they handled the cold better than the "Shi Shi Gashiras."  We also planted a few pink spirea plants because they handled the cold well, too.

Spirea from our garden

We also replanted a few containers.

We like to plant several white flowers because they are so pretty at night.
We like to spend time outside on our patio grilling and watching Cubs baseball games as often as we can!  Nights are cooler up here on the mountain, too.

Mr. Bookish LOVES petunias, and he chose these for our deck area.

This is one of our large containers.  Below you can read the recipe for it.

Large Container Recipe

Silvia "Snow White" (2)
Lantana "Lavender" (2)
Creeping Wire Vine (2)
Gomphrena (pink) (2)
English Ivy (1)
Vinca "Cora White" (2)
Petunia "Pearl White" (2)
Million Bells (pink) (1)

How does your garden grow?  Have you planted anything new this spring?

Until next time...

Happy gardening!
Ricki Jill