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september book giveaway!

August 30, 2016

September 2016 Book Give away pleasure in simple things blog

September 2016 Year of Cozy Giveaway pleasure in simple things blogWith September here in a couple of days, I am announcing the next giveaway book.  It is The Year of Cozy by Adrianna Adarme.  This book is fabulous!  If I were to write a book, I would want it to look like this!  It includes 125 recipes, crafts, and other ‘homemade adventures.’  Adrianna has created a book that is truly a joy to experience.  The recipes, creative inspirations, and DIYs are organized by season – starting with Autumn/October.  Anyone that reads this book is sure to enjoy a wonderful takeaway – whether it be a new perspective, or a new recipe.

September 2016 Book Giveaway pleasure in simple things blog

I feel lucky that Adrianna chose to share her ‘good life’ moments with me in the pages of this creatively inspirational book…I am sure you will feel just as lucky when you read it!  Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a copy for yourself.  (The photos here weretaken of my own copy of The Year of Cozy.)

Giveaway September 2016 Book pleasure in simple things blog

The winner of the August giveaway,  My New Roots by Sarah Britton is Sheryle.  Enjoy creating some of the healthful plant-based selections in this wonderful cookbook, Sheryle!  Click here to read more about this title.

Instagram users, please read on!  All during the month of September, in keeping with the giveaway book, let’s share things that make our lives cozy!  Use the hashtag #pleasuregram to share!  Have fun with it!

Instagram Challenge September 2016 Book Giveaway pleasure in simple things blog

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

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guilt-free birthday treats

August 26, 2016

Walnut fig bars pleasure in simple things blog

A birthday doesn’t have to be defined by a cake dripping in sugary icing, does it?

Because I gave up processed sugar at the start of 2016, I decided this year I would make my own birthday treats so I wouldn’t feel obligated to indulge in a sugary dessert that might not even be my favorite taste treat.

My two favorite tastes this time of year?  Watermelon and fig…not necessarily combined, of course.

making walnut fig bars pleasure in simple things blog

I looked through this month’s giveaway book, My New Roots by Sarah Britton, to get some recipe ideas!  I decided to make the Walnut Fig Bars.  My love for figs was the motivation for this choice, but it seemed a good recipe to try out for the upcoming fall season as well.  (For a chance to win your own copy of My New Roots, click here and leave a comment.)

birthday walnut fig bars pleasure in simple things blog

I also leafed through my go-to recipe book, Clean Slate from the editors of Martha Stewart Living for dessert ideas.  This book was given to me as a Christmas gift last year and it jump-started a whole new way of eating – an unprocessed foods way of eating!   I love frozen treats and this book included a few recipes for really simple frozen treat ideas.  I chose a watermelon-lime granita to add to my birthday dessert selection!

With just three ingredients – watermelon, honey, and lime juice – what could be easier, or tastier, for an icy birthday treat!  Watermelon and frozen – a great summer birthday combination!

making watermelon lime granita pleasure in simple things blog

To make:  Pulse 7 cups chopped seedless watermelon, ¼ cup honey and 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice in a food processor until smooth.  Pour into an 8-inch square glass baking dish, cover tightly, and freeze overnight.  To serve, scrape with a fork into bowls.

birthday watermelon lime granita pleasure in simple things blog

My birthday present to myself – unprocessed, guilt-free treats!

Thanks for sharing my birthday treats with me today on Friday field trip!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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an evening full of love… & white flowers

August 23, 2016

seating pleasure in simple things blog

Shortly after I contemplated appreciating summer gardens, I had the opportunity to party amidst the breathtaking grounds of the Burr Homestead in Fairfield County, Connecticut.

 walk down the aisle pleasure in simple things blog

The beauty of the surroundings was overwhelmingly surpassed by the incredible feeling of love filling this wedding celebration on a hot, summer evening.

hanging babys breath globe pleasure in simple things blogflower urn pleasure in simple things blog

My good friend’s daughter was married on this evening, and the vision the bride and her mom had for the venue aesthetics was implemented to perfection by a talented florist.

floating flowers pleasure in simple things blog

 roses and hydrangeas pleasure in simple things blog

And, to my delight, the flowers were done in my favorite flower color – white!

seating amongst the garden pleasure in simple things blog

aisle view pleasure in simple things blog

I hope these few photos help you share with me the beauty in the details created for this special celebration.

wedding table lanterns pleasure in simple things blog

gift from bride's dad pleasure in simple things blog

So special – the tomatoes in the salad course were grown in the garden of the bride’s dad!! :)

Love you Phyllis & Mrs. G.! xo

mason jar arrangement pleasure in simple things blog

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

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stop and smell the roses

August 19, 2016

yellow rose pleasure in simple things blog

Friday field trip today is a simple reminder to enjoy the flowers around you!  I am sharing a few photos of the beauty surrounding me.

 flowers pleasure in simple things blog

As the summer gardens are winding down,

pink rose pleasure in simple things blog
I am appreciating all the beauty they have to offer!

potting shed pleasure in simple things blog

Before you know it, I will be harvesting the last of my summer flowers and displaying them in pumpkins!

peony pleasure in simple things blog

I hope I have inspired you to take some time to notice summer growing!

Hydrangea pleasure in simple things blog

Thanks for stopping by!

fern on table pleasure in simple things blog

Have a wonderful weekend!

And, remember to take pleasure in simple things – like smelling a fresh flower! :)   xo Jackie

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take a breath

August 16, 2016

coming into shore pleasure in simple things blog

Did you know yesterday was National Relaxation Day?

clouds over the water pleasure in simple things blog

It seems odd to me to assign a relaxation day on a day when so many people are starting a busy work week.  Am I the only one that needs to hit the ground running on a Monday morning?  I think this day should be renamed ‘National Take 5 Minutes of Relaxation Time’  for the average person to realistically participate!  If you have a whole day free to relax, you probably don’t need to!

view from a boat pleasure in simple things blog

With that being said, I am sharing my most recent relaxation time – not an entire day, mind you – but, a couple of hours on the water with some friends.

pleasure in simple things relaxing on the waterI hope these photos will inspire you to take your ‘5 minutes’ of relaxation time.  Take a deep breath and truly relax – even if only for the few minutes it takes you to look through these photos.

boats on the water pleasure in simple things blog

Thanks for stopping by.

Queen of the world...pleasure in simple things blog

(No, that’s not me, but my friend is definitely chillaxing…queen of the world!)

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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watermelon gazpacho

August 12, 2016

making watermelon gazpacho pleasure in simple things blog

Watermelon is a favorite of mine.  I have shared some of my standard watermelon recipe creations with you in the past, as well as crafts with a watermelon design.  Today, I would like to share someone else’s watermelon recipe!

close up of watermelon gazpacho pleasure in simple things blog

I came across Tyler Florence’s recipe for watermelon gazpacho and had to try it!  Love gazpacho.  Love watermelon.  What’s not to love?  I just had to give it a try!  A cold soup on a hot, humid day – what could be better?!  So, I gave it a try and I was not disappointed!

Tyler Florence watermelon gazpacho on pleasure in simple things blog

Here is the easy, make-in-the-blender recipe:

Tyler Florence’s Watermelon Gazpacho

  • 1 large tomato
  • ½ serrano chile
  • 2 cups cubed seedless watermelon
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons minced red onion
  • ½ English cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons minced fresh dill, plus more for garnish
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese

Puree the tomato, chile and 1 cup watermelon in a blender.  Add the vinegar and olive oil and pulse.  Add the red onion, cucumber and dill, season with salt and pepper and puree until smooth.  Chill at least 30 minutes.  Loosen with a few tablespoons of water, if needed.

Pour the gazpacho into chilled cups or bowls; top with dill, the feta and the remaining watermelon.

Serves 4

watermelon gazpacho in the blender pleasure in simple things blog

My gazpacho did not come out really red like the color of watermelon – as you can see.  I am thinking if the tomato I used was a darker red; it would have helped make a deeper shade of red for the soup.  But, no worries – it tasted wonderful!  What a great first course for company!

enjoying Tyler Florence's watermelon gazpacho recipe pleasure in simple things blog

I hope I have inspired you to try this gazpacho recipe or to experiment with a cold soup of your own!  Have a wonderful weekend!  Thanks so much for stopping by!

finishing up watermelon gazpacho Tyler Florence recipe

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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home infused water

August 9, 2016

orange rosemary infused water pleasure in simple things blog

Infused water tastes especially wonderful on hot, humid days.

Some fruit from a farmer’s market and a few sprigs of herbs from the garden transform the taste of ordinary water into a refreshing summer beverage.

home infused water pleasure in simple things blog

Although I have seen some cool water bottles sold with a built-in infusion basket – also good for cold-brew tea – no special equipment is necessary to make some great tasting infusions!

A quart size container of water stored in the fridge is perfect to create an infusion with a piece of fruit and a couple sprigs of herbs.

rosemary orange infused water pleasure in simple things blog

With my garden rosemary, I like to add slices of a medium size orange for a refreshing infusion.  Basil from the garden goes wonderfully with strawberries.  Mint combines well with any type of berry, melon, or cucumber.

ingredients for infused water pleasure in simple things blog

I also like the combination of peach and ginger.  For a quart container, I buy a 1 inch piece of ginger at the grocery store and cut into small slices.  It provides such a wonderful taste combination with a medium sized, sliced, fresh peach from a local farmer’s market!

Walk your garden or a local farmer’s market and be inspired to create a refreshing beverage for a hot, summer day!

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

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creations in the sand

August 5, 2016

couch in sandcastle contest pleaasure in simple things blog

I love checking out sandcastle contests at this time of year!  One of the great things about living on the coast in Connecticut is that it is easy to find one!

making sandcastles pleasure in simple things blog

Today for Friday field trip, I am sharing a few of my favorite sand creations from a recent contest.  It was not easy to edit my photos to post just a few sand sculptures, but it was easy to pick my favorite!

sea creatures in sandcastle contest pleasure in simple things blog

There were plenty of wonderful creations, but the couch design was my personal fave!  Isn’t it great?

closeup couch in sandcastle contest pleasure in simple things blog

The best part of this Christmas in July themed creation was probably the music!  The creators played the Hawaiian Christmas Song (Mele Kulilkimaka) during the judging!  I had the Christmas classic by Bing Crosby stuck in my head for at least a week after the contest!

 pleasure in simple things blog

Namaste!

namaste in sandcastle contest pleasure in simple things blog

Some of the animals looked really great…

animal in sandcastle contest pleasure in simple things blog

lion sandcastle pleasure in simple things blog

And, insects as well!

dragonfly sandcastle pleasure in simple things blog

Maybe I have inspired you to play in the sand a little bit this weekend?  I hope so!  Have a great one!

chillaxing at sandcastle contest pleasure in simple things blog

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

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inital ball jar embellishment

August 2, 2016

Inital Ball Jar DIY embellishment pleasure in simple things blog

I find joy in the details and today’s simple DIY is a perfect example!

I found this raised initial Ball jar at Terrain.  I really liked the idea of an initial on the Ball jar, but I wasn’t crazy about the shiny silver lid provided with the jar.  I also thought the initial needed a little embellishment.

using gold leaf for a diy pleasure in simple things blogThese items were easy enough to remedy with some gold spray paint and a little bit of gold leaf.

A gold leafing kit is an essential part of any craft supply stash since there are tons of little uses for it. These kits are easy to find at craft stores.

DIY Inital Ball Jar pleasure in simple things blog

I first spray painted the lid of the jar with a gold metallic spray paint…easy enough!   Next, I applied the gold leaf.  I brushed some liquid adhesive provided with the kit onto the area where I wanted the gold leaf.  I purposely did a messy painting job because I didn’t want it to look too ‘perfect.’  (I thought I may even want to sand a little of the gold leaf off after I had it completed to make it look a little worn.)   I used a cotton swab for to apply the adhesive, rather than getting a brush dirty – and after the application, I just threw out the cotton swab!

 Ball Jar pleasure in simple things blog

After the adhesive got a little tacky, I carefully placed a little piece of the gold leaf over the initial and pushed it down with a clean, soft cloth.  Lastly, I added a sealant, provided with the kit, to keep the gold leaf in place and prevent discoloration.  (I applied this with a cotton swab as well.)

Be sure to follow the directions provided with your gold leaf kit for best results!

Raised Inital Ball Jar DIY pleasure in simple things blog

I love the result!  I got rid of the shiny silver lid and that little speck of gold leaf on the initial made this monogrammed jar perfect!

Thanks for stopping by!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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august book giveaway!

July 29, 2016

August book giveaway My New Roots pleasure in simple things blog

July has almost come to a close!  So, I am using today’s post to announce the giveaway book for the month of August.  This debut recipe book by Sarah Britton is a collection of 100 all-new plant-based recipes and it is titled My New Roots:  Inspired Plant-Based Recipes for Every Season.

Whether you are a newcomer to natural foods or already a devotee, this book makes it easy to eat healthfully when whole foods and plants are the center of every plate!

August 2016 book giveaway My New Roots

The recipes are organized by season – I love this – and accompanied by stunning photos.

August 2016 book giveaway pleasure in simple things blog

Leave a comment on this post to be entered into the drawing.  The winner will be chosen at random at the end of August – the perfect time to get fall recipes in order!

August book giveway pleasure in simple things blog

Congratulations to Heather S., the winner of the July giveaway, Posh Toast.  (Click here to read more on this book selection.)  Heather may not limit her toast to just breakfast anymore!  Thank you to everyone who entered by leaving a comment.

Instagram users, please read on!  In the spirit of our giveaway book, let’s share photos of healthful ingredients during the month of August using hashtag  #pleasuregram.

healthy foods Instagram Challenge pleasure in simple things blog

Thanks for stopping by!

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

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