Autumn Beauty

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

clockwise from bottom: Dragonscale, Wizard, and Witch

Happy Pretty Wednesday, My Lovelies!  Autumn is upon us, and it's time to update our vanities!  ;P

I found some wonderful products I wanted to share with you….I love them all, and they're *perfect* for autumn.

At the top of the post, I chose these wonderful autumnal shades from Printcess.  Both my daughters and I love this line!  They are heavily pigmented and blend well with each other.  Cruelty-free and vegan friendly, none of the shadows have bothered my sensitive skin (a huge plus).  I love the literary references in the names of the eyeshadows.  Of course I do!  So do my daughters.  Shanley Belle chose Direwolf, and Shelley prefers Slippers and Mirror, Mirror.

The heady combination of water lily, evening lotus, and midnight jasmine is lovely without being too overbearing 

Autumn means bonfires and outdoor fire pits, so put away your light summertime fragrance for a slightly stronger fragrance that will withstand woodsmoke.  Moon Shadow by Library of Flowers is my fragrance pick for autumn.  The fragrance might remind you of a warm summer evening, but it's a bit too strong of a fragrance for summer.  A little goes a long way!

The Korres Greek line of skincare is fast becoming a favorite of mine.  The pomegranate facial moisturizer is fantastic, and it has never broken-out my sensitive skin.  It has a low SPF of 6, but at least it does offer some sun protection.  

I love the smell of the Bésame Brightening French Vanilla Face Powder.  It helps control redness and is gluten free.  Gluten is common in many facial powders, so this is definitely an added benefit for me.  

As the days shorten, I like to burn candles, and one of my very favorites is Aveda's Shampure candle. It's my favorite scent in Aveda's line, and all of their candles have an added benefit.  Did you know that as the wax melts you can dip your fingers in it and use it as a hand moisturizer?  I only burn soy candles in our home due to folks with asthma, and all of the Aveda candles are made from soy.

Well, there you have it!  My five favorite beauty items for fall.  

So tell me: what are your autumn beauty secrets!  You must share!

Until next time…

Ricki Jill

Random Chores and Activities

Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Happy Tuesday and September, My Lovelies!  We are so excited about two art field trips this week and next week. I'm so blessed to have a daughter who's growing as an artist while learning about art history.  I think it's going to be a great year!

In between teaching, art lessons, riding lessons, and reading for school, I've had many chores and projects around the house.  One that really needed my attention: our planters.  The petunias and a few of the other plants were looking leggy and tired.  I wanted something to plant that would tide us over until pansy season...but I don't like planting mums because I never have good luck with them. So I decided to add (mostly) lantana, vinca, and plumbago to our planters until the first frost.  After the first frost, it's time to plant pansies here in the South.

Pink strawflowers are wonderful late summer flowers, too.

Plumbago, vinca, and marigolds

Of course Finlay must check out anything new!

I love tuna.  I love tuna salad.  I love tuna casserole.  Ask me if anyone else in my family likes tuna. Go on.  Ask.  The answer is heck no.  But too bad so sad because Stacey @ Poofing the Pillows posted a recipe that looked so delish I had to try it anyway.  *so happy* I did!

Called A Tuna Recipe for Fish Haters, you can find this wonderful recipe on Stacey's blog HERE.
For realsies it's called Tuna and Rice Salad with Avocado Dressing.  The dressing is one of the best I've ever tried!

Look at our roses!!!  I love how they open up all the way like this:

I haven't done much house fluffing this's al been about our patio and garden!

I have a large section of hydrangeas out front with awful black spots.  I'm so sad!  Usually I have trouble with roses in Alabama, but this summer, the hydrangeas are rotting.  I just don't get it, although we have had tons of rain.  Usually the rain makes my roses get black spots and powdery mildew....

And now it's time for a shameless plug for my art journal blog.  You can find it by clicking on the link on my sidebar.  Shelley is doing a lot of art journaling for school and working on her art portfolio for college.  I have a couple of art journals, and one is actually a prayer journal.  Here are two of my latest pages:

 photo c7bec96d-d945-474f-b4dc-4eb4ac6803e8.jpg

The word "keys" was the prompt for last week's Journal52 challenge.  

I used Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils for the keys 

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from my prayer journal

It rained and stormed at the lake over the weekend, so we were without internet for several hours. We didn't even put the boat in the water, and Mr. Art @ Home broke his jet ski.  Again.  And had to be towed back to the marina.  ;P  Since I had all my work done (school and chores) I read two romance novels.  I liked them especially the second one.  The heroine in it was so strong, and she actually becomes laird of her clan (so cool) AND she is a very skilled archer.  No more spoilers, I promise! There was actually more action/adventure/intrigue in these than romance, but that's okay.  GREAT stories about two families, the Montgomerys and the Armstrongs.  Here's a trailer:

The Highlander Most Wanted is probably more about the heroine.  She's a Bad @$$!
The first book in the series is Never Seduce a Scot.  I can't wait for the third!

Tomorrow I'll share some of my favorites from Pinterest and other pretty things for autumn.  

What chores are you checking off your list this week?

Until next time…

Ricki Jill

Literary Friday: What Katie Ate on the weekend…..

Friday, August 28, 2015
Happy Happy Friday!!!  We have worked so hard this week in school because next week we leave for a Labor Day trip and the week after Labor Day Shelley has two art field trips.  We read Beowulf this week, and Shelley loved it!  Of course I've aways enjoyed it…who doesn't like brave warriors and monsters?

Because I didn't think Beowulf would be the more fun choice for Literary Friday, I thought I'd share with you one of my newest cookbooks and a link to a recipe I tried and everyone loved!

Katie writes a popular blog, and I use her first book What Katie Ate all the time.  She is a talented photographer and food stylist.  Her books are truly a feast for the eyes, plus the recipes are always fantastic.

I tried a wonderful salad recipe from the book.  It was a hit, and perfect for a warm summer afternoon.

Quinoa and Grape Salad

You may find the recipe for this salad here.

This is what I want to make next from the cookbook:

Click on the link above for more from this beautiful recipe book from Katie's blog!

I'm finishing a fun cozy mystery today, and I'll feature it on next week's Literary Friday post.

Until next time…

Ricki Jill

Help From Linda, The Blog Fairy!

Monday, August 24, 2015
Happy Monday, My Lovelies!  Last week I posted about Google's failed attempt at installing a cookie consent bar at the top of my blog.  For some reason the gray bar didn't have any text at all, so without the text readers couldn't give their consent.  I was in a panic because I didn't know how to fix it, and I didn't want to mess up my pretty blog template.

Luckily for me, sweet Linda from Life and Linda came to the rescue!

Click HERE to visit Linda's blog.

I like how she placed the cookie consent banner at the bottom of my blog….I didn't like it at the top at all!

Linda can help you, too!  Linda can make changes to your Cookie Consent bar for $10.00.  If you want a domain name for your blog, Linda can help you out for $1.17 the first year and $9.99 per year after.   She can easily set that up for you.  Linda designs blogs, headers, and provides Blogger support, so if you're frustrated with your blog, contact Linda!

I hope y'all have a great week.  We survived our first full week of school (whew!), and we have a full schedule this week.  I will be posting a couple of fantastic recipe links later this week and a cozy mystery review or two Friday.  Finlay has also been writing a guest post, so stay tuned!

Until next time…

Ricki Jill

Literary Friday: A Paris Affair

Friday, August 21, 2015

This week I read A Paris Affair by Tatiana de Rosnay...and I wish I hadn't.  She wrote The House I Loved and Sarah's Key, two books I loved!  But A Paris Affair is terrible.  *sadface* It in no way resembles what the blurb says.  I hate it when that happens!

First of all, I find it kind of funny how I read this book the same week that the hackers released the Ashley Madison accounts information because the book is basically a collection of short stories about how cheaters get caught and their spouses' reactions.  The book's only redeeming quality is that each affair is discovered in a unique way, usually with the help of technology.  But honestly the characters in the book were all so awful, and I'm not just talking about the cheaters.  I didn't like any of the characters in the stories.

If there's anything we can learn from this week's events and this collection of short stories is this: If you cheat in today's world you will get caught.  Period.  A day is coming when even our private electronic communication will be public, mark my words.  After all.....if the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency can't keep his affair secret,  ordinary citizens shouldn't be so arrogant as to think that they can.  My advice:  Don't kid yourself. Only cheat if you don't care about getting caught.

I hope you read a better book than I did this week.  Please share if you did.  This is a link party!

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill

Best Breakfast *ever*

Thursday, August 20, 2015
The following breakfast recipe is usually perfect for a lazy weekend brunch, but I thought it would be great Monday, the beginning of our first full week of school.

I set the dining room table with a fun summery/lake theme.  We'll continue visiting the lake well into the fall!

The centerpiece is a favorite wedding gift from my best college friend, Gretchen.

The placemats were bought for less than $3.00 each (on sale) @ Anthropologie.

The napkins are from Pier1, the rings are vintage, and the cappuccino cups are from An Angel at My Table.

The plates are from Crate & Barrel, the forks from Horchow.

What's for breakfast?  Poundcake French Toast!  If you ever wondered what to do with leftover and stale poundcake, I have the answer!

Poundcake French Toast


4 thick slices of poundcake
3 eggs
1/4 c maple syrup
2 - 3 T butter
powdered sugar


Beat together eggs and maple syrup in a large bowl.  Add poundcake slices to bowl and let the slices soak-up the egg mixture for about five minutes.

Melt butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, but don't let it get brown.

Add a couple of slices of the poundcake, and lightly brown on each side.  Repeat with the rest of the poundcake slices.

Lightly sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Truly, it doesn't need syrup, but you can pour syrup on the French toast or add whipped cream if you like.  Serve with strong Espresso or Cappuccino.

Serves 4.

I was too slow to take photos.  Plus someone ate my slice, but I won't mention any names here....

What's your favorite brunch recipe?

Until next time...

Ricki Jill


Monday, August 17, 2015
How many of you received a notification from blogger about EU notification concerning the use of cookies on your blog?

Here's what my message said.  I clicked on a little megaphone icon on my Home page:

"European Union laws require you to give European Union visitors information about cookies used on your blog. In many cases, these laws also require you to obtain consent. 

As a courtesy, we have added a notice on your blog to explain Google's use of certain Blogger and Google cookies, including use of Google Analytics and AdSense cookies. 

You are responsible for confirming this notice actually works for your blog, and that it displays. If you employ other cookies, for example by adding third party features, this notice may not work for you."

UGH!  DOUBLE UGH!  I checked my blog (I changed my .com to .fr for France) and there's this stupid ugly bar on the top of my blog, but there's no notification in it.  And I don't want to mess up the pretty blog template trying to figure it out.

Do any of you have this same issue?  Gah, cookies are, like, EVERYWHERE!  What happened to implied consent?  WTH????

Have any of you fixed this issue on your blog yet?  I'm not happy.  Not a happy blogger.  I'll have to take out my Blogger voodoo doll again.

Blogger said they did this as a "courtesy" but we are not European.  We're American.  And I NEVER want to become European.  My ancestor left Switzerland in the early 18th century to come to America.  He fought for INDEPENDENCE from another European country.  But I digress...Crap like this makes me even more isolationist.

To my few European readers, truly I love you.  But not your stupid overreaching government!

Until next time…

Ricki Jill
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