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club monaco arrives

September 27, 2013

club monaco

Are you an outlet shopper?  We have a couple of big outlet centers here in Connecticut.  I don’t visit them very often, but on my last outlet trip, I was on a mission…

merchandise at Club Monaco

On a mission to check out the new Club Monaco!  The first one in Connecticut!  So, for the benefit of all my Connecticut friends, today’s Friday field trip is to the Club Monaco store in Clinton.

dresses from Club Monaco

Well, since I was there…I really needed to try on a few things, didn’t I? Love the oversized dressing room!

Club Monaco is headquartered in New York City with over 69 stores in North America, in addition to several other countries.  (Originally a Canadian company, Club Monaco is now owned and operated by Polo Ralph Lauren.)  I have been to Club Monaco stores in New York, but my favorite location is the Philadelphia store…and I love shopping there with my college-aged daughter since the store offers a discount to college students!

Club Monaco studio store in CT

It was at the Philadelphia store that one of my favorite sales associates gave me the heads-up on the new Connecticut location.

The Club Monaco style represents “a distinctly urban-casual point of view, best defined as a sophisticated play of opposites: mixing vintage with new, hard with soft and eclectic with minimal.”

Club Monaco in CT

I’m so excited to have the store in Connecticut…and, to have the opportunity to buy some great things at a discount!

Club Monaco in CT

If you live nearby, check it out.  Thanks for joining me today for Friday field trip.

New Club Monaco in CT

Here in Connecticut, one weather reporter said “Saturday will be the best day of the year.”  Looking forward to it…Hope you are looking forward to some good weather or something fun this weekend!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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mini white pumpkins 3 ways

September 24, 2013

white pumpkin

I am not a big Halloween person.  Granted, I do like planting in pumpkins, making pumpkins, carving pumpkins, and eating pumpkins.  And… I certainly like candy!  But I’m really not into the whole black and orange decorating thing and I don’t find being scared out of my wits an enjoyable past time. 

It was not until the white pumpkin hit the scene that I took a dedicated interest in Halloween decorating.

I thought today I would show you some ways to use mini white pumpkins this season and maybe you too would get hooked on using them in your Autumn decor! 

Here are three easy ways to change up white pumpkins for autumn decorating.

white pumpkin

A really easy way to dress up a white pumpkin is with some metallic paint.  Just a little acrylic paint sponged onto a white pumpkin dresses it up for the fanciest of occasions.

white pumpkin and roses

Plasti Dip is another great material to use on white pumpkins.  It easily and instantly adheres to the pumpkin and can be tinted in any color.  I used some pink I had tinted from a previous project for these pumpkins.  Even the stems are fair game!  Love it!

Plasti Dip Pumpkins

For a Halloween party, black Plasti Dip dripped down a white pumpkin would look nice and creepy!

Plasti Dip pumpkin

Plasti Dip pumpkin

A really great thing about white pumpkins is that it is so easy to coordinate them with any color.  When I wanted some gray toned pumpkins to use with zinc items,  I just tinted some white pumpkins gray!  I rubbed the surface with a little black paste food coloring to get the perfect color to use with my table setting!  I sprayed the finished project with a matte finish clear coat.

gray pumpkin

What can you do with some mini pumpkins for your next get together?  Have fun with it!  Use hash tag #pleasuregram to share your mini white pumpkin creation on Instagram.

Thank you so much for stopping by!  Remember to find pleasure in simple things,  Jackie

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fall at terrain

September 20, 2013

Fall inspiration

If you read this blog, you know how much I love Terrain.  I also enjoy taking you on a visit to this beautiful garden store from time to time since there are only two stores (CT and PA) and not everyone is as lucky as I am…I frequent them both!

Fall at Terrain

Today, for Friday field trip, we are visiting the Westport, Connecticut store to see how they are preparing for fall…

collage of Fall at Terrain

I hope you will enjoy sharing a few photos…

plant from Terrain

I am sure we will make another trip sometime soon ;)

assorted pumpkins

Especially  since I decided on a woodland theme for my holiday decor this year…I will need some supplies. :)

Fall at Terrain

Terrain in Westport

This particular trip was special for me since I had a chance to talk to Joe…he is one of the creative visual team at the store – busy at work when I stopped by.

white pumpkins

Every trip to the store is an adventure…I can’t wait to see what Joe is creating!  Maybe I will stop by over the weekend to enjoy some s’mores by their fire and check out the latest inspiration!

Terrain in Westport

ribbon at Terrain

Terrain also happens to be the store that helps satisfy my white pumpkin obsession…


Thank you so much for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing at The Tablescaper.


appetizer for a television obsession

September 17, 2013

goat cheese, pear, and honey appetizer

If watching television is going to be a special occasion, preparing a special snack to accompany it is in order – so while football fans are enjoying beer and barbeque, my idea of the perfect television fare is a little different…

goat cheese appetizer

For quite some time my favorite show has probably been Top Chef.  I love shows on Food Network and HGTV.  I won’t watch scary movies or graphic violence…I still have nightmares from the shower scene in the movie Scarface.  So how did I come to love a show that involves so much graphic, drug related violence?  It happened during the snowstorm last winter when the record breaking snow made it impossible to drive anywhere for four days and I started watching some on demand television shows.

goat cheese, pear, and honey appetizer

And, in spite of the violence, I got hooked on Breaking Bad…the brilliant writing and the phenomenal acting had me enthralled…yes, I do sometimes close my eyes for some of the more graphic moments (like the twins!)…but, I have now watched every episode… and as the final 3 episodes air, I prepare for each one ceremoniously. 

goat cheese and pear appetizer recipe

My appetizer recipe…I garnished mine with walnuts. You can change up the pears with apples, caramelized onions, etc.

This was my special snack for last Sunday’s episode   It is easy to prepare and really tasty.  If you keep a loaf of bread in the freezer, a quick and delicious appetizer is always at the ready…for unexpected company or, in my case, a snack for a television obsession.

Hope your week is starting off great!  Thank you for stopping by.

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing at The Shabby Nest.

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isn’t gardening a spring sport?

September 13, 2013

fall garden

I think of gardening as a spring sport since I spend the most time on my gardens during the spring. 

This certainly isn’t the case for my friend Wendy.  And, it was strongly apparent when I stopped over to visit her on a recent evening. .. Her yard looked so beautiful that I have to share it with you for this week’s Friday field trip!

photos from a fall garden

It is not that her yard doesn’t always look beautiful…believe me, it does!  But, I was amazed at all the seasonal touches she had already added to her gardens for the fall. 

fall garden

fall garden

purple hydrangea

photo of primrose

She has one of those yards that is like a park…so many different areas to admire.  I couldn’t possibly show you everything in one post, but I will share some of my favorite spots that may just inspire you to put out some seasonal touches in your own garden.  (Check my facebook page this weekend for some additional photos of this wonderful space.)

a fall garden

fall garden

photo of sedum


I hope you enjoyed our garden visit for Friday field trip…thanks Wendy!   We will have to make another trip in the spring…there is so much to see!

late summer garden

Thank you for stopping by. 

late summer garden

vintage watering cans

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

Sharing with Craftberry Bush.

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better in threes

September 10, 2013

anchor triptych

Doesn’t putting any photo into a frame make it look better?  In the same way, I think putting a painting on canvas immediately ‘legitimizes’ it.  For this reason, I decided to create a quick ‘work of art’ on canvas for my daughter’s new apartment. 

While helping her move in, I noticed that there was an empty spot on the bathroom wall – a long, tall shape.  The bathroom was done in white and beige and had a hint of blue, so I thought a painting using beige and blue could tie everything together nicely.

What would fit the unusual space?  A triptych!  This is a painting divided into three sections.  I would choose three canvases that would fill the space appropriately…I decided an anchor would be my subject matter since the painting was going in a bathroom space and my daughter has a love for anchors. 

painting a triptych

I put three canvases together and drew a very rough sketch of an anchor with pencil.  I didn’t want to get too serious with it…just a very quick painting using the basic shapes and whatever acrylic craft paint I had left from previous projects…mixing beiges and blues.

Any basic pattern will work.  Just be sure the picture hits all three canvases.  If you don’t feel comfortable working with a pencil sketch, you can easily find something online to copy and trace.  You can even use your computer or a copier to adjust the size of the picture.  If that still seems intimidating to you, you can decoupage a picture onto the canvases – requiring no drawing or painting at all!

anchor triptych

The painting took about 10 minutes since I just did a ‘messy’ impressionistic view of an anchor and added very little detail. 

I was able to create a painting that used the appropriate color scheme and a favorite motif to add to my daughter’s newly decorated bathroom…fun!  I’m hoping my daughter will send me a photo of this new creation when she hangs it on the wall.  If so, I will share it with you on my Facebook page.

anchor triptych

I hope this has inspired you to create your own triptych!  Send me an email if you need some help or ideas.

Thanks so much for stopping by and remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing on Shabby Nest.


visiting brimfield

September 6, 2013

Brimfield Antinque and Collectibles Shows

What’s better than socializing with friends?  Socializing with friends while shopping!  In this case, at the Brimfield Antique and Collectibles Shows in Brimfield, Massachusetts…this week’s Friday field trip.

My day with friends was really more about talking and sharing, but there was plenty of inspiration thrown in!  And, with over 75 acres to persue, we also got in some serious exercise.

Brimfield is the largest outdoor antique show in New England with over 5,000 dealers and runs three times a year (May, July and September) for a six day period.  Especially for those that may not live in New England, I thought you might enjoy joining me by sharing some of my favorites this year at Brimfield.  The beauty of Brimfield is that everyone has their own favorite items…here are some of mine…

candle at Brimfield

I really loved this large, distressed white frame…I had so many imagined uses for it!

frame at Brimfield

My grandmother had one of these telephone benches, but it sure didn’t look like this!

telephone table

In LOVE with these pendants created from old ledger pages…

pendants at Brimfield


white pumpkins at Brimfield

fish print at Brimfield

Brimfield treasure

A Brimfield Treasure

A Brimfield Treasure

A Brimfield treasure

I always thought I would like to create a sea glass fireplace surround…this one is so beautiful and inspires me to think about other possibilities…

A Brimfield Treasure

One of the vendors thought this was a cute arrangement of the letters offered for sale…how about this for a Wednesday in the office?

It's Hump Day!

I hope you enjoyed today’s peek at Brimfield for this week’s Friday field trip.  I will post some additional photos on my facebook page over the weekend.

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

Sharing with The Tablescaper.


the pace of nature

September 3, 2013

acorn photo

Although the sun did not make much of an appearance this Labor Day Weekend, it was a bright one…I spent time with some special friends in a secluded retreat amid the trees in upstate New York and, for a short patch of time, adopted the pace of nature.

woods photo

We had no schedules to follow or any particular plans – the beauty of our friendship is that we didn’t need to.

morning coffee in the forest

queen annes lace in woods

Appreciating our surroundings and embracing our friendship…

Forest prose

as well as enjoying some new friends…made for a memorable time together.

birch trees

Being in the woods makes an appreciation of nature hard to ignore.

acorn in the woods

I collected some forest treasures this weekend and look forward to using the woodland/forest inspiration as the basis for my holiday preparations this year. And, in the spirit of this weekend, I will embrace the feelings of friendship and of adopting the pace of nature in all my holiday planning…

I am excited about starting some of the projects I have imagined!

2013 holiday inspiration board

Thanks for stopping by and sharing my weekend inspiration…Did you find anything to spark your inspiration this Labor Day weekend?

Remember to take

pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing with Craftberry Bush.

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monthly book giveaway for september!

September 1, 2013

chef anne burrellCelebrity chef Anne Burrell

Congratulations to Gayle M. for winning the August book giveaway – a signed copy of Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann.  I know you will enjoy this New York Times bestseller!  Enjoy!  Taking a quick time out of the holiday weekend to announce the September giveaway…

Our September selection is a little different this month.  It is a cookbook!  It happens to be a wonderful cookbook written by celebrity chef Anne Burrell.

Cook Like a Rock Star by Anne Burrell

I love this cookbook, and when I got the chance to meet Anne Burrell a few months ago, I knew I wanted to get a signed copy of Cook Like A Rock Star for one of my monthly giveaways on pleasure in simple things.  So, rather than the usual fiction novel, this cookbook will be the giveaway selection for September!

I enjoy watching Anne cook on television and found out she is a real sweetheart in person!  And, believe me, Cook Like A Rock Star is a great addition to any cookbook collection…great recipes and wonderful photographs!

Be sure to leave some comments on the blog, facebook, twitter, or instagram to increase your chances to win!  Good luck!

I hope you are enjoying your holiday weekend!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Instagram users – please read on for the September Instagram Challenge…this month a color inspiration is provided each week – use the color of the week to inspire your instagram photos!

September Instagram Challenge