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artisan details

June 23, 2017

green moss and gray ribbon

I know not everyone gets as caught up in details as I do.  Some of the details of an event that really get me jazzed are things like paper products, fabric, ribbon, favors, flowers…

silk and willow package

Beauty is absolutely in the details and I often obsess over many of them when I am planning an event.  The details are what really ‘bring it home’ when creating an aesthetic.

Silk and Willow ribbon packaging

Today on Friday field trip, I am sharing with you a supplier that is fabulous for some of these details.   Silk & Willow creates labor-intensive plant dyed silk ribbon presented on hand carved and stained Acacia wood spools.  Can you see how a detail loving person like me would go nuts over a product like this?!

ribbon from plant dyed

The heirloom quality plant dyed silk ribbon is not the only product available from Silk & Willow.  Other artisan quality items include handmade paper, handspun twine, and 100% natural fiber table linens.

table runner silk and willow

To illustrate my point, the photos on today’s post are from a recent Silk & Willow order.  Can you see how a detail like a ribbon or a table runner can be transformed by the choice of your supplier?  These handcrafted details cannot be duplicated and truly make a special occasion special.

moss and ribbon

I hope you have enjoyed the photos on today’s Friday field trip.  To see more about Silk & Willow, located in Hudson Valley, New York, visit their gorgeous website.

spool silk and willow ribbon

Thanks for stopping by!

gray table runner silk and willow

Have a really fabulous weekend and remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

P.S.  I wasn’t asked to endorse Silk & Willow and I have not received any consideration in exchange for this post.

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living in the moment

June 20, 2017

clouds in sky

As I reflect in the loss of a loved one, I challenge myself to live more in the moment going forward.  My post today is simply a list of reminders I put together for myself…

live my life

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you are inspired in some way to live by your own reminders.

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie xo


the fountain at the breakers, palm beach

June 16, 2017

Front view Breakers Fountain

This month I have been on something of a plant/garden kick…it always happens this time of year.  I love go to nurseries and I love admiring plants and great plantings and containers.  Of course, part of the whole garden experience is to add some interesting features.  I have been thinking about and admiring water features of late and it got me thinking of the great fountain I saw on my recent Palm Beach trip.

Alligator detail Breakers Fountain

The great fountain I am talking about sits in front of the iconic Breakers Hotel.

Breakers Fountain

Of course it is not a water feature I could ever have in my garden, but I thought I would share it’s beauty with you on today’s Friday field trip.

boy fountain detail The Breakers

boy with alligator fountain detail

When I stayed at the hotel, I saw more photos staged in front of this fountain than in front of the magnificent coastline – certainly that was the case with new brides and grooms at the hotel!

Fountain detail and palms

No matter what it’s form, you certainly can not beat the sound of water to create a sense of calm!

close up Breakers fountain

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Flag front Breakers

Have a fabulous weekend and remember to take pleasure in simple things – like the sound of water in a fountain!  xo Jackie

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ferns in urns diy

June 13, 2017

boston fern

I have a really easy DIY I’d like to share today.

When I found that florists charged hundreds of dollars for a simple urn with ferns (plus delivery!), I decided there had to be a less expensive way to have create the same result.

Well, I turned hundreds of dollars into less than $40!

fern diy

First, I went to my go-to home store, HomeGoods, to find an appropriate urn.  They had plenty of low priced urns in stoneware, ceramic, or acrylic choices.  I opted for the acrylic since I wanted to create something as inexpensive as possible that would be easy to transport to a special event.

All the acrylic choices were in dark colors, so I would have to give my urns a coat of spray paint!  I took the two urns I purchased into the yard and sprayed them to coat – a very quick process.

urn diy

I had purchased two large hanging Boston Fern plants from Lowe’s when they were on sale for $9.99.  My plan was to plant them in the urns until one of my friends suggested it would be easier to transport them if they weren’t planted!  Of course!  So, I stuffed the bottoms of the two urns with some Styrofoam left from some packaging and now I plan to just drop the plants on top of the Styrofoam when I am ready for my event!  The planters weigh next to nothing – even filled with the material – and the plants are very light as well.

Ferns in urns

What a savings…and, so easy!  And the urns really look like stoneware.  When I get to the event, I will simply add the plants to the urns and remove the plastic hangers!  (I am leaving them on for now because it is easier to move the plants with the hangers as handles.)

ferns in urns diy

I hope you I have inspired you in some way for planning the décor for your next special event!

Thanks for stopping by!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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shakespeare’s garden in brookfield, ct

June 9, 2017

shakespeare 10

My friends have been holding out on me!  They have just recently shared what is currently one of my favorite nurseries!

shakespeare gardens bethel ct 9

Shakespeare’s Garden in Brookfield, Connecticut now joins a list that includes places like White’s Flower Farm and Terrain.

shakespeare gardens bethel, ct 7

What makes a great nursery?  For me, three important criteria!  First, and foremost, creativity!  The plants need to be presented in a beautiful way…with creative, imaginative, and even innovative added to the mix!

shakespeare gardens bethel,ct 4

Of course, plants can easily be purchased at a local grocery or warehouse store.  So, for a nursery to become a favorite means the plants aren’t just offered for sale, but are displayed in a creative way.

shakespeare gardens bethel ct 11

The second way to become a favorite is to have plenty of unique containers for plantings.  Vintage pieces or repurposed items used as planters are an example.  I’m looking for containers that help create an organic look or enhance the beauty of the planting it contains.

shakespeare gardens bethel ct1

The third criteria is for the nursery to employ a knowledgeable staff.  I want to be able to ask a question about caring for a particular plant or about the habit of a perennial I am purchasing and be confident I am getting an educated response.

shakespeare gardens bethel, ct 6

Those are my top three.  The bonus number four for me is a great gift shop!  Finding some unique and aesthetically beautiful items for sale is always a plus!

shakespeare gardens bethel, ct 8

Because Shakespeare’s Garden checked all the boxes for me – including the bonus item (!) – I am including some photos I took on my visit for today’s Friday field trip.

Shakespeare gardens bethel, ct 16

I hope they have inspired you in some way!  Shakespeare’s Garden is worth a visit if you are in commuting distance.

shakespeare gardens bethel ct 15

Have a wonderful weekend!  Remember take pleasure in simple things – like visiting a favorite nursery!  xo Jackie

P.S. If you go, remember to say hello to Romeo – the resident cat.

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naples botanical garden origami

June 6, 2017

Naples pleasure in simple things blog 6

On my first visit to the Naples Botanical Garden in Naples, Florida, I was intrigued by the tag line ‘Gardens with Latitude.’

Naples pleasure in simple things blog 4

I discovered the gardens showcase subtropical plants that grow around the world between the 26th latitude north, where Naples is located, and 26th latitude south.

Naples pleasure in simple things blog 9

One hundred and seventy acres of themed gardens that represent the culture and flora of the tropics – country climates from the 26th latitude – what an interesting concept!

Naples pleasure in simple things blog 11

It did not take me long to figure out that plants growing in the 26th latitude are very different from the plants in my native Connecticut, or in my favorite public garden – Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania!

Naples pleasure in simple things blog 8

But, the difference in plants was not what intrigued me most during my visit.  That honor went to the temporary exhibit, Origami in the Garden.

Naples pleasure in simple things blog 12

Monumental sculptures created by artist Kevin Box told the story of origami, the Japanese art of paper folding.

Naples pleasure in simple things blog 13

The exhibition included large-scale installations, gallery works, Box’s own compositions as well as collaborative works with his wife Jennifer and world-renowned origami artists Dr. Robert J. Land, Te Jui Fu, and Michael G. LaFosse.

Naples pleasure in simple things blog 3

Examples of this amazing display are represented in the photos I am sharing with you today.  I was thrilled that the installation happened to be in the garden on the day of my visit!

Origami in the Garden pleasure in simple things blog

The exhibit inspired me to do a little more research on origami.  I hope it inspired you in some way!

Naples pleasure in simple things blog 1

Thank you for stopping by and sharing the Origami in the Garden display with me!

Naples pleasure in simple things blog 2

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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dominique ansel bakery

June 2, 2017

May's Ansel Cronut Flavor

A trip to a bakery seems an appropriate Friday field trip today on National Donut Day!

We are not visiting just any bakery, but the bakery of James Beard award-winning pastry chef, Dominique Ansel.

Dominique Ansel blossoming hot chocolate

Blossoming Hot Chocolate at Dominique Ansel Bakery.

Chef Dominique took New York City by storm when he launched his, now signature pastry, the Cronut!  New Yorkers waited (and still do) in long lines for the opportunity to taste one!

The tasty croissant-doughnut Chef Dominique created was named one of the ‘Best Inventions of 2013’ by Time magazine in the year it was introduced.

raspberry Earl Grey Cronut at Ansel

May’s special Cronut flavor at Dominique Ansel Bakery – Raspberry Earl Grey with Earl Grey Sugar.

Chef Dominique’s unique, delectable treats have earned him international recognition with bakeries in Tokyo and London, as well as New York City.  Consistently creating innovative desserts, while maintaining an incredible level of deliciousness, is the Ansel standard.

raspberry coconut pavlova ansel

On my most recent visit to the New York bakery, the new, flavorful kiwi sorbet bar instantly became my favorite Ansel creation of the moment.  This refreshing treat is made up of a kiwi flavored sorbet paired with Tahitian vanilla ice-cream.

Dominique Ansel kiwi sorbet bar

A new, refreshing kiwi sorbet creation by Dominique Ansel.

With some added poppy seeds and a ‘fuzzy’ chocolate exterior, the confection closely resembles an actual kiwi fruit.  Magnificent in both aesthetics and taste!

Ansel Bakery kiwi sorbet bar

I hope you enjoyed today’s visit to the Dominique Ansel Bakery for Friday field trip.

Dominique Ansel Bakery in NYC

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a fabulous weekend!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things – like tasting a fabulous donut on National Donut Day!  xo Jackie


june book giveaway!

May 30, 2017

wendy walker emma in the night

Wow!  This week June begins!  That means for today’s post I will announce the giveaway for June.

What I love about June and the beautiful weather days it brings with it, is the ability to spend more time outdoors.  Eating a meal, reading or book, or just plain sitting, is so much more enjoyable when enjoyed outdoors on a beautiful day!

So, for the June giveaway I am giving away a great read that would be perfect to read outdoors.  It is the new Wendy Walker book Emma In The Night.  Wendy’s first thriller, All Is Not Forgotten, has become an international bestseller with movie rights sold to Reese Witherspoon and Warner Brothers.  Another smart, psychological thriller, Emma in The Night delves into the mind of a true pathological narcissist through the eyes other daughter, who has just returned after a three-year disappearance.  The older sister, Emma, is still missing and the search to find her uncovers a dark family history that only forensic psychologist, Dr. Abby Winter, is able to see.  Of course – there is a huge twist at the end!

Wendy Walker collage

Be one of the first to read this new novel by an author from my home state of Connecticut.  This book is an advance readers edition – the book will not be released until August.  Just leave a comment and you will be entered to win.  I will pick a name randomly at the end of the month from the comments received and send the book right out to the winner!  This is a great read to share with your book group!

Congratulations to Marsha, the winner of the May giveaway – a Palm Beach inspired prize basket.  Marsha – even though you asked me not to share your comments, I did include your name in the random drawing and it came out the winner!  Enjoy!

Instagram users, read on!  In the spirit of spending time outdoors, let’s share flowers for this month’s Instagram challenge.  It can be a photo of flowers from your garden, flowers from an event you are attending, or something great you found at a nursery…all flowers are fair game!  Just use hashtag #pleasuregram to share your flower photo with others!

june instagram challenge

Thank you so much for stopping by!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things…like admiring some flowers on a beautiful day!  xo Jackie

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living the cabana life

May 26, 2017

secluded cabana The Breakers

Today, for Friday field trip, let’s imagine what it is like to have a private cabana on Palm Beach!

A great idea on a gray and rainy day!  If you were to stay at The Breakers Palm Beach and lounge in a private cabana, it would look like this:

couch in cabana

Cold drinks, and sunscreen would be provided….but, most importantly, so would this view!

lounge chair view

cabana view

And, these ‘beachy’ details!

cabana kitchen

beach club at breakers

nautical wall fixture

beach painting

I hope you have been enjoying the Palm Beach inspiration this month.  I can’t believe how fast the month is coming to a close!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Thanks for stopping by!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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pink & gold nautical bridal shower

May 23, 2017

 Flowers pink and gold shower

Pink and gold may not seem the typical color choice for a nautical themed party, but who said anything about typical?  And, I certainly have no problem arranging a nautical party in any color scheme! :)

Since no décor can beat a coastal view, this bridal shower needed to take place at a yacht club!

a gold and pink invite
The gals in the bridal party, serving as hostesses for the event, dressed in the theme colors and all looked beautiful!  Of course, it helps when all the gals are gorgeous!  ;)

a coordinating bridal party

Soft pink and gold appeared in all the details of the day.

a nautical table signs for pink and gold

The tables were set with gold chargers and cream linens.  Table names were displayed in a brushed gold finish pedestal frame and displayed the names of bodies of water that held significance for the bride-to-be.  Examples include the name of a lake from a campground she frequented as a child and the name of a river from college crew.  Working with a florist, subtle and romantic blush and white free-form arrangements were created in gold compotes. (A smaller version for the powder room!)

a pink and gold shower flowers 2
a compass shower favor nautical pink and goldA small (personalized) brushed gold compass and gold dipped feather adorned each place setting.

Individually wrapped sea glass candy on the tables also added to the nautical vibe. (Oddly enough, I make sea glass candy every Christmas, but rarely at any other time of year!)  The bride’s favorite flavors were represented in the white (pear), pink (cotton candy), and brown (root beer) pieces of candy wrapped with raffia and adorned with a mini sand dollar.


a pink and gold shower favor

Standard cocktail napkins and water glasses were replaced with some on-theme choices and festive gold straws were added to the water station.

a pink and gold nautical bridal shower

Wedding photos of the bride-to-be’s mother, future mother-in-law, grandmother, and grandmother-to-be were displayed in the entry way in glass and gold frames to add a personal touch.

a pink and gold flowers 6

Themed prize baskets were given to winners of the games organized by the maid-of-honor, as well as the guest with the closest birthday, the guest that drove the farthest to attend the shower, etc.

The golden bracelets for the ‘bracelet bonanza’ game had everyone wearing a shiny gold bangle (right on theme) and provided some added interaction between guests.  The ‘he said, she said’ game was fun and added a glimpse into the personalities of the soon-to-be wed couple.

a bracelet game bridal shower

For the refreshments – a selection of assorted breads, coffee and mimosas were available when the guests arrived.  A fruit course, served in martini glasses, was followed by a plated brunch and later with cake and sorbet.

a pink and gold shower details
Adding to the theme of the day, the cake (vanilla with salted caramel filling) was created with an outside of soft pink ‘waves’ and garnished with fondant starfish dipped in gold.  The sorbet was provided by a friend of the bride’s mom, created specifically for the shower in coconut lemongrass from a local gourmet food store and served in take-home stemless wine glasses.  (The bridal party gals were each gifted a set of four.)

pink and gold wedding shower cake 2

Now, who said pink and gold wasn’t nautical?

a pink and gold flowers 24
I hope you are inspired to host a pink and gold coastal party of your own!

Thanks for stopping by!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sources are available upon request – I’m happy to share!


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