This month Debbie is encouraging us to copy blogs and/or magazines.  So I copied a flower arrangement from Martha Stewart's blog.  :D


This is Martha's.  You can read about it here.


This is my version.



I used hydrangeas from our garden, onion flowers, and baby's breath from the market.


See how large it is on our dining table!


I love copying Martha's flower arrangements.  I copied one of her summertime floral arrangements because I already had a nautilus planter.  I love the detail on Martha's planter...simply stunning!  There is a funny story behind my planter.  I ordered it from Anthropologie several years ago.  It was on sale for $19.00, and it was supposed to be around 10" X 9".  When it came, it was packed in a huge crate, and Mr. Art @ Home was not happy about the huge crate from Anthropologie.  He said that the crate cost more than $19.00, and that there was no way the order was so inexpensive.  This planter is heavy, I tell ya!

Also linking to Fresh Cut Friday @ Rose Vignettes.


Until next time...

Ricki Jill
My Happy List

I am happy to be home.  We have tons to do this week before we move Shanley into her apartment at school Sunday, and I am a wee bit overwhelmed.  But I want you to know that I am so appreciative of your comments, emails, and cards during this difficult time.  Y'all have truly been a blessing to me!  Please be patient as I answer emails, send thank-yous, and answer calls.  It might take me a few days, and it also might take me a few days to get around to visiting your blogs.




This little guy made me happy today.  I watched him eat in the wooded area of our back garden for about twenty minutes today.  

Please prepare yourself for a VERY LONG happy list next week.  I have tons to share with you!

But in the meantime, join Mamarazzi, and share your happy!

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Mr. Art @ Home's father passed away peacefully in his sleep this morning. We will be traveling soon to New Orleans for his memorial service.  Please be in prayer for my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, my husband, and the five grandchildren.

I will not be blogging for the next several days.

Until next time...
Ricki Jill

Riddle me this:   We go on a road trip to escape Alabama, and one of the songs we listen to most is by a group called The Alabama Shakes?  :/

Oh, well....love the song anyway!  :D

The Alabama Shakes "Hold On"

So what is on your playlist?  Join Miss Angie for Musical Monday!

Until next time...

Blessing my heart, and bless yours, too!  ;P
Ricki Jill
I promise this is the last post I will write about MacKenzie-Childs and Aurora.  I think you will appreciate these photos, though.


The Aurora Opera House


The Village Outpost is where you can find the MacKenzie-Childs Christmas line.



While in King Ferry, we visited the King Ferry Winery, home of Treleaven wine.  The farm's original owner is a distant relative of Mr. Art @ Home.


We bought home six bottles of Treleaven wine.


We enjoyed Dori's Ice Cream and Treats.  I liked their centerpieces.  So cute....I love impatiens!


Love the boy and girl in the MacKenzie-Childs store.



Simon greets all visitors to MacKenzie-Childs.  Simon is a girl, by the way!


The gardens are so pretty!




Entrance to the Courtyard where the gift shop is located


Shanley with a piper at the sale.

Later this week I will post about the Great American Independent Book Store Tour, the first half of our road trip!  ;P

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Mr. Art @ Home wanted blackberry cobbler for his birthday rather than a cake.  I used the Easy Blackberry Cobbler recipe from the July 2008 issue of Southern Living.

Easy Blackberry Cobbler


4 cups fresh blackberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 large egg
1 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons butter, melted
Whipped cream (optional)
Garnish: fresh mint sprig


Preheat oven to 375°. Place blackberries in a lightly greased 8-inch square baking dish; sprinkle with lemon juice. Stir together egg, sugar, and flour in a medium bowl until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle over fruit. Drizzle melted butter over topping. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream, if desired. Garnish with fresh mint sprig, if desired.

For a neat presentation, bake for the same amount of time in 6 (8-oz.) ramekins on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.
Southern Living
JULY 2008


This is what the cobbler looks like when placing it in the oven.

The cobbler was such a huge hit that I am baking another one this weekend!  The key to success is to blend the sugar, flour, and egg into a fine meal consistency.  I used a pastry blender, but if you don't have one use a large fork.

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

I want to share with you what we bought at the MacKenzie-Childs Barn Sale.  :D  I mostly bought pieces that I would use often.


I use ramekins all the time, and I bought these six ramekins in the Piccadilly pattern.  I am really enjoying this rather new pattern from MacKenzie-Childs!


I bought the Piccadilly mixing bowls.  I wish I had chosen a few serving bowls when we married, but instead I chose too many platters.  I decided on the bowl because they can be used for mixing and serving.  Plus they are much less expensive than the large and medium serving bowls.


I had the smaller bowls already.  I love how they nest together!


I bought several flower pots because I do use them all over our home, and they are being discontinued.



I bought the three little mini roses at the grocery store for $9!


I bought the jam jar and the Taylor petite pitcher in Odd Fellows pattern for our breakfast table.  We will use these most days!  I also bought the jam spoon from their compliments line.


I could not resist this pie bird.


I collect the MacKenzie-Childs double drop Christmas ornaments, plus I also collect a few random ornaments, too.  The sale did not have any of the double drop ornaments, so I purchased the Piccadilly pie plate with pie bird ornament because I bought so many Piccadilly pieces.

I also bought Shelley a purse, and Shanley a tea set, vase, and mug for her apartment.  I bought my mom a really cute piece for her birthday, too, but she won't open it until Wednesday!

Most pieces I bought were 75- 80% off.  We spent less than we budgeted for, so Mr. Art @ Home was pleased about that!  I was advised to have a wish list and stick to it because the sale can be overwhelming.  I did get everything on my wish list but the Frank and Mustard Torquay sconce. I could not find it at the sale!  We want one for our powder room, so maybe if they go on sale we can eventually get one.

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

During our road trip I read The Bungalow by Sarah Jio.  Recently I read another of Jio's books, The Violets of March.  You can read my post about it here.

I think that The Bungalow might be the most perfect beach read.  Ever.  The setting is the island paradise of Bora-Bora during World War II.  Twenty-one year old Anne Calloway is a college nursing graduate, and has recently become engaged.  Uncertainty over her impending nuptials convinces Anne to join the Army Nurse Corps, and she is sent to the Pacific with her best friend, Kitty.  Anne develops a crush on a handsome and enigmatic soldier named Westry, and they soon begin having a love affair.

One evening while walking on the beach, Westry and Anne discover an abandoned bungalow. They clean it up and start meeting there, and they even leave love notes for each under beneath a loose floorboard.  The island's natives claim that the bungalow is cursed, and that anyone entering its door will live a life of heartbreak.  Westry and Anne ignore these warnings, and soon learn that the bungalow has an artistic past.  They discover an unsigned painting underneath the bed, and it looks like it was painted in the same post-Impressionist style of Paul Gauguin.  An older native reveals that Gauguin did indeed live for a time in the bungalow, and she reiterated the bungalow's curse.

Westry is sent on a mission to Guadalcanal, and he survives.  But before he is redeployed to France, Westry and Anne witness a brutal crime on the beach near the bungalow.  This tragedy along with its aftermath kept me up very late at night reading.  Another mystery involving art and an investigation by Anne's granddaughter in the present might be a link to solving what happened on that beach so many decades ago.  This book is beautifully written, and it truly takes you away to Bora-Bora during the Pacific Theatre during World War II.

If you want more information about The Bungalow, watch this book trailer. There are a few more spoilers in it than in my review.

What have you been reading this summer?  Please post and link-up!

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill
This is a fairly lengthy post due to the number of photos, but I hope you will take the time to look at all of them.  Many of the rooms are so lovely!


upstairs landing
The sunflower sconces are so cute!


master bedroom


writing desk in master bedroom


girl's bedroom vanity


I love this light fixture with the variety of finials!


girl's bedroom nightstand


girl's bedroom


girl's bathroom




stairwell mural


gentleman's retreat



guest bedroom



Both the second and third floors have the Pullman Kitchen for late night snacks.


guest bathroom
The only thing I did not get on my wish list is the sconce shown in this bathroom.


laundry room


The laundry room was one of my favorites!

I hope you enjoyed the tour of the MacKenzie-Childs farmhouse.  You can see the first floor in yesterday's post here.

Please join me tomorrow for Literary Friday.

Linking to:

Thursday Favorite Things

Until next time...

Ricki Jill