Friday, September 28, 2012

Literary Friday: The Chronicles of Nick

For the past couple of weeks I have been reading The Chronicles of Nick by Sherrilyn Kenyon.  This is her first YA series, and it tells the story Nick Gautier (pronounced GO-shay), of one of the most popular characters from her wildly successful Dark Hunter series.  The stories are from Nick's time as a high school student before he is an adult.  I have only read one Dark Hunter book, and it was by accident.  I have read Acheron because it was on the "recommend" shelf at my local library.  I had no idea it was part of a series, but I thought the book was very well written.

The Dark Hunter series is loosely based on Greek mythology.  Artemis is the goddess who makes the Dark Hunters: nocturnal warriors who protect humanity from demons and other dangerous creatures.  Nick Gautier is hanging with the wrong crowd one night when he realizes that his so-called friends are planning to mug an elderly couple.  Nick tries to help the couple, and his friends shoot him and leave him for dead.  Dark Hunter Kyrian saves his life, and pays for his hospitalization.  Nick soon becomes Kyrian's squire to reimburse him for his hospital bills.  Nick soon discovers that the world isn't as it seems: There are demons, demigods, vampires, shape-shifters, and Dark Hunters attempting to keep everyone in line. Nick also discovers that he is actually half demon, a Malachai whose destiny is to destroy the world and everyone in it.

That is a lot of pressure for a fourteen year old.

In each book, Nick learns more about his developing powers and his dual nature.  He is such a complex character, and my heart breaks for him in every single book.  In the first book, Nick struggles to survive as his classmates are turning into flesh-eating zombies from watching a video game.  In Book Two, he faces a sadistic football coach who demands Nick steal personal items from classmates in order to possess and control them. In Book Three demons who want Nick to embrace his dark side have found him, and he must learn to fight them.  Plus a miserable human is posting horrible lies and photoshopped images on the internet about the kids at Nick's high school.

Going to school, getting good grades, and staying out of trouble becomes increasingly difficult for Nick.

I can certainly understand how young adults would love this series.  I love Nick, and I so badly want him to remain the good, sweet soul he is now, the son who is so good to his mother, the friend who is loyal, and the squire who works hard to serve his Dark Hunter.  I cannot wait until Book 4 is released!


Book One


Book Two


Book Three


Book Four will be released March 19, 2013

This is a trailer for the book series.  It takes place in New Orleans, and many of the places mentioned in the books we are very familiar with them.  This is another reason I thought my daughter would enjoy them.

Reminder:  Next Friday we will celebrate Banned Books Week!  Friday, October 5th, please write a post about your favorite banned book, and link-up.  There will be prizes, too!  ;P

What have you been reading this first week of autumn?  Link-up!

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Simple Autumn Tablescape

Sunday was the first full day of autumn, and I set a simple table to celebrate the season.  You will notice the absence of flatware and glasses.  They are in the dishwasher, and I'm losing my light.  Just keeping it real!  ;P


The iridescence of these napkin rings change colors depending on the napkin colors.




I love these tiny little tea light votives from Pier 1.  They are a bargain @ $1.95 each!


Runner:  Woods and Water
Plates:  Taylor series by MacKenzie-Childs
Urn and orchid:  Main Street Fowers
Everything else on table:  Pier 1 (A few items from Pier 1 are from several seasons ago, and I am unsure if they are still available.)

Linking to:

  Thursday Favorite Things

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Debbiedoos Copycat Magazine Challenge: Arsenic and Old Lace

My copycat is from this month's issue of Country Living Magazine.  The article I chose to copy is about a party theme based on Arsenic and Old Lace. I thought it would be fun to have a "Dessert and a Movie Night" inspired by the article.


These photos are from the actual article.
The frames have antique lace in them.


I set an informal table.


What's your poison?
The labels are printed from the Country Living Magazine website.  Here is the link.


Old lace


What are the brownies "laced" with:
A.   Powdered sugar
B.   Caster sugar
C.   Arsenic


Daisies are the friendliest flowers.  My guests won't suspect a thing!  ;P


Lacy dessert plates and napkins


Small lacy platter and succulents

The great thing about this challenge is I had everything at home except for the daisies.  :D NOTE: When Mr. Art @ Home saw the table, he asked, "Are you trying to tell me something?"  :/

I adore Cary Grant in this movie!  

I hope you join Debbiedoos for this month's Copycat Challenge.

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My Happy List: Three Things That Made Me Smile This Week!

I suppose that Mamarazzi is still on her break, and I don't have link coding, but I want to share My Happy List anyway!

My Happy List

1.   The Fresh Market had a display of vintage candy just in time for Halloween.  Seeing all the popular candies from my childhood made me smile!  


Do you remember Nik L Nips?  I loved those things!

2.   Bonnie was her typical naughty self and rolled in the mud on Monday.  I had to give her a bath, and poor things really needs to visit her groomer this week.  But I can't stay mad at her for long....just look at that innocent face!  :/ Her consternation at getting a bath made me smile and laugh!


3.   I follow Carol Marine's blog, and I had to giggle at one of her latest daily paintings.  The chicken is making googly eyes at the rooster!!!  ;P  Run little rooster, run!!!  Carol's paintings often make me smile!


Do you have any *happy* to share?

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Monday, September 24, 2012


Have y'all met Jolene @ With A Little Help From My Friends?  I love her blog, and she is a very neat, sweet person.  Plus she knows how to do everything.....

Anyway, she won a blog award, and although I don't normally accept blog awards, I thought it would be fun to tell you eleven random things about me and answer Jolene's questions.  :D

Eleven Facts About Me

1.   I change my hair color all the time.  From very light blonde, to dark red, and everywhere in between, but never dark brown.

2.   I love to read, and I have loved it since I was a little girl.

3.   I have always hated shopping unless it involves a book store.  My friends refuse to shop with me because I'm so impatient!

4.   Mr. Art @ Home thinks that I could open a restaurant centered around my egg recipes.  ;P

5.   I have always wanted to live in Tuscaloosa my entire life.  I especially want to move there now since it's where my daughter goes to college...

6.   I would love to go back to school and get my MFA in book Tuscaloosa....

7.   I am thinking about making drastic changes to my blog.

8.   My friends think I am a witch because I am always predicting stuff.  They always say, "Don't say it because it will happen."  :/

9.   I miss Arizona, and although Alabama is home to me, I will always be a Zonie in my heart!

10.   Olives make me gag.

11.   I love riding bikes.

Now for the fun part...the Q & A

1.   What is your favorite color?

2.   If you had a song that would fit your life, which song would it be?
      Mr. Art @ Home has traveled quite a bit in his career, but not so much in recent years.  When he was away last week, I kept thinking about this song:

Owl City Vanilla Twilight

3.   Do you eat breakfast in the morning?
      Yes, it's my favorite meal of the day.  My oldest daughter is also a morning person, and one of our favorite things to do is going out for breakfast.

4.   Dresses or pants?

5.   Favorite Artist? (this would be music, performer, or actual art.)
      Abbott Handerson Thayer


The Virgin, 1893

6.   Where is one place on earth you have always dream of going to? 

7.   Dog or Cat?

8.   Do you believe in Angels?

9.   What is your favorite flower?


10.   What book would you recommend people to read? 
        The Book of John from the Bible if you've never read it.  Every word is so precise, it's amazing.

        I have so many books I love, it would be difficult to recommend just one, but if you've never read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, you are truly missing out on a great story.

11.   What is your favorite season and why? 
        Summer because everyone is happy!

Pop over and say hello to Jolene and read her answers!

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Can You Guess...

what I've been doing?


Go read my guest post at The Vintage Farmhouse and find out  ;P

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Musical Monday: Some Nights

Musical Monday is a weekly link party hosted by Miss Angie @ My So-Called Chaos.

I have not had a lot of time to listen to music this week, but I have been listening to fun. and their anthem Some Nights.

It reminds me of Nena's antiwar anthem from 1984, 99 Red Balloons.  Fun. even samples the song:

"This is it, boys, this is war...what I've been waiting for." from Some Nights
"This is what we've waited for...this is it, boys, this is war! from 99 Red Balloons

Here is the video, and I hope you enjoy it.  I think it is well-done, and the story is about a young boy separated from his girlfriend during the War of Northern Aggression.  My only complaint is that the Stars and Bars is mysteriously absent from the video.  ;P

Fun.  Some Nights

What music have you been listening to lately?

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Friday, September 21, 2012

Literary Friday: Happier at Home


This week I read Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin.  Rubin also wrote the #1 New York Times bestseller The Happiness Project, and she also writes a wildly popular blog.

I read this book because it's this moth's selection for If You Give a Blogger a Book Book Club.  I was also intrigued because I have been participating in the weekly My Happy List link party for well over a year.  I must say that this was the perfect week to read this book because we have been struggling with scheduling, projects, and harmony.  I am grateful that this book came into my life when I truly needed it.

Young and Relentless 

I love how Rubin organized Happier at Home.  Her nine chapters are divided according to the school calendar, beginning with September's Possessions. As a mom this makes perfect sense to me, and I also consider September as being a time for new beginnings.  Other chapters include Family, Time, and Parenthood.  My two favorite chapters are October's Marriage and April's Neighborhood.  Rubin shares insight into her marriage and her commitment to being a more attentive wife.  I found her decision to actively pursue "giving gold stars" to her husband, Jamie, brilliant.  :D  I was also fascinated with April's chapter, Neighborhood.  Rubin lives in new York City, quite different from my suburban Birmingham gated community.  The only thing to discover here are homes, gardens, lakes, ducks, herons, and the crazy Cooper's hawk who lives in the woods behind our home.  Rubin and her daughter discover Charles Simonds' Dwellings, parts two and three while on a Wednesday Adventure at the Whitney Museum. This discovery leads to the idea of creating a secret place, and the Rubins now have a secret landscape in their kitchen cupboard.  {So.  Cool.}  Rubin did remind me that there are wonderful things to discover where I live.  I might start with the newly-opened Norman Rockwell's America exhibit at the Birmingham Museum of Art.  :D

I also appreciate Rubin's voice.  She is so honest, and in her chapter on marriage she reveals her fear of driving and how she conquers it through driving lessons.  She is also very aware of her faults, and how to just "be Gretchen".  I do think that acceptance of who we are can lead to greater happiness.  As much as I enjoy Rubin's own personal philosophy (including her 8 Splendid Truths), I also appreciate her sharing insight from philosophers, poets, and saints.  I highly recommend this book, and I will also check out her blog later today.

Don't forget about my Banned Books Week celebration on Friday, October 5th. Read your favorite banned or challenged book and link-up.  *there will be prizes, too* I will be re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird.  


What have you been reading this week?  Write about it and link-up!

Until next time...
Happy reading!
Ricki Jill

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Red Dot Gallery Student Show

Student show invite_zps398d4252

artwork by Joyce Hudson

If you are in Birmingham between September 28th and November 17th, please stop by the Red Dot Gallery for the student show with the opening reception on the twenty-eighth.

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Primp Your Pumpkin


When the Frost is on the Punkin
by James Whitcomb Wiley

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin’ turkey-cock,
And the clackin’ of the guineys, and the cluckin’ of the hens,
And the rooster’s hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it’s then’s the times a feller is a-feelin’ at his best,
With the risin’ sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.

They’s something kindo’ harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer’s over and the coolin’ fall is here—
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossums on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin’-birds and buzzin’ of the bees;
But the air’s so appetizin’; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur’ that no painter has the colorin’ to mock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin’ of the tangled leaves, as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries—kindo’ lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin’ sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover over-head!—
O, it sets my hart a-clickin’ like the tickin’ of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!

Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the celler-floor in red and yeller heaps;
And your cider-makin’ ’s over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With their mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and saussage, too! ...
I don’t know how to tell it—but ef sich a thing could be
As the Angels wantin’ boardin’, and they’d call around on me—
I’d want to ’commodate ’em—all the whole-indurin’ flock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!


Frost on my little Shabby Chic pumpkin.  Debbiedoos inspired me with hers!


It has been unseasonably cool here in Central Alabama with the lows hovering around fifty degrees.  Although not quite cool enough for frost, I couldn't resist the poem with the cooler weather.  Have you primped your pumpkin yet?  Thank-you, ladies, for hosting such a wonderful party!

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Do You Have Your Silver Ticket Yet?


I have mine.  :D

Frosted Petunias and Incipient Wings are hosting Le Mysterieux Carnival.  Please see the invitation below:


Doesn't it sound like fun!  :D  

These ladies hosted the Practical Magic party last year.  You can see my post from last year here.

So what are you waiting for?  Create your silver ticket!

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My Happy List: All About *Me*

Welcome to My Happy List!  I am hosting for Mamarazzi as she is taking a break from blogging.

This week I have another theme and it's "All about *Me*"   ;P  Sometimes we moms forget to do little kindnesses for ourselves....and then we act like a martyr (or worse) I took the time this week to do some nice things for myself.

My Happy List

1.   Sometimes we do need a little retail therapy.  I am running low on perfume, so I found a lovely fragrance on sale at Anthropologie.  Sadly, it is a limited edition perfume, but I can enjoy it while it lasts!  It is called Briar Rose, and it smells like this:


"a sweet, fruity blend of wild rose with dark accents of black raspberry, bitter almond, exotic spices, black violet, patchouli and cacao absolute."  

I really like this fragrance.  It is slightly sweet, but it is lighter than one would think.

Finding new fragrances makes me so happy!

2.   I love grape jelly and I never buy it because no one else in the family likes it.  Well I bought some anyway, and to me, there is nothing better for breakfast than hot tea and grape jelly on toast.  Grape jelly makes me happy!  {Sometimes it truly is the little things.}


3.   I was so lucky to have won a really nice Amazon gift card from Linda @ Life and Linda! Thank-you so, so much, Linda!  And I must admit I spent it all on books for *me*  ;P  If you've never visited Linda, check out her blog.  It is lots of fun!  :D


The top book, Carnival of Souls, is a YA book, so I bet one of my daughters will end-up with it!  ;P


The cart in the library holds my "to be read" pile.  :D

New books *always* make me happy!

Link up to share your happy!!!  :D

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Monday, September 17, 2012

Musical Monday: Houdini

We listen to Alt Nation....a the one song that stands out above all others this summer is Houdini by Foster the People.


Rise above, gonna start the war!
What you want, what you need, what'd you come here for?
Well, an eye for an eye and an 'F' for fight
They're taking me down as the prisoners riot

Got shackles on, my words are tied
Fear can make you compromise
Fasten up, it's time to hide
Sometimes I wanna disappear

Yeah oh

When I feel kinda bad and don't want to stress
Pass it off on a better day
Well you got what you want, and what you never knew
Perfect gift from me to you

Yeah yeah yeah

Got shackles on, my words are tied
Fear can make you compromise
Fasten up, it's time to hide
Sometimes I wanna disappear

Yeah oh

(It's up to your ability)
You never knew what I could find
What would come when we realize
I don't want to compromise

(It's up to your ability)
Yeah I'm scared but I disappear
Running around before it corners you
I can't go because my life's a wreck

(It's up to your ability)
I know that you want me
'Cause it's simple to see of my ability

(It's up to your ability)
Yeah you're undecided
Yeah it's the right feeling
Yeah I don't wanna runaway

You gotta focus on your ability
Focus on your ability
Now focus on your ability
Focus on your ability

Gain again what they want to steal
Gain again what they want to steal
Then gain again what they want to steal
Gain again what they want to steal

What song did you hear most this summer? Join Miss Angie and share your music *love* :D

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Three {simple.} Fall Looks I Love

I was playing on the internet yesterday, and I found three fall decor ideas that are pretty yet simple.

The first one is a craft from Martha Stewart.  I think I might try making the sweet little cornhusk flowers because the craft is not difficult, only a bit tedious.  I would probably only make a half a dozen flowers and use a smaller pitcher. You can view the tutorial here.


The next two looks do not involve making a craft.  I love this next one because it is simple, and the colors are so pretty.  I am always looking for neat ideas for vase fillers, aren't you?  Most of us have beans in our pantry, and I like the vase with a few white beans and the sunny yellow berries. What a pretty centerpiece! 


I love decorating for fall with little white pumpkins.  Add a linen runner and brown transfer ware, and you have a simple, pretty centerpiece for the dining room.


from Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A {little bit of} Autumn Decor in the Dining Room


I am slowly letting go of summer and embracing autumn.   I created a vignette in our dining room influenced by another autumn vignette from Victoria Magazine.



Mine is not an exact copy, but I did use similar colors, apples, and an orchid. I had everything around the house but the apples and rosebud.  I buy apples about once a week.  Next to strawberries, they are our favorite fruit!



I am sure all of you have decorated much more for autumn than I.  Sorry I have not visited many of you this week, but life has gotten in the way of blogging!

Linking to:
Sunny Simple Sunday
Beautiful Sunday

Until next time...

Ricki Jill