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My Happy List 7/23

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

My Happy List
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Good morning, My Sweets!  Welcome to My Happy List!  

My Happy List

1.   Family birthdays are over until October.  YAY!  We celebrated six birthdays within ten days, and I had a bad sugar headache over the weekend. I'm happy I celebrated birthdays with family and friends!

2.   Shelley had another horse show Saturday, and she won equitation (again). YAY!  She also won a second and a third in the course classes.  I didn't get any good photos at the horse show, but I'm happy that my mother and grandmother came to watch Shelley ride.

Shelley's blue ribbon from the horse show.

3.   There's a new little prince in the world, and I think babies are always worth celebrating.  His aunt, Pippa Middleton, wrote a very good book entitled Celebrate.  I picked it up at the library because I was curious, and I knew I was going to love the book because the Introduction starts like this:

"It's a bit startling to achieve global recognition (if that's the right word) before the age of thirty, on account of your sister, your brother-in-law and your bottom."

I read an article claiming the book hasn't been well-received, and I'm truly shocked because it's a very down-to-earth, wonderful book on entertaining. It's family-centered, and the recipes sound very good. Organized according to season, it begins with autumn.  A few of my favorite chapters are Sunday Lunches, Burns Night, Special Breakfasts, and Picnics. Reading this book made me happy!

Pippa explains many British traditions and their origins, and I really want to host a Burns Tea this winter.  The book is huge: There are 400 pages in it. The photography and styling are great!  I hope you'll find a copy next time you're in a bookstore or library.

The Halloween chapter had great ideas for kids, and some of them were brilliant in their simplicity. 

I loved the picnic chapter!

Congratulations to Pippa on becoming an aunt!

4.   I was finally home to cook a meal!  We enjoyed a simple soup and pasta salad.  Cooking in my kitchen makes me very happy!  I bought almost everything I needed for the salad at the curb market. This recipe is adapted from the Farmers' Market Pasta recipe from the June 2013 issue of Southern Living.  You can see the original recipe here.

Farmers' Market Pasta Salad

1 1/2 cups halved baby heirloom tomatoes
2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced into half moons 
1 large red bell pepper, cut into thin strips 
2 cups fresh corn kernels
1 cup diced firm, ripe fresh peaches (about 2 medium)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
Parmesan Vinaigrette (recipe below)
1 (8-oz.) package penne pasta
2 cups shredded smoked chicken (about 10 oz.)
1/3 cup torn fresh basil
1/3 cup torn fresh cilantro

1. Toss together first 7 ingredients in a large bowl, and let stand 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions. Add hot cooked pasta and chicken to tomato mixture; toss gently to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving platter, and top with basil and cilantro.

Parmesan Vinaigrette

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil 
2 teaspoons lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Process Parmesan cheese, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, garlic, pepper, and salt in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add basil and cilantro; pulse 5 or 6 times or just until blended.

This is one of the very best vinaigrette dressings *ever*  :D  Delicious dressings make me very happy!

The recipe makes a whole lot of salad!

5.   I've been smashing up a storm with my Smash books.  I'll share tomorrow!  :D  Smash books make me happy!

UGH!  Sorry for the grammatical errors.  That's what happens when you write a post at midnight!  If you find any others, let me know in comments.

Until next time...

Ricki Jill


  1. Congratulations pretty Shelley!!

  2. I know you are proud of Shelley! She is such a beautiful young lady. Love the book you've shown! And guess what I posted this morning? My Smash journal! Great minds and all! heehee!

  3. Wow, a great happy list RJ. Yes, congratulations to beautiful Shelley! That's wonderful. Your salad looks so yummy. It's interesting that when Lady Di had her boy, I had mine at the same time and now that my boy just had a boy, Di's boy had a boy...hmmm - so neat!! I love having that in common.

  4. I will look on Amazon for the book, see if its available in the US. Thanks for the tip. I am always looking for good "craft" books

  5. Thanks so much for hosting this party.
    hugs, bj

  6. I think the Celebrate book by Pippa sounds like a lot of fun. And thanks for another pasta recipe. We've been making the one pot pasta recipe about once a week; it's great to have another with lots of fresh veggies to try out.

  7. I love this list!! Want to check out that book too. How fun. Yeah for Shelley!! I miss the horse shows. I'd be so stressed but they were so fun to spend the day at.

  8. Mmmmm, that pasta recipe is a must-try for me! Congrats to Shelley! Adorable picture:) I will need to pick up the book ~ looks wonderful!

  9. Great list and a huge congratulations to your daughter!

  10. How awesome is a Happy List! I love your hop theme :) Pippa's book looks wonderful, I'll look for it at our library too. Have a good week!
    xoxo, Andrea

  11. Congrats to beautiful Shelley, she's such an equestrian to it's fullest and riding horses is a wonderful therapy for the soul and mind! How wonderful how all the generations were there to cheer your daughter too. Great looking salad! My nephew was born to my brother the same year prince William. Big hugs,

  12. Yay! Sounds like Pippa is a sweeter version of Martha Stewart. ;)
    Thanks for the royal baby update- I didn't realize Kate had popped already!
    And congrats again to Shelley! That's a lot of happy.

  13. Congratulations to Shelley! Pretty girl ~ she looks like her mom. Happy Day!

  14. Congratulations to Shelley! That's so neat that there are so many opportunities in her chosen sport.

    I had not heard about that entertaining book. It makes sense that it would be good, because isn't that how Middleton's family became successful?

    Great list.

  15. Ricki Jill- It always makes ME happy to rad YOUR happy list. I will look for that book-it sounds wonderful. Thanks for the recipe- xo Diana

  16. I love what you said about the Royal Baby! I saw so much negativity and "WHO CARES" stuff on Facebook and Twitter yesterday, and it made me sad. I fail to see how excitement over good news like a new baby - Royal or not - is a bad thing?! I was thrilled to hear the little Prince had arrived safe & sound, and now I'm anxiously awaiting news of his name!! :)

  17. Congrats to Shelley and glad all the birthday celebrations are done for awhile. I would be exhausted! Thanks for hosting!

  18. You are too funny.
    Congrats to Shelley and her gorgeous blue ribbon!
    I too heard that about Pippa's book, I will have to seek out a copy and find the halloween pages, my favorite time of year.
    Glad things are a little more laid back this week for you.
    Sounds like you had quite the week of partying :)

  19. I totally want to read that book!!! I didn't mention the little prince in my happy list - I forgot!! He looks adorable- I can't wait to see his face. :)

    Thanks for hosting!! :)

  20. Congratulations to Shelley! What a wonderful achievement.

    You've sparked my interest in Pippa's book. I'll be looking for it at my library.

  21. Congrats to Shelley!!

    Thanks for sharing the pasta salad recipe...I love pasta salad.

    I really should look into that book. Sounds like I would enjoy it.

  22. Congrats to Shelley!!

    I also checked out Pippa's book from the library and loved it. I need to buy my own copy especially since I love all things British!

    I'm behind on my smashbooking and book reading. I need to block out a couple of hours.

  23. Yay Shelley! And I love whatever that is hanging on the wall behind her!

  24. I like you happy list very nice indeed and of course I want to say congratulations Shelly along with the others

  25. Hooray for Shelley and what a cute girl she is! I know you are a proud mom!

    I read terrible reviews of Pippa's book and it made me sad because she seems to have impeccable taste. Some of the names of the recipes were sited and they were a little bit of a turn off. But these are random reviews and I'd like to leaf through the book myself.

    Thanks so much for the recipe, it looks healthy and delicious!


  26. Congratulations to your darling daughter. I would like to peruse that book as well. I will check it out. Thanks for hosting!


  27. Congratulations to your daughter! That book does sound right up my alley. I'll be checking my local library for it, and asking them to order it if I need to!

  28. I don't have a "happy" post to share, but high on my happy list is learning from other bloggers. I am still trying to figure out how to redeem my gift card so I can get the Book of Doing.

  29. Playing some major catch up at the moment.
    Congrats to Shelley that is very exciting!
    All our birthdays happen towards the end of the year. We have 3 the end of October...then 4 in December. Fall and Winter are certainly the busiest months of the year!

  30. Great list! I love Shelley's smile. She has such a beautiful smile!


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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