Friday, August 30, 2013

Literary Friday: Honey, Baby, Sweetheart

"...Boys are expected to do.  Accomplish something.  Seek adventure.  Sure, they study for careers now, but what are girls still expected to seek?  Boys.  Boys get mountains, girls get boys...
A lady I will be, but a man's accessory, his handbag, no thank you.  I will not just be someone's ornament.  I will not must be someone's honey, baby, sweetheart..."
~Miz June from Honey, Baby Sweetheart, pp. 235 - 236 (hardcover)

This week I read a YA selection, Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti. She wrote the book I hated last week, but I really enjoyed this one.  I'd already checked it out from the library before I read he's GONE, so I was dreading reading it even though it was a finalist for the National Book Award.

First of all, I love the name of the protagonist:  Ruby McQueen. She is the quiet girl in school due to several unfortunate embarrassments.  Her mother is a librarian at the Nine Mile Fall's public library outside of Seattle, and her father, a musician and performer who's responsible for Ruby's showy name, no longer lives with his wife and children.  But during the summer when she's Sweet Sixteen, Ruby suddenly goes from a shy, studious girl to a reckless, mindless teenager and criminal accomplice.  The catalyst for her change? Travis.  Becker.  Travis is wealthy, handsome, and dangerous...the trifecta of trouble for someone like Ruby.  She begins taking risks and harming others she cares about only to belong.

She makes a confession to her mother, and her mom takes charge of her free time by over-scheduling Ruby so she won't have time to see Travis. That's how Ruby begins attending the book club of the elderly Casserole Queens.  One of the Queens who recently suffered a stroke might be the former lover of a very famous author (their book club selection during the summer was written by said author).  This leads Rudy and the Casserole Queens on an adventure that's quite sweet as well as exciting.

I do like the growth Ruby makes in this book, and I even like the strong adult support system she has surrounding her even more.  I think this is a book that many young, impressionable teenage girls should read because it illustrates how easily girls can fall for the wrong boy for all the wrong reasons. Ruby figures out that she might have been " love with Travis Becker's motorcycle [rather than him]."  Plus there are consequences for actions....a novel concept in some YA books.

Until next time...

Happy Reading!
Ricki Jill

It's a Beautiful Morning!

Good morning, Lovelies!  It's a beautiful morning here in Central Alabama. Look!  We have sunshine streaming through the window early this morning before 7 AM!  YAY!

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I have made a huge pot of tea, and soon I'll make breakfast for everyone. Unfortunately, I didn't write my Literary Friday post last night.  I usually write it early Friday morning, but I forgot that I have a commitment this morning. Yikes!  

Literary Friday will be live this evening no later than 8:00 CDT.  Sorry for the delay!  Please either link-up tonight or tomorrow....or whenever during the next week.  The link will be up for one week like always.

I hope you have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Color Schemes Inspired by China Patterns

Are you still in love with your china pattern?  Would you use it as a color scheme for a room?

A few weeks ago I was reading House Beautiful, and I saw this feature:

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I think the plate's color scheme is lovely.

Below is my wedding china:  Wedgwood's Rosedale

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This is the color scheme from the colors in the pattern:

I was surprised that several of the colors in the pattern are quite bright, almost like ice cream shop colors!

I found a room on one of my Pinterest boards that includes all of these colors. What do you think?  Does it look like me?

In addition to the colors in my palette it also has pretty florals that I love, original vintage artwork with gilded frames.  I like it!  I would have this in my home.

Would your china inspire a pretty color scheme for a room in your home? Where do you look for color inspiration?

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Linking to:
Favorites on the First @ The Polo House

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Modern Hospitality

I finally checked-out a copy of Modern Hospitality by Whitney Miller last week, and I'm enjoying it so much!  Some of you may recall that Whitney won Season One of Master Chef.  Whitney wowed the judges with her down home Southern cooking with a modern twist.  And that's what I love about this recipe book:  Southern Classics redefined and classic recipes with a Southern accent.  The photography is beautiful, and most of the recipes are easy-peasy.

Cauliflower Mac 'n' Cheese

Fresh Fruit and Granola Tarts

Biscuits and Cane Syrup

Southern Affogato

Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Rosemary-Cranberry Glaze

I've enjoyed cooking from this book so much I've ordered a copy to keep.  If you haven't checked this one out yet, I highly suggest that you do!

Check-out this recipe for Butter Bean Hummus.  I love how Whitney creatively uses a Southern staple like butter beans to make a traditional hummus.

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Butter Bean Hummus

1 T olive oil or other source of fat
2 cans (15 ounces each) large butter beans, rinsed and drained
1 T fresh Meyer lemon juice
1 t tahini (I use Krinos brand)
1 t Tuscan Sunset spice from Penzy's spices
1 small garlic clove, minced
Salt and ground black pepper
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 t paprika

Place butter beans in a large skillet with olive oil and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Scrape the butter eans into a food processor and puree for 1 minute.  Add 2 tablespoons water, the lemon juice, tahini, and spices and process until smooth.  Scrape the mixture into a bowl and stir in the garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, transfer the bean mixture to a small serving bowl and smooth with the back of a spoon. Drizzle  the olive oil over the hummus.  Sprinkle with paprika.  Serve with chips or fresh crudités.  I also sprinkled a salt-free seasoning on top, Sunny Spain by Penzy's Spices.

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~Adapted from Modern Hospitality 

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Local Flavor Swap Reveal

I received the best package all the way from Salt Lake City!  Miss Angie put together the most thoughtful package for the Local Flavor Swap.  Time to share!

You remember the salt water taffy from yesterday's post.  Mr. Art @ Home was so happy!  He thought I'd bought it for him because it's his favorite.  I {almost} let him think it, but I eventually fessed-up!

The lavender is grown on a family farm, and the mother studied cuisine at the famed Le Cordon Bleu.  Angie knows how much I love honey.  I eat it or put it in my tea everyday.  Yum!
Angie taught me that Utah is The Beehive State!

Check out the little spider dude.  The main stone in the body is a rainbow fluorite!
I hope he'll keep away unwanted creeps!

Angie made me some earrings.  I'm going to take a photo wearing them later this week and post it.

A local SLC artist takes traditional landscapes and adds her own unique stamp to them.  Look closely....

Edward Scissorhands has been hard at work on tis landscape!  So cute.  I love Edward!  Lovely piece of art.

Fry sauce!  I've read about it on many blogs, but we don't have this in the South.  Any suggestions on how to enjoy it?

Thanks so much, Angie!!!  Angie is one of my very favorite bloggers.  I hope my girls grow-up to have a heart just like hers.  She has a fun blog, too. Reading about her antics with her friends makes me smile and keeps me young.  It's better than botox and won't rot your brain!  Check out Angie's blog, My So-Called Chaos, HERE.

Have you ever participated in a Chaotic Goddess Swap?  I think this is my fourth or fifth one.  They are fun, and I highly recommend them.  Angie and Beth know how to administer swaps!

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

My Happy List: My Mailbox Is Seriously Full! :D

My Happy List
1.   Grab my delightful button coding for your post above.
2.   Link-up a happy post.
3.   Visit other bloggers and enjoy!

Good Morning!  How are my bloggy buddies today?  I hope you're having a happy week so far, have posted about it, and will link-up!

My Happy List

1.   I'm so excited about the Chaotic Goddesses Local Flavor Swap.  I received my package from Salt Lake City today, and I can't wait to share with you in a future post all the wonderful surprises Miss Angie sent me!  *squee*

Here's a little sneak-peek:

Salt water three pounds of it!!!  :D

I was thinking of a way to decorate the dining room table this week, and Miss Angie sent me my answer:  a bowl of taffy on a linen runner.

It takes a really big bowl to hold three pounds of taffy!

Chaotic Goddess Swaps make me so happy!!!

2.   I won our August book club selection book this month!  I *heart* my online book club, If You Give A Blogger A Book....Club!!!  Thanks so much, Connie!!!

You really should join us....we always read fantastic books!

3.   I ordered one of Amy's amazing dreamcatchers for Shelley's room. She LOVES it!

Look how pretty Amy wrapped the package!

The dreamcatcher is hanging on her headboard.

4.   I'm enjoying being at home.  I've been doing lots of chores, but I've actually enjoyed it!  My kitchen is almost completely organized, and I'll finish tomorrow once I've tidied-up the spice cabinet.  Being home makes me happy!

I've been burning a summer candle today that smells like the beach:  Pomelo & Sea Salt!

I scrubbed this cutting board table today, too!

5.   Summer and sunshine has finally arrived in Central Alabama.  It has been an unseasonably mild and VERY wet summer.  I'm not ready for summer to be over because we didn't have much of one. But I'm not complaining, really. We aren't burning-up like the West, and we aren't suffering through a drought. Happy to see the sun, though!

Andrea is so thoughtful.  She went to the beach and sent me this postcard.  I really want a beach trip!

6.   I finally got this book @ the about a long waiting list!

I've made my family happy by cooking a couple of recipes from this book!

I will share a recipe and review of this fantastic book either tomorrow or Thursday, so stay tuned!

7.   Y'all have made me very happy!  Participation in my two weekly link parties have been pretty good!  Thanks so much for supporting my link parties!!!

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Monday, August 26, 2013

Musical Monday: If You Didn't See Me

Musical Mondays

Happy Monday Morning, Lovelies!!!  It's time for Musical Monday hosted by Miss Angie.  I'm listening to Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.'s "If You Didn't See Me (You Weren't On the Dance Floor)."

For you peeps in Jasper, Alabama:  Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. has nothing to do with NASCAR.

I love this Indie band from Detroit, and "If You Didn't See Me" is a bouncy tune leaning more toward pop than Indie, but I really don't care because I like it.

Official Video of "If You Didn't See Me"
by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

If You Didn't See Me

You’re supposed, to surrender to the base
You’re supposed, to blend into this space
You’re supposed, to stay just long enough
To be found, you’re not there for the nights
The nights,

And I’m scared of the ... it’s just nice
I swear you weren’t on the dance floor
You should know by now,
We’re just gonna keep on moving on
We’re just gonna keep on moving on, on the dance floor
We’re just gonna keep on moving on
We’re just gonna keep on moving on, on the dance floor

You’re supposed, to move your hips and time your support
To see yourself rewind
You’re supposed, to pull me like the sun
Towards the earth, but you’re not there for the night
The nights

And I’m scared of the ... it’s just nice
I swear you weren’t on the dance floor
You should know by now,
We’re just gonna keep on moving on
We’re just gonna keep on moving on, on the dance floor
We’re just gonna keep on moving on
We’re just gonna keep on moving on, on the dance floor.

The following video explains the meaning of the song and how it came together.

I will be listening to this song while I paint today and play around in the house.  What are you listening to this morning?

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Weekly Round-up for 8/25/13

Good Sunday Evening, Lovelies!  I hope you are getting into a routine with school back in session most places.  I want to share with you three posts I enjoyed this past week and link-up to Miss Angie's and Aubrey's The Weekly Round-up.

Do you ever crave salty and sweet at the same time?  I sometimes do, and Gina @ Random Thoughts From an Incoherent Mind posted the most delicious recipe for:

I really hate to say farewell to summer....I really do.  Especially since we didn't have much of one with all the rain and much cooler temperatures.  But Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life put together an adorable centerpiece for summer's end.

Isn't it cute!
I love the vintage pail and blocks.

Amy @ Vintage Marketplace has made the most beautiful dreamcatchers. Check it out:

I love the pompoms!  Amy is selling them at an art show and in her Etsy store.

Here's a great idea for a link party I read about on Paula's Blog:

It's time to recycle older, fabulous posts that newer readers might have missed.  I think I'll play!  It's a great idea, and will be live September 5th.

I'm hoping to blog and blog jog a little more this week.  {fingers crossed}  

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Friday, August 23, 2013

Literary Friday: he's GONE

This week I read he's GONE by Deb Caletti.  I admit that I read it because it's a Books a Million book club selection, and Sarah Addison Allen (author of Garden Spells) recommended it.  It was a bit of a disappointment.  Although well-written, I didn't care for the main character at all, and I'm the type reader that if I can't sympathize with the characters and like them just a little, I won't like the story.

Dani Keller is the other woman, first of all.  She was married to a husband who beat her, and what does she do?  Whom does she choose to have and affair with, to "save" her?  Ian Keller, the control freak from hell.  I kid you not, this is the dumbest woman in modern literature.  Plus she has a daughter.  

What has she taught her daughter?

1.  It's okay if a man beats you.  Deal with it.
2.  When you decide you've had enough, have an affair with a married man with children.
3.  But make sure you chose an OCD judgmental control freak who drives everyone crazy, including his business partner.

Basically the story is about Ian's disappearance one Sunday morning after a company cocktail party the night before.  Dumbass Dani decides to pop a couple of vicodin before drinking lots of wine at the party, so she fights with Ian on their way home from the party and passes out in bed once they return home to their trendy Seattle houseboat.  So of course her behavior makes her suspect #1 in the eyes of the police detective.

The plot follows about two weeks after Ian's disappearance.  Told in Dani's point of view, she examines their marriage and realizes that it wasn't what she believed it to be.  The reader notices right away that Dani has traded one type of abuse for another one.  Okay......I really didn't need to know the intimacies of their totally messed-up marriage.  Ian is a freak, and he collected butterflies for heaven's sake.  Weird like the main character in The Collector by John Fowles.  

Dani's license to date/cohabitate with men should be revoked.

I personally am happy that Ian is gone.

Did I mention how I really dislike this book?

I need something good to read.  Please link-up!

Literary Friday

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill

Thursday, August 22, 2013

We Want to Know Wednesday: I'm a day late to the party!

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I need a fun distraction tonight.  I know I'm late to the party, but when I read the girls' questions this week, I just had to join in on the fun!


1. What is the weirdest thing you own? 

A piece of Ryan Carlson's art.

Go to this post and see why!

2. What reality show would you want to be on? 

HGTV's House Hunters International!!!

3. When you were little what did you want to be when you grew up? 

I was torn between an astronaut or a Radio City Music Hall Rockette.

4. What do you wish people knew about you without you having to tell them? 

For some reason I intimidate people and I don't mean to!!!!  I truly have a huge heart.  But I do hear it all the time!

5. What is something you've always wanted to do but are afraid of? 

Go helicopter skiing.....I'm afraid of avalanches!

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

{for the nerdy Anglophile}

If you aren't a nerdy Anglophile you probably won't appreciate this post.  I apologize in advance!

I found two adorable mugs on the Emma Bridgewater website, and I just had to have them.  One commemorates the Queen's coronation, and the other one celebrates the birth of Prince George Alexander Louis.

Hooray for George!  I've had several FB friends say unkind things about the birth of this little prince.  Really?  How can you not celebrate a baby, especially the baby of a prince who lost his mom at a young age.  People are mean....or maybe I need some new FB friends!  ;P

I put some sale grocery store flowers in the mugs.

I only paid $5 for this mug.  I thought it was a bargain!  It's a second, and I found nothing wrong with it.  Maybe the colors were wrong of something.

On Tuesday, I went shopping with my sorority sister, Fran.  Look what I found:  A Sadler & Sons Queen Elizabeth I teapot.  It commemorates the defeat of the Spanish Armada.  It has the queen on the center of each side, with Raleigh, Burghley, Dudley, and Drake flanking her.  My favorite thing about it is the zigzag Tudor rose border on top.  So cute!  I paid $12.00 for it which wasn't great, but it had the papers with it and it had never been used. Plus I didn't have to pay shipping!

Someone gave me this teapot as a gift early in our marriage.  It's also a Sadler & Sons teapot, and it's from the Shakespeare series.  Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream are also in the series, and I'd love the A Midsummer Night's Dream teapot.  It's my favorite of Shakespeare's comedies.  I remember when I taught the play at a local Christian HS many years ago, I let the students decorate the entire classroom like an enchanted fairy bower.  There were flowers, trees, and fairies covering all the walls. There was also glitter, LOTS of glitter, and I think the OCD janitor hated me for a quarter.  (He would walk in my classroom DURING CLASS and pick-up paper off the floor.  :/   )  I noticed one day that there were Jerry Bears in some of the trees and flowers.  When I asked where the latest arrivals had come from, and that as far as I remember, there were no Jerry Bears in Oberon's court, the students were stunned.  "How do YOU know what Jerry Bears are, MRs. T?"  As if.  I gently reminded them that I went to college... a state college.  Eventually I lost that battle as they multiplied quicker than I could remove them. Oh pick your battles!

I have the teapots displayed on the plate rack in our dining room for the time being.

Are you an Anglophile?  Just wondering.....

Until next time...

Ricki Jill