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redecorating

April 21, 2017

removing wallpaper

I was reminded today of my word for the year- treasure.

wallpaper removed

I walked by my daughter’s old room and was flooded with emotion. Right now the room is in the process of being redecorated and I can’t help but think of the last time I decorated that room. I had emulated the vibe of the Polynesian hotel at Universal Studios in Florida that my daughter loved so well. Mahogany furniture, golds, elephants parading around the ceiling on the wallpaper border… all the little details I used to try and capture my daughter’s imagination by bringing back memories from a family trip to Florida.

Polynesian room decor

I usually never post ‘before’ photos until I have the ‘after’ photos that go along with them. But, for Friday field trip today, I am treasuring the ‘before’ of the room of a little girl…my favorite little girl.

monkey

Now that girl is moving out…what will become of the room? You will have to wait for the ‘after’ photos to find out!

Have a wonderful weekend! Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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jewelry display diy

April 18, 2017

display ideas for jewelry

Today I was styling some jewelry.  I was being resourceful and using anything I could find that was readily available – household items, found items from outdoors, etc.

It occurred to me what a great item a clipboard can be to showcase jewelry.  For such a ridiculously inexpensive, utilitarian object – it can really show a whole lot of style!

If you are putting together a display of your jewelry on your dresser or in a walk-in closet, consider using one or more clipboards.  One clipboard can be displayed on a stand on it’s own or several can be displayed this way in a group.  Or, several clipboards can be hung on a wall for a display of multiple pieces.

ways to display jewelry

I created this super easy display piece in about 3 minutes.  I grabbed some paint and sprayed the metal of the clipboard.  There was only one can of spray paint handy and it happened to be off-white…if I had my choice, I would have used something more reminiscent of rust, but I used what I had.  I rubbed a little metallic paint I found hanging around onto the cream paint – just so it wouldn’t look too perfect.  Then, I used a page from an old book as the background for the display of the jewelry piece  – first ripping the edges of the paper to give it a little character.

necklace displays

Super easy – right?  A series of statement necklaces on clipboards would make cool wall decor.  And, there are so many different ways to provide a background.  Think about fabrics, book pages, wrapping paper, old photos, etc.

I hope I have inspired you to use a clipboard as a display piece.  Have fun experimenting!

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

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happy spring friends!

April 14, 2017

Happy Easter from pleasure in simple things blog

Hello all!  Please have the very happiest of weekends!  It is a hectic one for me since I am working this weekend and also trying to get ready for a family meal on Sunday – I’m on desserts!  I am taking inspiration from Chef Adam at Sift Bakery :)

For Friday field trip today, please enjoy my favorite homage to Earth Day, coming up on April 22nd.

Click here to see Repurposed Brown Bags.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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congrats sift bakery!

April 11, 2017

mango pastry at Sift

Sunday night was the finale of Food Network’s Spring Baking Championship and today’s post is dedicated to finalist Chef Adam from Connecticut’s own Sift Bakery in Mystic!

baking championship on food network

Finalist Adam Young from Sift Bakery and his answer to the whoopie pie ‘creature’ challenge on Food Network’s Spring Baking Championship competition.

It was so exciting to cheer on a contestant from my home state – particularly from a bakery I so admire.  Creating everything about Sift – not just the baked products he sells, but the bakery space as well, Adam is a true artisan.

pastry case at Sift

A pastry case at Sift Bakery in Mystic, Connecticut.

Sift chocolate croissant

His unbelievable attention to detail is a turn-on for me!  This detail extends from the bakery products to the thoughtfully arranged display cases, beautiful packaging & display cards, and the shop’s impeccable cleanliness.

homemade granola at Sift

Trying to limit an order to one French pastry is a challenge – there are so many seductive choices!

Sift custom cake

A custom cake created at Sift Bakery in Mystic, Connecticut.

If sweets are not your thing, don’t despair!  Sift creates breads, quiches, and sandwiches as well.  In fact, you need not even eat a thing to enjoy Sift…you can enjoy a specialty latte that is sure to rival anything offered at your local coffee shop!

rosemary ginger latte at Sift

Rosemary ginger latte served at Sift Bakery in Mystic, Connecticut.

My favorite latte at Sift was the rosemary ginger…until, I tried the spring special!  Unbelievable!

rosewater latte at Sift Bakery

If you find yourself in or around Mystic, be sure to stop and visit Chef Adam Young’s labor of love called Sift Bakery.  It is worth the trip!

Sift in Mystic CT

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

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anthropologie westport

April 7, 2017

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Today, on Friday field trip, these photos from the reopened Anthropologie in Westport, Connecticut are sure to inspire!

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A homage to the former occupant of the building…the Westport YMCA.

The new store, located in the middle of town, is larger than the former location on the Post Road with plenty of room for some exciting surprises – like a section of wedding merchandise from sister store BHLDN (one of the 15 nationwide)!

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Enjoy!

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Thanks for stopping by!  Have a wonderful weekend!

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Remember to take pleasure in simple things – like window shopping at the new Anthropologie in Westport!  xo Jackie

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anthro’s reopening

April 4, 2017

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The much anticipated (for me anyway) grand opening of the relocated Anthropologie in Westport, Connecticut has happened!  I am excited to share some photos of the store on opening day – now located in the center of town in the old YMCA building.

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The view while making your purchases at the newly reopened Anthropologie store in Westport, Connecticut.

I planned on sharing some photos on Friday field trip this week to give you a sense of the gorgeous new space, but when I started going through my photos,  I realized I needed more than one post to give you some sense of the aethestics.

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So, today I will share a few photos as well as sharing a few more photos on Friday!  Believe me, it deserves two posts! :)

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The visual team did an amazing job at this store!  More display people should take note of their use of negative space…my biggest pet peeve in styling is lack of restraint. Anthro are masters at using negative space in displaying their aesthetic in an artistic way.

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If you live within commuting distance to Westport, be sure to check out this beautiful new location!

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Anthropologie Westport CT

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

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april book giveaway!

March 31, 2017

fire pit cooking give away

Spring has sprung!  And, even though here in Connecticut we still have plenty of snow on the ground, everyone is starting to think about spending more time outdoors.

This month’s giveaway book, Fire Pit Cooking by Vanessa Bante, embraces this outdoor time by providing plenty of family-fun recipes to make over an outdoor fire pit or campground fire.

Bante demonstrates that cooking over a fire is not just for s’mores!  With one or a few fun-to-use tools―pie irons, foil, or simply a dowel―you can make family-friendly dishes over your backyard fire pit. With 75 scrumptious recipes like Apple & Cheese Quesadillas, Spaghetti Pie Iron Sandwiches, Maple Chicken with Sweet Potatoes in foil, Pretzel Sticks with Beer Cheese Sauce, Blueberry and Chocolate Iron Sandwich, and Lemon Mousse in Phyllo Cups, every appetite can by satisfied!

giveaway book april 2017

Just leave a comment on this post to be entered to win Fire Pit Cooking!  Congrats go out to Donna, winner of last month’s giveaway Jar Salads by Alexander Hart.  Click here to read more about the selection.  Donna, enjoy this great recipe book!  Thank you to everyone who participated.

Instagram users, please read on for the April challenge!  In keeping with the theme of our giveaway book, let’s share all food cooked outdoors!  Did you create a cool meal on your fire pit?  A new variety of s’more?  Please share photos on Instagram this month using hashtag #pleasuregram.  (If you need some s’more ideas, click here.)

april 2017 instagram challenge

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

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50 shades of gray eggs

March 28, 2017

gray easter eggs pleasure in simple things diy

Easter eggs don’t have to be in bright rainbow colors!  This year, I have a gray theme going on.  I think I picked gray because I really want to redo a bathroom in gray and gold, but don’t have the funds needed to do a great job!  So, for now, my Easter eggs will have to satisfy my bathroom vision!

gray easter eggs pleasure in simple things 1

I started by prepping the eggs.  I remove the insides first.  This way, if I want to keep the eggs, they are good for as long as I want them!

basket of gray easter eggs pleasure in simple things blog

I use a pin to put a hole in each side – starting with the smaller side of the egg.  After I get one pin prick, I add a few more to make the hole a tad bigger.  It helps to hold the needle with a dish cloth to get a good grip on it.  Gripping the needle near the end and moving slowly, I pierce the egg using a controlled motion.

eggs for easter pleaasure in simple things blog

After both holes are made, I use an opened paper clip to pierce the insides of the egg.  Pushing the paper clip in, out, and around many times…the more the insides are broken up, the easier it flows out!

gray and gold easter eggs pleasure in simple things blog

On some of the eggs I added gold with gold metallic paint – sometimes using a toothbrush to splatter the paint onto the egg.

Then, I gently blow on the smaller of the 2 holes to completely remove the inside of the egg.  This is a good project during television watching!  (Not during This Is Us though – no distractions needed during that show!)

initial easter egg pleasure in simple things blog

Here I used gold leaf to create an initial on one of the dyed eggs.

For the coloring part, I make my own dye using food coloring.  I simply mix 1 tablespoon white vinegar, 1 cup hot water, and food coloring in a cup – one for each color – making sure the container can fit an egg.  I use paste food dye because the colors are more intense, but the drops that most people have in their kitchen work as well.  The liquid food coloring requires at least 20 drops to the mixture to make a good egg color.

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Now for the fun part…decorating!

starfish and easter eggs pleasure in simple things

I hope I have inspired you to create some dyed eggs of your own.  If you need some decorating ideas, click here to see a few of my egg decorating ideas from the past, or click here for picnic themed Easter eggs.

dyeing easter eggs pleasure in simple things blog

Thanks for stopping by and checking out some of this year’s egg creations.  Remember to take pleasure in simple things…like dyeing an Easter egg!  xo Jackie

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art to help hunger

March 24, 2017

sand dollar bowl

A work colleague was recently made aware of a really cool community service project and I – with a group of friends – got involved to help the cause!

a cherry blossom bowl pleasure in simple things blog

painting bowls hunger project

The charity we identified created an ‘empty bowls’ event.  This entailed a modest soup meal donated by a restaurant with the charity offering the meal for sale to the public.  Guests at the event also had the opportunity, while enjoying some soup, to purchase an ‘empty bowl.’  The proceeds from the bowls, in addition to the meal, were then used to feed the hungry.  A great idea, right?

painting bowl with pet

Are you wondering why someone would be motivated to buy an empty bowl?  Well, the bowls were all hand decorated!  “Who decorated the bowls,” you ask?  Why, myself and my group of friends – in addition to many other volunteers – all in all there were over 1,000 decorated bowls for sale at the event!painting bowls in process pleasure in simple things blogFor today’s Friday field trip, I am sharing some photos of the bowls decorated by my inspired group!

wishing you joy bowl

Some simple pottery bowls were painted, and later fired, in preparation for the ‘empty bowls’ event.  Every bowl we decorated (after it was fired) was sold at the event and the proceeds used to help feed the hungry.  I love the whole concept of this event!

painting bowls for hunger

I hope today’s post has inspired you to participate in some community service – or, better yet, to create your own ‘empty bowls’ event in your area!

unfired and fired bowls

The bowls on the left are the ‘before’ and the bowls on the right are ‘after’ the firing process…ready to be sold at the event!

Thanks for stopping by!

painting bowls with love pleasure in simple things blog

Enjoy your weekend and remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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diy easter bird nests

March 21, 2017

forsythia and nest pleasure in simple things blog

In the spirit of spring, today I am sharing an easy DIY for one of the many nests I make out of edible materials.  This one is simply shredded wheat and chocolate chips.

candy easter nest by pleasure in simple things blog

The shredded wheat is the original unsweetened variety that comes in the big ‘logs’…I think you must know what I am referring to.  For the chips, I have used butterscotch flavored chips – chosen because of the color.  You can use the chocolate ones if you prefer a dark brown color for your nests.  White chips are also an option and can be used as white or can be tinted with food coloring in any color you choose.

nests for Easter pleasure in simple things blog

To make:  For 4 small nests, you will need 2 shredded wheat ‘logs’ and about 6 ounces of butterscotch pieces.  First, separate the wheat logs as shown below and set aside.

candy nest collage

nests pleasure in simple things blogMelt the butterscotch pieces slowly over a double boiler just until melted.  Remove from heat and gently fold in the prepared shredded wheat until coated.  Form four nests on waxed paper and leave to harden.  Use jellybeans or small candy eggs to decorate.

These nests make great table decor and are perfect on an Easter table.

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I hope I have inspired you to create some of your own nests!

rabbits and nest pleasure in simple things blog

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

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