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easy homemade fudge ice pops

July 28, 2015

homemade fudgesicles pleasure in simple things blog

When I was a kid, I grew up across the street from a farm. I spent a lot of my childhood hanging out at the farm – picking vegetables, playing with the animals, and working at the farm stand. There was a freezer in the porch of the old farm house that housed some ice cream treats and many times after helping on the farm, the reward would be something from that freezer. I always chose the same thing – a fudge pop.

yummy fudgesicles pleasure in simple things blog

Now as an adult, anytime I see a fudge pop, it puts an instant smile on my face as I remember my childhood days on the farm! Of course, it makes sense that I would be all about creating my own fudge pop!

Today, I am sharing a recipe I use that is similar to the old time fudge pops that I enjoyed as a kid. My adult version is updated with the addition of some coffee – don’t you love chocolate and coffee together?

recipe for homemade fudgesicles on pleasure in simple things blog
There are so many great ice pop molds out there. If you don’t already own some, check out Home Goods or Ikea for some great, inexpensive ones. If you would rather not purchase anything, the old time ‘paper cup with a wooden stick’ still works great! Pour any extra mixture into ice cube trays to use in your iced coffee. ;)

fudgesicles pleasure in simple things blog

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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diy rubber bottomed tote bag

July 21, 2015

tote bag diy with flowers pleasure in simple things

Don’t you love those rubber bottomed tote bags? I do! I have been meaning to make myself one for quite some time. I decided to give it a shot when I saw the Ikea straw totes on sale for $2.99! How could I go wrong?

My original plan for a rubber bottomed tote was to create one on a canvas bag and include a monogram. Once I got the bottom on my new straw tote, I changed my mind about the monogram. I preferred the look without it. I will wait until I find a good deal on a canvas tote, then I will make one with a rubber bottom and include a monogram.

a finished tote bag with flowers pleasure in simple things blog

This is a super easy project. The only supplies you need are; the tote you plan to use, some tape and paper for masking, and a can of Plasti Dip. You have seen me use Plasti Dip quite a bit if you follow this blog. I really love the product. (I will include some links to other DIY projects using Plasti Dip at the end of this post.) This product was once confined to the garage – but not once I got a hold of it! I adore repurposing products that are carried at a building supply store – Plasti Dip is one of these products!

diy rubber bottomed tote pleasure in simple things blog

Rather than the liquid form you have seen me use in the past, I am using the spray version of Plasti Dip for this project. Any spray paint has an overspray, so it is necessary to thoroughly mask any areas that will not be painted. To prepare, I used painter’s tape and newspaper to mask off these areas and I hung the bag upside down on the clothesline. This made it easy to paint. I chose a black paint and sprayed it in two light coats. The natural material of the tote is very porous, so it definitely requires 2 coats.  (The texture of the tote will prevent a perfectly sharp line like you would get on fabric.)

tote bag with flowers diy pleasure in simple things blog

That’s it! Just be sure to position the tote as you would use it – you don’t want it folded when you spray it since the rubber material dries hard.

Isn’t it great? I love it! I hope I have inspired you to try this fun and easy project!

diy tote bag with starfish pleasure in simple things blog

Links to 5 other DIY projects using Plasti Dip:  Color dipped wooden spoons, On pumpkins, Napkin Rings, Nautical necklace, Seafood swag

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

Sharing with The Shabby Nest, French Country CottageSand & Sisal, Coastal Charm.

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patriotic driftwood bubble wands

June 26, 2015

patriotic bubble wand pleasure in simple things blog

The Fourth of July at the beach is great! And, just like in the rest of the nation, some serious red, white, and blue action is going down! It starts early in the day with the kick-off red, white, and blue parade. The kiddies dress themselves, their bikes, their dogs – and just about anything else you can think of – in the colors of the day!  Once the evening arrives, a magnificent display of fireworks is the crowning glory of these patriotic hues.

diy patriotic driftwood bubble wands pleasure in simple things blog

The relaxed vibe at the beach makes it easy to create – most times using items found on the beach. A classic example is the crab catcher. This handy item is crafted from an old wooden clothespin and some string. When baited with whatever scrap of meat or meat related product can be salvaged, it works its magic!

making bubbles with homemade wands pleasure in simple things blog

Another handy item for the beach is a bubble maker aka bubble wand.  For the holiday, this can be a fun patriotic craft!  Using some dish detergent (1 patriotic driftwood bubble wands pleasure in simple things blogtablespoon dish liquid per 1 cup water) and some homemade bubble wands, it is super simple to create some fun in the sand. Running along the beach after bubbles can keep the young (or young at heart) occupied for hours!

Bubble wands are easy to make using pipe cleaners and driftwood.  They can be decorated with shells, scraps of ribbon, or any other number of items washed up on shore.  Some crafters take time for elaborate decorations. while others work fast; anxious to get to the bubble part!  (Yes, the star shapes do work to make bubbles, but are much more complicated for young fingers to create.)

For today’s Friday field trip, I wanted to show you some of the wands I made at the beach. You can use wire or stiff ribbon – anything that will hold its shape. I used items I already had. The smaller ones here are made with a sparkly wired ribbon and the others are made with metallic pipe cleaners.

patriotic beach day pleasure in simple things

I like to make the bubbles by dipping the wands into a shallow container of the bubble liquid; especially for the larger bubble wands. This makes it easy to dip the wand and the shallow container helps avoid knocking over the solution.  Remember, the larger the wand, the larger the bubble!

loading bubbles onto a homemade bubble wand pleasure in simple things blog

And, for some extra night time fun, break open a glow stick to add to your bubble solution for some glow-in-the-dark bubbles!

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

4th of July pleasure in simple things blog

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

Sharing with House of Hipsters, Thoughts From AliceCraftberry Bush, Nancherrow, and The Shabby Nest.

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ikea dresser redo with annie sloan

June 19, 2015

Finished Ikea dresser Annie Sloan redo pleasure in simple things blog

This Ikea dresser has really made the rounds! In its first life, it was a dresser in a young boy’s room. It performed that job marvelously, then made its way to a college apartment. Here too, it was a sturdy piece that provided plenty of storage.

But, when it crossed over into ‘adult’ life, it was time for a makeover! Join me in my painting studio (aka: my backyard) for Friday field trip today to check out how some Annie Sloan paint and a few new knobs have updated this Ikea piece.

Before dresser photo pleasure in simple things blog

The first thing it needed was a little cleaning and some wood fill in a few spots. And, because it was crafted of a knotty wood, I knew it needed to be sealed to prevent any knots from showing through the paint. So, I applied a coat of Zinsser primer sealer.

After that, I used two coats of Annie Sloan French Linen – one of my favorite colors for a beachy look!

after photo Ikea dresser Annie Sloan French Linen and Old White pleasure in simple things blog

From here, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to add an anchor…or, maybe some stripes?  I decided finding knobs would be my first order of business since purchasing twelve knobs at a decent price was not going to be easy. The dresser came with wooden knobs and I was hoping not to reuse them. Unfortunately, every knob I liked was $6 or $7 and purchasing twelve at this price was beyond my budget!

Dresser redo with Annie Sloan Old White and new knobs pleasure in simple things blog

I started contemplating making some knobs out of rope; thinking I may try to make some monkey’s fist knots and started researching how to tie them.

Then, I got a call from a friend who said she found some great rope knobs at Home Goods and they came in packages of 6. When I discovered the knobs were actually monkey’s fist knots and each package was $12.99, I knew these were my knobs!

starting grain sack stripes pleasure in simple things blog

After purchasing two packages of the knobs, I knew I wanted to do a grain sack style stripe to coordinate with them, so I masked off and painted the stripes using Annie Sloan Old White paint.   It is easy to mask stripes with blue painter’s tape, but it does take a little patience!  After the stripes were dry, I mixed a wash of Old White paint and water (approximately 70% water). I painted this over the piece, working a section at a time and wiping it off with a cloth after painting it on with a brush. I love the way the wash gives some depth to the piece and helps with the beachy vibe.

applying Old White white wash over French Linen Annie Sloan pleasure in simple things blog

rubbing old white wash over french linen Annie Sloan pleasure in simple things blog

Result of Old White and water over French Linen Annie Sloan pleasure in simple things blog
Next, I added a coat of Annie Sloan clear wax. After that, I did some distressing, concentrating on roughing up the white stripes. After the distressing, I added a second coat of clear wax.

Annie Sloan French Linen and Old White Dresser pleasure in simple things blog

Doesn’t it look great? I am finishing it off by using some old nautical maps for drawer liners. :)

Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful weekend and remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing with Finding Silver Pennies, Nancherrow,  Craftberry Bush, The Shabby Nest, and French Country Cottage.

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9 special diy ideas for father’s day

June 16, 2015

seafood forks pleasure in simple things blog

It’s a cold, miserable day today.  After arriving home from work, I should really be outside painting furniture or finishing my current read.  Instead, the weather has kept me inside.  Yes, I could be binge watching the third season of Orange is the New Black, but instead I am looking through some old posts to find some fun things to make for Father’s Day.

I put together nine favorites from my archives to help inspire you to make something special for Dad this year on his day!

beverage gifts for Fathers Day pleasure in simple things blog

Edible gifts are popular with any Dad.  Here are a couple ‘over 21′ beverages that are sure to be a hit.  Click here for a recipe to make homemade Bailey’s Irish Cream and click here to learn how to make some great jelly shots shaped like fish!

zip code tray pleasure in simple things blog

This zip code tray is a stylish and super practical place for Dad to leave his keys.  It also is a great way for Dad to remember where he left his keys!  Click here for instructions.

tie dye pleasure in simple things blog

A tie dye shirt is as much fun to make as it is to give!  The whole family can enjoy making Dad a piece of clothing dyed personally for him!  Click here for easy instructions!

nautical coasters pleasure in simple things blog

Making coasters for Dad is easy and fun. Click here for several great ideas.  Old cardboard, jar tops, and discarded six-pack packaging are a few of the items that make creative coasters!

gift wrap ideas for Fathers Day pleasure in simple things blog

Any gift is more special when it is presented in a special way!  Click here to learn how to make your own gift wrap and click here to see how easily you can create a unique paint can gift package!

entertaining gifts for Fathers Day pleasure in simple things blog

If your Dad is more the entertaining type, here are two great gift ideas.  Click here for ideas for creating your own napkin designs.  Another great idea is to make a set of forks for seafood dinners…the fun part about this gift is that it is created using something from Dad’s garage!  Click here to find out more!

I hope you enjoyed these few DIY ideas from the archives to help make Father’s Day a little more special!

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

Sharing with Coastal Charm and Elizabeth & Co.

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jaws 40th anniversary party with printable

June 12, 2015

treat bag printables 40th anniversary JAWS pleasure in simple things blog

Duh-duh, Duh-Duh, Duh-DUH! (Click here for more!) That’s right…40 years since the movie Jaws hit the theaters for the very first time! No doubt, the movie needs to be watched (for the five hundred and thirty ninth time?) on June 20th to mark this very special day!

bucket of treat bags 40th anniversary of JAWS pleasure in simple things

My family is one of shark fanatics…we anxiously await Shark Week on Discovery Channel each year…we have had the pleasure of eating a dinner of freshly caught shark (by my fisherman dad), AND, we know most of the significant (as well as the not so significant) lines in the movie Jaws by heart!  So, in honor of the Jaws anniversary, Friday field trip will go back 40 years this week to pay tribute to this cinema classic.

aws 40th anniversary pleasure in simple things blog

Granted, many of us in New England have had issues with going in the water since watching this movie – particularly after the very first viewing.

40th anniversary of JAWS treat pleasure in simple things blog

A 40th anniversary viewing party is in order and there will be plenty of themed snacks and fun trivia contests!  Some of my family members are impossible to stump, but I keep trying!  Why not send your party invite on a beach ball?  Blow up a small beach ball and add the party details with a permanent marker.  Then, deflate the ball before mailing…fun!

jaws 40th anniversary invite pleasure in simple things blog

And, who could resist these fun ice cube trays!

fun ice cubes for JAWS 40th anniversary pleasure in simple things blog

So, amidst all the decorating you may do for your viewing party, a little candy treat favor is fun to add to to the mix. For my candy bags, I have packaged up blue gummy sharks and candy beach balls. There are so many candy options you can use if you prefer to substitute what I chose to use. You can even do Swedish fish or goldfish crackers –really, any beachy item will work!

ajaws 40th anniversary pleasure in simple things blog 048I piled mine up in a beach bucket and added it to my Jaws themed décor.  The printable I have included here is sized for 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper – I prefer the weighty paper of a card stock, but you can use regular weight paper if you prefer.  Four treat bag headers print out on each page.  After cutting the paper in four, you can fold each piece to use as a header for a Jaws themed treat bag!  Purchase cellophane bags that are the same width as the headers and trim to the length needed based on your contents.  I use a couple of staples to attach the headers – first using a blue permanent marker on the staples so they coordinate a little better with the blue on my header design.

Click here for a free printable of the treat bag toppers.

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat!” Happy Viewing!

JAWS 40th anniversary pleasure in simple things blog

Thanks so much for stopping by. Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

P.S. If you’d like me to send you a copy of my Jaws trivia contest, just shoot me an email and I will email it to you!

Sharing with House of Hipsters, Thoughts from AliceThe Shabby Nest, Craftberry Bush, and Crafts a la Mode.

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annie sloan chair redo (before & after)

June 2, 2015

chair seat Annie Sloan redo pleasure in simple things blog

It’s baaaack…painting season, that is!  Once the weather gets warm, I love being outdoors and transforming some old furniture with a little paint!  This season started with an old chair.  When I saw the detail on the back of this chair, I was hooked!  I needed to paint it!

chair before pleasure in simple things chair redo

I had some great fabric left from a chair project I completed last summer, so that spearheaded the color choice for this chair.  I started by putting a sealing coat, since the type of finish on this chair often bleeds through paint.

After Chair Annie Sloan pleasure in simple things blog

Then, I painted the entire chair with a coat of Annie Sloan Paris Grey.

detail Annie Sloan chair redo pleasure in simple things blog

The next coat I painted was Annie Sloan Old White.  Using those two paint colors and, also, some Duck Egg, I mixed the paint to add a design to the back of the chair.  Because the chair fabric had an abstract kind of a look, I went with the same type of feel for the back of the chair, using soft, loose strokes.

Annie Sloan paints pleasure in simple things blog

Once that was complete, I added a coat of Annie Sloan clear wax to the entire piece.  I then did some distressing of the piece before adding a second coat of wax.

painted detail Annie Sloan chair redo pleasure in simple things blog

What do you think?

Annie Sloan paint chair pleasure in simple things blog

I am calling my first piece of the season Rockport.  :)

Rockport chair pleasure in simple things blog chair redo

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

Sharing with House of Hipsters, Sand & Sisal, Thoughts From Alice, and Finding Silver Pennies.

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pink, white & gold baby shower

May 26, 2015

pink gold white baby shower ideas

I promised to give a few decorating ideas for a pink, white, and gold baby shower.  You know I love a theme – so, I took pink, white, and gold; added a few polka dots and created some fun ways to decorate!

pink white gold baby shower drinks pleasure in simple things
Finding a pink beverage is certainly not a problem.  There are plenty of options including pink lemonade, rose, sangria, or punch.  Some easy favors?  No problem!

diy favors for a pink and gold shower pleasure in simple things

The votives shown here are really easy to create – adding a candle is a nice touch.

baby shower candles for holders pleasure in simple things
A small plant (these are English daisies) wrapped in a coordinating tissue paper, square of fabric, or burlap is also a nice option, or…

English daisies for a baby shower pleasure in simple things blog

A theme colored candy in a cute container. :)

good 'n plenty in a weck baby shower favor

For my shower, I made state shaped sugar cookies (and gift tag), because I was recognizing the hometowns of the families of the soon-to-be parents.  Change it up to suit your own shower.  Take your cues from the way the nursery is decorated or from the registry. For instance, if the nursery is decorated with a jungle theme, make animal shaped cookies. If the registry shows a crib sheet in a heart motif, make heart shaped cookies, etc.

state cookies and gift tags pleasure in simple things blogOf course, the gift has to also be right on theme!  I chose a baby outfit and wrapping to coordinate with the theme and also made a gift.  I painted a personalized canvas for the baby’s room.  You can get the DIY by clicking here.

baby outfit pleasure in simple things blog

If you don’t know the baby’s name in advance, leave the heart blank to add later, or paint in the word ‘love.’

pink drinks baby shower pleasure in simple things

I hope I have jumpstarted ideas for your own pink, white, and gold shower!

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

Sharing with Crafts a la Mode, House of Hipsters, Nancherrow, The Shabby Nest, and Craftberry Bush.

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state shaped sugar cookies

May 12, 2015

Florida state sugar cookies pleasure in simple things

Remember when I made the state gift tag for a baby shower I was attending? I was attending a party in Connecticut for a baby being born in Florida. I really wanted to acknowledge both states in my gift and I came up with the idea of using both shapes as a gift tag. (See the gift tag by clicking here.) As the date of the shower got closer, I thought “Wouldn’t it be cool to make cookies in the shape of the two states to add to the dessert table?”

state cookies for a baby shower pleasure in simple things blog

I had visions of spending many hours cutting each state cookie out by hand – since once I have an idea like this; I have no choice but to follow through on it! No question, I have cut out many unusual shaped cookies in my day – particularly for children’s birthday parties. In the past, I have made cookies of each one of the Wizard of Oz characters and all the Ninja turtles – cutting out each shape carefully with a dull knife.

ct state sugar cookies pleasure in simple things blog

With visions of cutting tons of Florida and Connecticut shaped cookies using a knife, I wondered if there might be state cookie cutters available. Sure enough, I searched the Internet and quickly found, not only could I order a cookie cutter for any state, but I could get them pretty darn cheap! What a time saver!

state cookie cutters for sugar cookies pleasure in simple things blog

So, I made my sugar cookie dough, rolled it out, and cut out the shapes of the two states using my new cookie cutters. What an awesome way to acknowledge the two states!

cut out state sugar cookies pleasure in simple things blog

Are the wheels turning? Are you thinking of all the ways you could use state cookie cutters? Showers, rehearsal dinners, reunions, graduations – even Christmas tree ornaments! So fun!

I decorated my state cookies to match the colors of the baby’s nursery – pink, gold, and white. (Did you see the shower gift I made? Click here to see. )

tray of ct and fl sugar cookies pleasure in simple things blog

After the shower, when the baby gifts got packed up to be sent to Florida, the Florida cookie cutter was tucked into the box. :)

Thanks so much for stopping by. Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing with Crafts a la Mode, The Shabby Nest, and  House of Hipsters.

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flip flop messages in the sand

May 8, 2015

making flip flop messages pleasure in simple things blog

For today’s Friday field trip, I am taking you to the beach.

Why? Not that I really need a reason to go to the beach – but, today we are going to test out my message flip flops.

It is a very simple concept. I attach letters to the bottom of some flip flops, so a message will be imprinted in the sand as I walk across the beach.

at the beach with message flip flops pleasure in simple things blog

At least I thought it was a simple concept! I quickly found a major flaw in my execution! I forgot I would need to flip the letters when I attached them to the flip flop! That is the reason ‘love’ is backwards!

Other than that, it worked like a charm! If you want to replicate this, just glue some letters to the bottom of an old or inexpensive pair of flip flops. You will want to create a depth of ¼’ with the letters to make a nice imprint. I used a foam letter, but really any material will work. You may be able to find wooden letters at the craft store. If the letters are thin, just keep adding layers until they reach a ¼” thickness. They can even be crafted out of cardboard if you prefer not to purchase pre-cut letters or symbols.

close up of flip flop message pleasure in simple things blog

There are many applications for this ….I think it would work really great for a prom proposal…a walk at sunset on the beach when ‘prom?’ magically appears written in the sand…cool, right?

message in the sand pleasure in simple things blog

I know. We are not all going to prom – no matter how much we wish we were! Maybe instead, come up with some ‘mom’ messages to use on your beach walk this weekend? Just remember to flip the letters before you glue them!

Have fun with it! Thanks for stopping by!

a shell on beach pleasure in simple things blog
Have a wonderful weekend and remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing at Sand & Sisal, Coastal Charm, and The Shabby Nest.

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