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october book giveaway!

September 29, 2017

october book giveaway

The October book giveaway is The Misfortune of Marion Palm by Emily Culliton.

This book was one of my summer read recommendations.  A debut novel that tells the story of Marion, a Brooklyn Heights woman who has embezzled from her children’s private school and makes a run for it when she is close to becoming discovered. Told from the points of view of Marion’s husband, her two children, and Marion herself, this witty and engaging story makes for a quick read.

giveaway pleasure in simple things blog

For a chance to win this advance copy of the book, just leave a comment and you will be entered! Good luck!

Congratulations to Angie, winner of September’s giveaway selection The Woman in the Window  by A.J. Finn. (click here for more on this book.) Enjoy this read, Angie!  Thank you to everyone who entered to win.

If you use Instagram, please read on! For October, let’s share photos of pumpkins…real or faux, orange or white, velvet or cashmere…all kinds! Share your favorites using hashtag #pleasuregram.


Thanks for stopping by! Have a fabulous weekend!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie


2017 country living fair columbus

September 26, 2017

pillows at Country Living

If you read this blog regularly, you know I am a big fan of The Country Living Fair. I have been attending the fair in Rhinebeck, NY, only a short distance from Connecticut, annually.

pumpkin pillow country living

The Dutchess Country Fairgrounds are picturesque and provide a beautiful venue for the fair.

pillow decor country living

Put on by Country Living Magazine, the fair is a big show and sale of antiques, vintage, handcrafted goods, art, furniture, home decor, handcrafted clothing, jewelry and more. It also includes scheduled seminars and artisan demonstrations.

neutrals country living fair

Each year, The Country Living Fair provides a fabulous weekend of shopping and inspiration.

black and white country living fair

I started thinking last year, why limit this fun time to a weekend? With three other Country Living Fair locations at different times of the year, why not visit one of the others? Atlanta, Columbus, or Nashville were my choices.

vignette country living fair

After some consideration, Columbus won as a second destination choice when I discovered Ballard Designs, Frontgate, and Grandin Road all have outlet stores near Columbus!

bird house country living fair

white chenille pumpkin

So, many months ago, a good friend and I put together plans to brave the 10 hour car trip to Ohio!

style at Country Living Fair

The photos here are from the 2017 Country Living Fair in Columbus, Ohio! I will share some additional photos from the fair next Tuesday. I hope you enjoy them and are inspired to attend one of the Country Living Fairs yourself!

bracelets at country living ohio

It is so fun to visit a new locale! Which location do you think I will visit next? ;) Nashville? Atlanta?

country living fair columbus

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

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pumpkin tower in columbus

September 22, 2017

closeup pumpkin tower

Even though the temperatures here in Connecticut this weekend will feel more like summer, it is now officially fall!

pumpkins and squash

Because it seems so appropriate, for today’s Friday field trip, I am sharing some photos of the pumpkin ‘tower’ at this year’s Country Living Fair in Columbus.

pumpkin tower in ohio

Don’t worry…that’s not it on the fair…I will be sharing some fun finds from the Country Living Fair next week!

pumpkins at country living fair

Thanks for stopping by!  Enjoy your first weekend of fall!  I have already bought plenty of white pumpkins and I am working on some neutral velvet and cashmere handmade pumpkins!

close up pumpkins

I hope you are inspired to put out some fall décor!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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katalina’s in columbus

September 19, 2017

Table at Katalinas in Columbus

I have some fun things to share with you from a recent trip to Ohio…my first ever!

Part of visiting someplace new is checking out the food scene and my visit to Columbus was nothing unusual in this respect!  My first Ohio share is one of my eating adventures.

The best way to find the best eating in town?  Talk to a local, of course!  After receiving a glowing endorsement from an Ohio State student, my friend and I decided Katalina’s was a must-see and we headed over to try it out on a bright Sunday morning.

pancake bites at Katalinas in Columbus

Located in an adorable Columbus neighborhood, this fun and colorful, tiny café is located in a renovated 100-year-old gas station and on this particular morning (like every morning?) had a line of regulars out the door!  Not to be discouraged by the line, we reviewed the menu to make the tough decision of what to order.  The choices were very innovative and seemed to have a Latin flavor – all made from scratch.

pancake bite specialty in Columbus

Since Katalina’s boasts of creating pancake balls, I was intrigued and ordered them.  But then, I saw their version of avocado toast with toasted pepitas listed as a special.  I just had to have some!  So, I added that as well as a cup of bottomless coffee to finished out my order.

We were able to snag an outdoor table when our food was ready.  The pancake balls – over a million have already been made – were very yummy!  Made with stone ground flour, they were filled with organic pumpkin apple butter and served with bourbon barrel aged maple syrup.

water at Katalinas

Of course, I ordered way too much food by getting both the pancake balls and the toast, but I was glad I tried both…they were each super tasty!

avacado toast at Katalinas in Columbus

I am so happy we listened to the recommendation of our new friend from OSU and I would do the same for anyone visiting Columbus!

katalina columbus ohio

I hope my brunch adventure has inspired you to try a new eating spot! :)

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

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picking asian pears

September 15, 2017

asian pears close up on tree

What is better than getting fresh fruit at a Farmer’s Market?  Getting fresh fruit from a farm, of course!  Today, for Friday field trip you are joining me as I pick some Asian pears!

asian pears on the tree

Have you tasted an Asian pear?  They are delicious!  With a texture similar to apples, the light sweetness and crispy texture (maintained long after they are picked) of this pear make it a really great addition to salads.

asian pear taking a bite

Asian pears are native to Japan and China where they have been grown for over 3000 years.  The most common grown in the U.S. are Japanese varieties which have a shape similar to an apple.

asian pear close up

The first documented appearance of an Asian pear in the United States was recorded in 1820 when a Chinese sand pear was imported to Flushing, New York.

asian pear top of tree

Today Asian pears are grown not only throughout Asia but in Italy, Spain, Australia, France, Chile and New Zealand as well. In the United States, the bulk of commercial production comes from California and Oregon with a smaller supply coming out of Washington State, Kentucky and Alabama.

asian pear bunch on tree

We are so lucky to have some Asian pears growing here in Connecticut and people come from far away to pick them!

If you haven’t ever tried an Asian pear, I hope I have inspired you to do so!  Sliced on a green salad and garnished with a fig vinaigrette…yum!

asian pear field

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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lunch al fresco

September 12, 2017

Table at Terrain

Sadly, the days are getting shorter.  Soon, eating al fresco will be a memory.

As a homage to this year’s outdoor eating, I am sharing a few photos from a lunch at The Garden Café at Terrain in Connecticut – a farm to table inspired restaurant using local ingredients – outdoor eating at its best!

Terrain’s trademark bread service – in a clay pot…

Bread and Butter at Terrain

I always enjoy a variation on a traditional deviled egg.  This one is filled with a roasted red pepper mousse and garnished with crispy prosciutto.

Deviled eggs at Terrain

Salad is a standard at lunch for me.  This kale one is served with a yummy brown butter dressing.

Kale salad at Terrain

Browned butter salad dressing at Terrain

Whether it be in your backyard or at a restaurant, I hope I have inspired you to enjoy a meal outdoors – while you still can!

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

For all those suffering from Hurricane Irma – my prayers are with you.

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inspiration to kickstart fall decor

September 8, 2017

fall neutrals

Since I have gotten a little bit of an itch for fall décor this week, I am resharing my 5 easy tips for fall décor for today’s Friday field trip.

white pumpkins

Click here for guidelines to kickstart your fall décor planning!

pumpkins and dusty miller

Have a wonderful weekend!  Thanks for stopping by!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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mini lantern with pumpkins

September 5, 2017

pumpkin lantern for fall

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend!  I spent a recent weekend in the woods visiting a friend – and, one cool evening by a fire, my thoughts turned towards the fall season.

When I got back home and was thinking about fall (and, of course white pumpkins), I went into my closet and pulled out all the velvet pumpkins I have made over the years.  Like every other year, I will make a few new ones in neutral shades this year to add to my collection!   I started thinking about what new fabrics I will use for the current year…

inside a mini pumpkin lantern

While I was contemplating the pumpkin box and fabrics, I noticed a little misplaced holiday lantern that didn’t make it into one of the Christmas storage boxes – seeing it immediately inspired me to use it for fall!

Inside the lantern, I added a couple of the smaller pumpkins I have made, a little Spanish moss, some of my DIY bleached mini pine cones and a couple acorns I had painted.

velvet pumpkins in a lantern

Instantly, my holiday lantern is transformed into fall décor!  Maybe, as the days get shorter, I will add a few white fairy lights.  So, just like that, fall décor has sneaked up on me…and, you know how that goes…now I am all in!  To add fuel to the fire – my favorite garden store starts selling white pumpkins this week!

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope I have inspired you to repurpose something from another season for your fall decor!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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september book giveaway!

September 1, 2017

woman in the window sept giveaway book

This month’s giveaway is a book I recommended in my ‘reading ahead’ post.  It is titled The Woman in the Window by A .J. Finn.

Even though the book is not releasing until January 2018,  it is wildly popular and already in development as a major film.

This new, smart thriller is the story of an agoraphobic woman in New York City who believes she witnessed a crime in a neighboring house.  Hearing the story told from inside one (rather colorful) woman’s mind, as she spies on her neighbors, gives this suspenseful novel a unique perspective.

woman in the window giveaway

Leave me a comment to be entered into the random drawing for a copy of The Woman in the Window.  I will pick a winner at random from the comments on this post and any comments about this book on my social media.  Good luck!

Thank you to everyone that entered to win the August giveaway.  Congratulations to Jen from Connecticut, winner of last month’s giveaway selection Stay With Me by Ayobanji Adebayo!  (Click here to read more about this selection.)  Jen, this is a fabulous read that I know you are going to enjoy!

Instagram users, read on!  For September let’s share photos of signs of fall.  Here in New England, we are already starting to experience some cool mornings and it won’t be long before we are enjoying pumpkins and cider!  Use hashtag #pleasuregram to share photos that represent signs of the upcoming season.  I’m using a photo here of the start of my fall decor!

sept instagram 2017 challenge

Thank you for stopping by!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie