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terrain holiday 2017

November 21, 2017

lighted wreath wall

Typically, this is the week everyone starts thinking about holiday shopping.

lighted balls Terrain

fir trees at Terrain

I have definitely started thinking about it myself and I have visited a few of my favorite stores.  Because I am such a visual person, I don’t really enjoy internet shopping.  I like to see the merchandise and enjoy how it is styled and displayed.  And, I certainly appreciate a beautifully and creatively wrapped purchase over a box left at my doorstep!

lighted tree Terrain

building a zinc village

As a homage to brick and mortar stores, this week I am sharing a few photos from my favorites this holiday season.

greens for the holidays at Terrain

Holiday Magic at Terrain

Today, some photos from my favorite home and garden store – Terrain.  For overall holiday décor, Terrain is hard to beat!  A visit to the Westport store is a sure way to put your holiday spirit into overdrive as well as inspire your holiday décor!

Terrain Holiday

holiday plant at Terrain Westport

Thanks for stopping by!

Holiday tree with red bulbs

Remember to take pleasure in simple things and have a blessed Thanksgiving!   xo Jackie

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holiday cookies

November 17, 2017

Holiday cookies cookbook

2017 has been a good year for cookbooks.  There have been a wide variety of new books published.  This selection includes cookbooks by celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Zac Posen – as well as cookbooks by famous chefs like Bobby Flay, Wylie Dufresne, Jacques Pepin and Richard Blais.

But, for recipes to use for holiday gifting, I have a favorite cookbook release this year and I would like to share the title with you today on Friday field trip.

holiday baking

The book?  Holiday Cookies:  Showstopping Recipes to Sweeten the Season by Elisabet der Nederlanden.  With some intriguing new dessert recipes accompanied by fabulous photos, I am really enamored with this book!  Can you tell why based on the few photos here?!

holiday cookie trees

The holidays are a time when most people succumb to food temptations and I am no different!  For me, it is definitely a new sweet that will do me in! On Thanksgiving it is all about Eileen’s lemon meringue pie…as far as Christmas is concerned?  You never know!

new holiday cookbook

Because baking is my favorite, I add some new recipes to my holiday repertoire each year – adding some new treats to include with my old standbys!  Making something new to gift to others is a special part of my holiday routine.  This year, the new recipes I try are definitely coming out of Nederlanden’s book!

holiday pinwheel cookies

I can’t wait to share my creations with you on future Friday field trips!

Browse through some of this year’s new cookbooks at your local library!   I hope you are inspired to try at least one new dessert recipe this holiday season! ;)

antique cookie cutters

Thanks for stopping by!

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

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diy basil infused salt gift

November 14, 2017

packaging diy basil infused salt gift

Before the first frost, what do you do with the last of the basil from your garden?  Do you make batches of pesto to freeze?  Have you ever thought about making some basil infused salt?

I recently had the good fortune to stay at the Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island, Florida.  The Ritz on Amelia Island has a fabulous selection of infused salts for sale.  Trying some of the salts from their collection, and watching the kitchen staff demonstrate how it is made, inspired me to use my ‘last of the season’ basil to make some of my own infused salt!

basil infused salt holiday gift diy

Basil salt makes the perfect seasoning for a tomato and fresh mozzarella salad when the basil from the garden has long gone…and, when packaged, it makes a great holiday gift as well!

It is super simple to create a basil infused salt!

making infused herbal salt

First, I pulsed ½ cup kosher salt and ½ cup packed basil leaves together in the food processor.  I dried this mixture by spreading it on a baking sheet in a 225-degree oven (tossing it every 15 minutes) for about 40 minutes – until dry.

After letting it cool, I pulsed the mixture one last time to make the salt extra fine.  Of course, you can control the coarseness by the number of pulses used.

salt tube trio diy

For packaging, I used some glass tubes I had purchased for another DIY.  I think three tubes tied together are a great way to package the salt as a gift.  If you try making some other herbed salt flavors, you can even package three different flavors of salt to gift as a trio!  If you would rather use a more conventional container, small Weck jars or glass spice jars would also look super cute!

I hope I have inspired you to use some herbs from your garden to create some infused salt!

homemade gift salt

Thanks for stopping by!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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amelia island beach memories

November 10, 2017

Ritz Carlton Amelia Island Beach

Here in Connecticut, the weather has turned cold.  Thoughts of fall are being replaced by winter and holiday preparations…Christmas decorations are on display everywhere!

The beach at The Ritz Amelia Island

I think it is the perfect day to take a glimpse of some warmer days that are not that far behind us!  Don’t you miss that feeling of sand between your toes?

tables amelia island

For today’s Friday field trip, a few photos of the beach taken during my recent stay at the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, Florida.

umbrella on the beach amelia island

Enjoy!

walkway Amelia Island

Thanks for stopping by!

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

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amsterdam green dresser redo

November 7, 2017

ferns on dresser drawer

Annie Sloan Amsterdam Green.  I have been so eager to paint a piece of furniture with this color Chalk Paint!

I got my chance on a recent dresser renovation.  My color choice was inspired by the Ikea Strandkrypa floral patterned duvet cover.

The dresser is part of a guest room décor project of mine.  The bed in the room is covered with the Strandkrypa comforter  – giving me a botanical/gardeny vibe inspiration for the room.

Ikea comforter inspiration

When I came up with my plan for the room, I wrote down my ‘dream’ dresser dimensions for future reference and hoped to find a cast-off dresser in the future.  It was only about 3 weeks later that a sturdy wooden dresser out on a curb, ready for the trash pickup, would catch my eye and end up matching my measurements almost exactly!  Unreal!  And, when I asked the homeowner if it was okay to take the item from his front yard, he proceeded to load it into my car!  When does that ever happen?  Perfect dimensions AND no heavy lifting?!

before and after dresser Annie Sloan Amersterdam Green

I wanted the room where the dresser would reside to have a gardeny vibe, inspired by the bedding.  I  had already refinished an heirloom bedside table for the same room – now my mission was to redo my new- found, no cost discovery!  (To see the side table before and after, click here.)

Amerstdam green Annie Sloan dresser

I thought bin pulls would be perfect to replace the old drawer handles.  The only reasonably priced ones I was able to find were in a silver tone.  Since the ones I found were perfect, except for the finish, I just sprayed them with Rustoleum spray paint (in hammered bronze).

dresser drawers Amsterdam Green Annie Sloan

Though I was tempted to sand and stain the top of the piece, I knew the owner would rather a solid color piece, so I resisted the temptation!  If I was redoing it for myself, I would have stained the top in a darker color stain – like a Minwax dark walnut – but, for this client, a light distressing and simple whitewash was all the piece needed…A pretty straight forward painting project.

fern stencils on dresser drawers

I sealed the piece first, since experience has taught me old stains can bleed through and I wanted a true Amsterdam Green.  Then, I painted the piece with two coats of the Amersterdam Green.  For the white wash, I used Annie Sloan Old White thinned with water – about 60% water.  I painted on the wash and quickly rubbed it down with some cheesecloth to give it an old, weathered look.  I let the paint set a few days, before giving it a coat of clear wax.  I later added an extra coat of clear wax.  Lastly, I added the new pulls.

white birch drawer liner

Since I always try to add some interesting details, I came up with a couple for this dresser.  I stenciled some ferns, using the same Amsterdam Green, on the sides of two of the drawers for an unexpected surprise and also added some birch bark looking paper as drawer liner.

Complete!

Thanks for stopping by and sharing my latest painting project!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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giraffe love

November 3, 2017

close up giraffee at White Oak

I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity recently to visit White Oak Conservation in Northwest Florida.  White Oak is one of the world’s premiere wildlife breeding, education, and training facilities.  This wildlife conservation facility spans 13,000 acres of pine and hardwood forest and wetlands.  Its mission is to save endangered wildlife and habitats through sustainable conservation breeding, education, and responsible land stewardship.

giraffees at White Oak

Founded in 1982, White Oak leads professional efforts to improve veterinary care, develop holistic animal management techniques, and better understand the biology of critically endangered species.

As you can tell by the photos in my post today for Friday field trip, my favorite part of my visit to White Oak was the opportunity to be ‘up close and personal’ with a group of giraffes!  That, and getting together with a fabulous group of people, made my afternoon at White Oak one I will never forget!

close up of giraffee face

I also had the chance to see rhinoceros, cheetahs (including baby cheetahs!), and antelope as well as a brief sighting of some okapi (a beautiful and rare giraffe relative).

2 giraffees at White Oak

Founded in 1982, White Oak is well known in the conservation and zoo communities and leads professional efforts to improve veterinary care, develop holistic animal management techniques, and better understand the biology of critically endangered species.

I hope today’s post may inspire you to visit your local zoo!  A shout out to White Oak and to all the friends that shared the amazing afternoon visit with me!

feeding a giraffee at White OakThanks for stopping by!

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

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