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Christmas Out and About

Monday, December 19, 2022


We Southerners enjoy decorating with magnolia leaves during Christmas.  This pretty arrangement is on the porch of our library.

Happy Monday, My Lovelies!  What are your plans today?  I'll be making my big run to the grocery store for Christmas.  I hope that's all I have to do because I'm sure I'll have to go to several stores to get everything!

Do you like the pretty arrangement at the top of this post?  It was taken at our library.  I've visited it a couple of times recently borrowing Christmas books for this week.  It's supposed to be extremely cold here at the end of the week, and Mr. Bookish will keep the house cozy with fires.  I plan to cuddle up under a couple of throws and read while drinking Christmas tea!

Christmas library selections
I won't read all of them, but I checked out a couple of extra books for Shanley Belle.

Speaking of books...
If you're looking for a last minute Christmas gift for the person who loves to entertain and fluff the nest, then I have the perfect book for you:

Last week my ECW group at church hosted a lovely event featuring James Farmer.  Y'all, he is the best speaker: I loved his stories, and the floral arrangement demonstrations he did with his friend Mary Cox Brown were so inspiring.  They were simple, and beautiful!  The ladies did a fantastic job with some of the most beautiful charcuterie trays and other treats served with wine.  After James' talk, he signed his new book.  I didn't get to stay for the signing, but I did get to meet Mary Cox and James at the end.

As the book's subtitle explains, the book is divided into seasons and shows how James celebrates each both indoors and out.  His home Farmsdale is so pretty, and his attention to detail for celebrations is impeccable.  

This is just a sample of the beautiful tablescapes you'll find in the book.  I love the colors and mixture of patterns on this table.

These arrangements are so stunning.  The bases for them are "bouffants" of maple leaves wired together.  Next comes the prettiest roses I've ever seen called "free spirit."  Although they have a lot of orange in them, they mix well with the deep red tulips and berries.  The chartreuse ribbon adds the perfect compliment.

I love these small arrangements in his signature wicker vases.  I like the size because tall arrangements aren't conducive to conversation at the table.  

I found a similar vase online:

The size James uses is closer to the smaller size.  I found these at Mothology.  Here is the LINK.

This is a super simple, yet lovely idea for a wreath.  Use a boxwood wreath as the base, and add a pretty posy of ruffled free spirit roses and red tulips.  Tie with a pretty satin ribbon, and attach to the wreath with wire.

These wreaths would be so welcoming at a holiday party!

Recently I was able to meet Jenna @ The Painted Apron and Emily @ The French Hutch to celebrate Christmas and their December birthdays.  We had lunch at the Grand Bohemian Hotel.  It was a very dark and gray day, so I didn't take many photos, however I felt so blessed to finally get out and visit with them.  I had missed them so much!  

A festive Christmas tree in the hotel with our totes underneath

Emily and Jenna bought me the prettiest Christmas presents:

The cutting board is one of Jenna's original drawings.  I love it: It is so me!  She also painted the little snowman hat with the cardinal on it.  I love cardinals!  We feed them in our bird feeders.
Emily bought me the pretty MacKenzie-Childs ornament.  I love the colors, and I like the vintage vibe, too!  The stacked teacup MacKenzie-Childs teacup tea towel features the sterling check, and I will use those colors for my New Year's Eve decor.  

My Bestie Barbara and I had lunch at one of our favorite places downtown, The General.  I look forward to seeing their Christmas tree every year because it's always so pretty and unusual.  

I like this tree because large ornaments and ribbon can hang down.

Here's a close-up of the ribbon.

This is their Christmas tree from last year.  I loved the ribbons and the white paper garland.

The General specializes in European gifts and food.

We also went to Wild Things, my new favorite flower shop.  It's located in Homewood.  They have the most beautiful flowers and gifts:  I was a wee bit smitten with their Christmas ornaments.  

All decked our for their holiday open house

I bought three of these chartreuse ornaments, and I regret not buying more.

Wild Things has the cutest selection of felted mice ornaments.  They made me giggle!  My favorite one was this surfer dude in his long surfer shorts.  So cute!

I have a few other events for the holidays that I'm looking forward to attending.  I think it's been good for me to get out and socialize after being cooped-up for so long.

Do you have any fun plans this week?

Until next time...

Ricki Jill


  1. Merry Christmas sweet friend. I hope your week is filled with happy times. Take care of yourself and enjoy everything! Hugs, Diane

  2. I’m so happy for you in getting out and enjoying life, Ricki Jill! That book and the arrangements are beautiful!

  3. What fun you've been having and I'm so glad I was part of it! Thank you for the shout out and I'm so tickled you liked your gifts :) I must check out the General next year. The book you recommended looks wonderful and how neat to learn and see all the flower arrangements! I am not loving this weather, I have been snuggling under an electric blanket my the fire as much as possible, our house is so drafty, not built for freezing temps! Have a wonderful Christmas with your family and I will see you in 2023!

  4. Oh, how I loved reading of your outings! I'm SO happy you were able to meet with Jenna and Emily (what wonderful gifts!). And I'm not gonna lie, I'm a little jelly of your in person with James Farmer! An absolutely wonder filled post! What a difference a year makes! 🌲❤️

  5. Merry Christmas:-)

  6. Merry Christmas. Your lunch meet ups sounded so nice. The General sounds like a great place. Wish I lived closer to go there with you. The tree is beautiful. Enjoy your family all being with you. Merry Christmas. xoxo Kris


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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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