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balmy and the beach

February 23, 2018

Feb beach day

What to do on a 70-degree day in February?  Head to the beach, of course!  Connecticut does not usually experience temperatures this high in February, so a trip to the beach, no matter how short, seemed in order!

balmy and beautiful

Today I am sharing a few photos from that warm day earlier this week.

loosing the horizon

I wanted you to see how the fog had created some really cool views by making the water and the sky appear as one.

balmy and the beach


foggy day at the beach

Thanks for stopping by!

shell on rock

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

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egg-actly that time of year

February 20, 2018

succulent eggs in natural elements

Yes, you guessed it, I have begun dyeing eggs!  With the start of Lent and an early Easter this year, I couldn’t resist starting some egg decorating!  We had a few inches of snow this past weekend, so I prepared by stopping at the grocery store and buying a dozen white eggs.  Then, while it was snowing, I watched the British Baking Show and emptied out the inside of 12 eggs to prepare them for decorating!

egg dyeing collage

How do I empty them?  I use a needle to gently place a hole in both sides of the egg – one hole a little larger than the other.  Then, I blow into the smaller of the holes to empty the contents of the egg.  The most important part of this procedure is to puncture the yolk of the egg!  Otherwise, the inside of the egg just will not come out!  How is this accomplished?  Using a needle or any long, thin object, to push it into the larger hole several times.  Piercing the yolk is what helps the contents to flow out when you start blowing!

cactus easter egg in a basket

I am careful not to get any of the raw egg in my mouth and I wash the outside of the eggs with soapy warm water and rinse thoroughly.  I stand them back into the egg carton overnight to drain any water still left inside.  Once decorated, with no insides to go bad, the eggs will last forever!

For the maiden voyage of egg decorating, I decided to paint a few with succulents.  I know, succulents are so 2001, but I have been working on a terrarium community service project and I have succulents on the brain!  I decided to use 3 eggs.  I dyed them a taupe color using paste food coloring.  For my dye, I use ½ cup boiling water, 1 teaspoon white vinegar, and some food coloring.  This color will serve as the backdrop for my succulents.

stages of painting easter eggs

I added very simplistic painted designs – since I applied the designs with cottons swabs and toothpicks – with acrylic paint.  It is hard to get too detailed without a proper paint brush!   I used the same few colors on all 3 eggs to give them a continuity.  My first decorated eggs of the year are complete – a trio of succulents!

succulent on taupe easter egg

So, the egg games have begun!  I hope I have inspired you to think about your egg designs this year!

Thanks for stopping by!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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beauty in the details

February 16, 2018

Four Seasons Orlando Hall Light

Beauty is in the details.  If this is true, I must see an infinite amount of beauty!  I can get really obsessed with details.  This is especially true when I enter new surroundings.

Capa ceiling light Orlando

For example, every time I visit a hotel, I get caught up in some aspect of its esthetic.  At The Breakers in Palm Beach, it was the staff uniforms – I thought they were amazing – every employee wears a uniform and they are fabulous!  The gals have beautiful Lilly Pulitzer outfits!  I ended up spending my first visit to the Breakers doing an analysis of all the employee’s outfits!

Lighting Four Seasons lights

For today’s Friday field trip, I am sharing my obsession at the Four Seasons in Orlando – lighting!  I have already shared the most magnificent fixture on the property (click here to see), today I am sharing a little glimpse of the rest of the hotel lighting.

Four Seasons Orlando Spa Lighting

Light fixture in the entrance to the spa at the Four Seasons Orlando.

I hope you found these photos inspiring.  Maybe they are motivating you to revamp some of your own fixtures?  Replacing an old fixture can give your space an instant refresh!

ceiling lights Four Seasons Orlando

Thanks for stopping by!

lighting at Four Seasons Orlando

A chandelier in a restroom at the Four Seasons Orlando.

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

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have a heart

February 13, 2018

heart cookie cutter salad

It’s easy to get into the Galentine’s or Valentine’s Day spirit simply by using a heart shaped cookie cutter on something edible!  Transform something ordinary into something extraordinary with a simple cut!

watermelon and mozzarella salad valentine

You have seen me use a cookie cutter on Valentine’s Day before…remember the Valentine stuffed French toast The lavender shortbreads?  Or, even the bird seed for the bird feeder?

Well, today I am taking my Fancy Watermelon Salad (click here for original recipe) and transforming it for Valentine’s Day, simply by cutting the watermelon rounds into hearts!  Easy, right?

watermelon salad trio

I hope I have inspired you to use a heart cookie cutter this Valentine’s Day!  What will you use it on?


tasty watermelon valentine

Thanks for stopping by!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, xo Jackie

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anna rifle’s flagship store!

February 9, 2018

flowers at Anna Rifle

If you follow this blog, you may already know that I have a real love for paper products!  I still believe strongly in hand written thank you notes, as well as notes of condolence.  Especially in this age of technology, with rushed emails and hurried texts – who doesn’t appreciate receiving a personal note in the mail?  What better way is there to convey a heartfelt message?

rifle pins

Because of this love for hand written messages, I also have a love for great paper products.  When I think of my favorite paper product artists, a couple instantly come to mind.  On the top of this list is graphic designer Anna Rifle Bond.

anna rifle lotion love

Anna Rifle Winter Park meeting

Anna ‘taking a meeting’ at Rifle Paper Co. in Winter Park.

On today’s Friday field trip, I am thrilled to share photos from a recent visit to the place where Anna Rifle Bond and her husband Nathan started their company, Rifle Paper, in 2008.  This spot in Winter Park, Florida is also home to their flagship store.

anna rifle table in Winter Park

Anna Rifle tote bags

I developed an appreciation for Anna’s designs when she started her partnership with Anthropologie, early in her company’s 10-year career.

long table at Anna Rifle

Anna Rifle for Mast Chocolate

(To see more on Mast Chocolate, click here to see Friday field trip to Mast)

Feminine and colorful, with a little whimsy, Anna’s designs appear on a lot more than just paper!  Beyond calendars and cards, some of the items that showcase Anna’s quaint designs include phone covers, candles, wallpaper, books, candy wrappers, and sneakers.  Quite a repertoire from what began as designing posters for her husband’s band and wedding invites for her friends!

Anna Rifle books

pretty Anna Rifle pins

I hope you enjoyed today’s Friday field trip.  Thanks for stopping by!

Winter Park Rifle Paper Co.

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

1 comment

going nuts

February 6, 2018

making rosemary spiced nuts

I try to incorporate nuts into my diet as much as I can.  I always add them to my salad and try to snack on them as a substitute for something less nutritious.  Over the years, I have made many variations of seasoned nuts to serve as an appetizer or as part of a cheese tray.

I had no snacks for last Sunday’s epic television viewing night – the Justin Timberlake concert and then the This is Us episode, so I decided to jazz up some walnuts to snack collage from Superbowl nightI came up with this recipe for rosemary walnuts using ingredients I had on hand.  I love rosemary.  Using dried rosemary on my walnuts made it possible to add the rosemary flavor without running to the store for fresh herbs.  (The one little sprig of fresh rosemary I had that you see in the photos was saved to use in the recipe I made next!)  This snack was prepared in 20 minutes and tasted (and smelled) wonderful when eaten warm.  I don’t ever eat much salt, but most people do – that’s the reason I put the range of salt!  I also tried not to use more butter than I needed – starting with less and adding just enough to cover the nuts!

rosemary nut spices

Rosemary Walnutsrosemary nuts as a snack

  • 4-6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon dried rosemary, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon to 1 Tablespoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 cups walnut halves

Melt butter in a large saucepan.  Remove from heat and add seasonings.  Add walnuts and toss gently, coating well.  Place on a large shallow baking tray n a single layer.  (I lined the tray with parchment paper for easy clean up.)  Bake at 325 degrees until richly brown – about 10 to 15 minutes, tossing occasionally.

I know; eliminating the butter would make this recipe totally guilt-free!  But, I decided to get a little decadent for the big concert.  I may try substituting something a little more healthful for the butter next time – maybe sunflower oil.

rosemary nuts in a bowl

The point of this recipe is to show you that it is easy to create some seasoned nuts using dried herbs you have on hand.  I may have recipes for herbed nuts that I like more than this one, but this one did the trick when I wanted something quick without going to the store!

I hope you are inspired to try this recipe or to create your own variation.

close up of herbed rosemary nuts

Thanks for stopping by!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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up all light

February 2, 2018

the main lights Orlando Four Seasons

For today’s Friday field trip – a little something to brighten up your day!

view of fixture late day

These photos are all of the same light fixture…


located in the main staircase of the Four Season’s Hotel in Orlando.

full view Orlando Four Seasons

Hope they add a little brilliance to your weekend!  Have a great one!

main lights Orlando Four Seasons

And, remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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