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wedding beauty in newport, ri

May 24, 2016

closeup of Newport wedding arch pleasure in simple things blog

It has been a very busy time for me.  Right after a short trip to the West Coast, I attended a wedding on the East Coast in Newport, RI.  On both coasts, my stay was directly on the shore so I was surrounded by all the coastal details I adore!

Castle Hill in RI pleasure in simple things blog

Castle Hill wedding pleasure in simple things blog

At the wedding, I was able to see a guy very special to me wed the gal of his dreams.  This gal also happens to have amazing taste and their wedding certainly reflected it!

a Newport RI wedding pleasure in simple things blog

pink flowers pleasure in simple things blog

wedding arch at Castle Hill pleasure in simple things blog

Today I am sharing with you a little bit of the beauty from the evening.

Newport wedding flowers pleasure in simple things blog

menu card at Castle Hill RI pleasure in simple things blog

white flowers at Castle Hill pleasure in simple things blog

At the couple’s request, photos were not taken at the ceremony or reception, but I did sneak a few photos of the amazing ocean view venue at Castle Hill Inn and a couple of the gorgeous details incorporated into the décor.

wedding table number Newport RI pleasure in simple things blog

wedding tablesetting at Castle Hill pleasure in simple things blog

I hope you enjoy the photos!  You can see a little more Newport on the blog on Friday!

Newport RI wedding flowers pleasure in simple things blog

tears of wedding joy pleasure in simple things blog

Thank you so much for stopping.  Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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ice cream & liquid nitrogen!

May 20, 2016

cookie butter speculoos pleasure in simple things blog

A new ice cream shop called Milkcraft opened last Monday in Fairfield’s Brick Walk in the center of Fairfield, Connecticut.  An ice cream shop may not sound all that exciting, but there was quite a buzz going on about this place. menu at Milkcraft pleasure in simple things blogI really wanted to see first-hand what made the place unique, so I made a trip over and I am sharing with you on today’s Friday field trip.  I knew there would be a long line, so I planned my trip on a rainy evening figuring an ice cream shop would not be as crowded on a rainy night…poor assumption on my part!  Indeed, the line was long!  But, since I went with a friend and we were busy talking – mostly about the amazing popularity of Milkcraft  – the line seemed to go pretty quickly! Most of the line was occupied by teens and it was apparent why – social media!  The owner of the shop did a great job of using social media to get the hype going about the place.

Milkcraft visit pleasure in simple things blog

The unique part of the store was the use of liquid nitrogen to freeze each customer’s made-to-order ice cream batch in a mixer.  This process creates a super creamy texture to the product by eliminating any formation of ice crystals.  It is also really fun to watch!

strawberry balsamic ice cream pleasure in simple things blog

Milkcraft boasts the use of locally sourced ingredients and fresh milk base from local farms. The menu, which is said to be updated seasonally, features sustainable and organic ingredients and delectable flavors such as roasted banana PBJ, Vietnamese coffee, cookie butter Speculoos and strawberry balsamic.  I have to admit though, I did have trouble figuring out what organic ingredient created the brilliant green and blue colors on some of the ice cream I saw served!

bubblecones at Milkcraft pleasure in simple things blog

The ice cream is served in two ways.  The most popular seemed to be the Bubblecone.  This is a Lego-like patterned bubble-waffle cone.  The Milkcraft website lists addresses in California and in Shanghai, China, so I have to think the origination of the concept must come from one of these two locales. And, the Bubblecones are definitely inspired by similar ones found in Hong Kong.

store exterior at milkcraft pleasure in simple things blog

The second way the ice cream is served is called Creameebun.  This is a glazed donut used as a bun and the ice cream is tucked inside.

I chose the Bubblecone option and split a strawberry balsamic with my friend – she got the short end of the split!  I also tried the cookie butter Speculoos (the bright green one).  Both were really good with a wonderful texture.  They were very creamy and dense.

cookie butter speculoos ice cream pleasure in simple things blog

A fun trip!  If you decide to visit, I would chose a time during the day when the teen set is still in school!

mixins pleasure in simple things ice cream visit

It is interesting to note that the owner of Milkcraft is also the past owner of one of Fairfield’s former Brick Walk restaurants – Spazzi – one of my favorite places to eat back in the 1990’s!

chillin at milkcraft pleasure in simple things blog

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a wonderful weekend!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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fancy watermelon salad

May 17, 2016

fancy watermelon salad by pleasure in simple things blog

I love watermelon.  If you read my blog, you also know I love watermelon salad.  I make it by cutting chunks of watermelon and cheese (usually Feta), drizzling it with some extra virgin olive oil and adding cracked black pepper and basil.  Yum!

Inspired by a local restaurant, today I am showing you how I give my watermelon salad an upgrade by turning it into a fancier  ‘watermelon sandwich.’

watermelon salad made by pleasure in simple things blog

I do this by cutting 2 ½” rounds from watermelon slices using a cookie cutter.  I use the same cutter to cut a circle of mozzarella.  I drizzle the ‘sandwich’ I have created with extra virgin olive oil and add some cracked black pepper.  As garnish, I sprinkle crumbled Feta cheese on top and add chopped basil and walnuts.  The finished ‘sandwich’ is just soooo tasty!

cutting watermelon for salad pleasure in simple things blog

The same great watermelon salad I always enjoy, but a much ‘fancier’ version!  It is the perfect size and presentation to use as a first course for your next dinner party!

watermelon salad pleasure in simple things blog

With the great weather ahead – the perfect time to enjoy watermelon – I hope you will consider serving this winning dish to your guests!

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

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family heirloom redo

May 13, 2016

pulls and knobs for redo pleasure in simple things blog

I’m usually not one to post a painting project until I can share both the before and after photos.

I am breaking that practice today by showing you a couple ‘in process’ photos of a current project for today’s Friday field trip.before and after buffet pleasure in simple things blogFor a friend, I am painting the only piece of furniture she kept from her childhood home after her mom passed away.

The old buffet gave me some issues right from the start…take my advice, and don’t ever paint a piece that sustained constant smoke for 60+ years!  Anyway, I am getting down to the home stretch with this project .  Here is a little peek.  The photo below is the old and new hardware.  I special ordered new pulls.  Aren’t they nice?  And, I think the knobs I bought look great as well!

pulls and knobs pleasure in simple things blog

The base color of the piece is Annie Sloan Old Ochre. After I had already painted a first coat on the entire piece, I decided I needed to strip and sand down the top of the piece.  Here is a peek of it with the new finish.  It felt great to get rid of that old orangey yellow finish!

top refinshed pleasure in simple things blog

I will share all the ‘after’ photos soon – once I have the piece completely finished!

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope I have inspired you to look at an old piece of furniture in a new  way!

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

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coastal party favors

May 10, 2016

anchor bag favors pleasure in simple things blog

Friends, you know how much I embrace a good theme – particularly a coastal one!  SO, you can really appreciate today’s post!

I was recently challenged to create Mother’s Day favors for a party celebrating a group of moms on the California coast.  Exciting!  This is the type of project I love!  I am super excited to show you the results of this project!

First, I got a Connecticut artisan to create my vision of a coastal themed, zippered, canvas bag.  I wanted to have a really great bag and find something related to my theme to tuck inside to make it extra special.

completed coastal theme favor pleasure in simple things blog

I had imagined a metallic anchor on the front of the bags, and I got just that!  How perfect are these?!  And, the anchor printed lining couldn’t be any cuter!

ct artisan zippered pouch pleasure in simple things blog

What did I choose to tuck inside these custom creations?  I first decided on some candy beach stones and packaged them in round glass-topped tins.

beach stone candies pleasure in simple things blog

Next, I added an anchor shaped bookmark – a great item to have for beach reads!

anchor bookmark for favor pleasure in simple things blog

As a way to utilize the new bookmarks, large baskets of gently used paperbacks in various notable titles were part of the party décor for moms to grab on their way to the beach.  Fun!

completed coastal theme favor pleasure in simple things blog

I hope I have inspired you to create some themed favors of your own for your next celebration.

If you have a vision for your own design and want to contact the artisan I used, check out Ralph & Martha on Facebook!

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

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happy mother’s day

May 6, 2016

happy mothers day pleasure in simple things blog

It’s Mother’s Day weekend.  I was in a gift shop yesterday and I was amazed at those that buy something for their mom just to buy something.  That is so not in the spirit of Mother’s Day!  Mother’s Day is about recognizing a very special person. There is nothing wrong with buying a gift to give to that special person.  But, not knowing what your mom might like as a gift leads me to believe a better gift would be time spent with mom!

For Friday field trip today, I thought I would share three previous projects that might help you come up with a more personal gift for mom this Mother’s Day.

handkerchief diy pleasure in simple things blog

First, a cool sentimental gift.  Make a sachet using a family heirloom!  See the full post by clicking here.

Second, a fun recipe that can be served in a teacup.  A great way to spend time with Mom is to avoid the crowded restaurants, and serve up something homemade.  Click here for the recipe for this crème brulee.

teacup creme brulee mothers day pleasure in simple things blog

And, third…the old stand-by…flowers!  IF your mom is into flowers – after all, you should know!  But, skip the overpriced cliché roses and give a potted plant personalized to your mom’s taste.  It’s so much more fun to receive something that can be planted in the ground and enjoyed all season!

mothers day flowers pleasure in simple things blog

Have a wonderful Mother’s Day surrounded by those you love.  Thanks for stopping by.  Love you mom! :)

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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wine cork magnets diy

May 3, 2016

diy cork magnet pleasure in simple things blog

A quick and easy DIY today.  A great way to repurpose wine corks is to turn them into refrigerator magnets!

You have probably seen me do this before if you follow me on Facebook, but since there are so many special occasions coming up soon, I thought this easy project was worth mentioning again today.

starting a cork magnet pleasure in simple things blog

Do you sometimes save a cork from a special occasion bottle of wine?  Well, here is a practical use for it.  Instead of putting it in a jar, make a magnet!  You can even make a notation on the back of the cork with a fine point permanent marker to remember a particular occasion associated with the corresponding cork.

glueing magnet onto a wine cork pleasure in simple things blog

And, if you like all the magnets on your refrigerator to coordinate – which I am sure you do (!) – you should be able to salvage plenty!  Each cork makes two magnets.  Just cut each cork in half and use a glue gun to attach a strong magnet on the back of each.

diy cork magnet pleasure in simple things blog

I particularly liked the cork I pictured here because it had an initial on it.  I gave it to someone who had a name starting with the letter B!  Enjoy!

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

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may book giveaway!

April 29, 2016

salad dressings book cover pleasure in simple things blog

I am not saying I don’t eat salads all year ‘round – because I do!  But, I definitely enjoy them all the more in the spring when a fresh plate of greens can be enjoyed while sitting outside on a patio or in the sun at the beach!  All food tastes better al fresco! :)

With that said, it should not surprise you that my May book giveaway is salad related!  It is called Salad Dressings by Jessica Strand and it is a wonderful resource on how to create dressings for all your spring salad creations!

May book giveaway salad dressings by Jessica Strand

Just leave a comment to be entered to win a copy of this great recipe book.

Thank you to everyone that left a comment for a chance to win last month’s selection Naked Cakes:  Simply Stunning Cakes by Hannah Miles.  (Click here for more on that.)  The winner is Heather!  Congratulations and happy baking!

If you are an Instagram user, please follow @pleasureinsimplethings and join our challenge for the month of May! In keeping with the salad theme, tag your salad creations with #pleasuregram so we can share!  (My daughter made me the wonderful salad pictured below!  It was yummy!)

May 2016 Instagram Challenge pleasure in simple things blog

Thank you for stopping by!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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may day surprises

April 26, 2016

flowers for May Day pleasure in simple things blog

I have done many different May Day surprises over the years. I love the element of surprise mixed with the beauty of fresh flowers – May Day combines these two elements perfectly!

Daffodils in a May Day Cone pleasure in simple things blog

This year, making my May Day arrangements, I decided I would only use the flowers I could harvest from my yard. This would have been an easy assignment in two more weeks or so, but when I went out into the yard today, I realized there are few flowers in bloom right now!

celebrating May Day with birch bark cone arrangements pleasure in simple things blog

I stuck to my challenge and used the only two flowers varieties I found in bloom. I arranged them in some plastic-lined, birch bark hanging cones I discovered for $2.75 each in the Terrain clearance room.

pleasure in simple things blog celebrates May Day

To add a little interest, I added some variegated Hosta leaves; picking the few that were just starting to poke through the ground! Even my Lillies of the Valley have yet to bloom!

I hope I have inspired you to create some May Day surprises of your own…what can you create from your yard?

May Day cones pleasure in simple things blogThank you for stopping by!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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‘beachify’ your bottles

April 22, 2016

diy shells for wine bottles pleasure in simple things blog

The weather has finally turned here in Connecticut and I am loving every warm, sunny second of it!

For Friday field trip today, I am taking you into my wine cellar. (Not really, I don’t have a wine cellar – although I do keep a bottle of wine in my cellar!) But, I am showing you a bottle of wine!

shells for wine bottles pleasure in simple things blog

Warm weather not only makes me smile, but encourages me to find summer enhancements that also make me smile. A super simple one is to add a shell garland to your summer wine! A glue gun and a couple of shells (or beach glass) glued to a piece of twine create some easy summer décor! Just glue a shell – preferably found at the beach – onto each end of a length of twine and wrap it around a bottle!

shells on twine for wine bottles pleasure in simple things blog

These make great warm weather napkin rings as well!

If you are giving a bottle of wine as a gift, you can even roll a cute summer dishtowel (maybe a lobster or crab motif) around the bottle and tie it on with the shell enhanced twine!

beachify wine bottles pleasure in simple things blog

An easy way to add a feeling of summer and a smile! :)

Happy sunshine! Thank you for stopping by!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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