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rooms with a view in ct

November 21, 2014

neutral room from rooms with a view pleasure in simple things blog

rooms with a view banner pleasure in simple things blog

 

Today we are taking a peek at a weekend in design featuring an Opening Night Gala; vignettes of interior design; a marketplace; a holiday fashion show and luncheon; and dinner with event chairman, Thom Filicia. (You know I love Thom…click here for our first meeting!)

Now in its 20th year, Rooms With a View has helped Southport Congregational Church help others by raising well over a million dollars for charitable causes.

 

The room vignettes are always inspiring…

Rooms With A View designer inspiration pleasure in simple things blog

My favorite room this year was designed by Forehand + Lake – a bright and styling cabin…

ski house rooms with a view pleasure in simple things blog

Every year I find different takeaways from the event.  A couple of the lighting choices were really interesting this year…How cool is the lighting in this “Starry Night” themed room designed by NYSID students and alumni?

starry night rooms with a view pleasure in simple things

And, I found this light fixture, used by Jenny Wolf Interiors, as a unique choice…

light fixture rooms with a view pleasure in simple things blog

Rooms With a View provides a great opportunity to get a jump on holiday shopping by offering a marketplace of vendors.  You can see these items fit right in with my holiday theme!

wares from Rooms with a View pleasure in simple things blog

Much like Susan Leggitt’s artwork inspired by the Maine Coast, I found these hand painted stars really awesome!

Artist Susan Leggitt at Rooms with a View pleasure in simple things blog

The meal and fashion show is always the most fun for me.  The clothes from Millie Rae’s in Westport were my favorites and it is great the way the event people mix some thrift store finds in with the new fashions from local stores.  This year, I loved that Borrowed (a rental company that specializes in bringing unique, mismatched, and whimsical touches to an event) provided an eclectic mix of plates to the luncheon service.

eclectic mix of vintage plates pleasure in simple things blog

The meal provided by Festivities was delicious…

luncheon served at Rooms with a View in Southport,CT pleasure in simple things blog

But, for me, the plates stole the show!  How many more plate photos can I add?  I just loved them!

vintage place setting pleasure in simple things

vintage plate from Borrowed plesure in simple things blog

The other wonderful design touch to the tables were the wallpaper runners provided by Farrow & Ball (no, those wallpaper scraps aren’t just for book covers)…

wallcovering as tablerunner pleasure in simple things blog

Rooms With a View is a great way for friends in Fairfield County, Connecticut to get together and be inspired. I hope some of the photos of the event on today’s Friday field trip have inspired you!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a wonderful weekend, Jackie

Sharing with Liz Marie Blog, Crafts a la Mode, and Shabby Nest.

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balmy beach day in november

November 14, 2014

life guard chairs pleasure in simple things blog

A balmy day in November certainly warrants a trip to the beach – no matter how brief.  There are signs of the season here – the fall colors in the marsh…

fall colors at the marsh pleasure in simple things blog

an occasionally leaf under the docks…

stray leaf under the docks pleasure in simple things blog

but even with an odd sixty degree afternoon in November, winter is on its way.

canadian geese at the beach pleasure in simple things blog

signs of birds at the beach pleasure in simple things blog

For Friday field trip today, I am sharing a few photos from my trip to the beach this balmy day…

beach grasses on the sand pleasure in simple things blog

I’m here to collect some items for holiday crafts…

scavenging at the beach pleasure in simple things blog

It is so much fun to repurpose collected materials from nature!

under the dock pleasure in simple things blog

Today was the perfect day to do some scavenging!

beach grass pleasure in simple things blog

Snow is predicted this week in Connecticut, so soon this fall scene will make way for the white stuff!

geese at the beach pleasure in simple things blog

Thanks so much for stopping by!

And, remember to take pleasure in simple things…some of the very best things are the simple things!

Have a great weekend, Jackie

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in awe of autumn

October 28, 2014

view of Heublein Tower from a distance pleasure in simple things

If you follow my blog, you may have noticed that I visit at least one spot each year out of my normal routine (like when I took the fall steam train ride) to observe the beauty of autumn. Sometimes, removing myself from my daily surroundings really helps to provide me with a new perspective and an added appreciation for the beauty of nature all around me.

fall trail walk in CT pleasure in simple things

Placing myself in some new surroundings was my intent when I made a visit to Talcott Mountain State Park in Simsbury, Connecticut to hike up Talcott Mountain to the Heublein Tower. With two friends joining me, we picked a day that ended up being a beauty! The sun was shining and the weather was perfect! We probably missed the peak of the changing leaves by a week, but the foliage views were magnificent just the same!

beauty of fall at Talcott Mt State Park pleasure in simple things

The hike on Tower Trail to reach the Heublein Tower, at the top of the Talcott Mountain, is about 1.25 miles and we were enjoying every step of it!

enjoying ct in the fall pleasure in simple things

Because of the time of year, the views were fantastic the entire walk; causing many stops along the way.

Heublein Tower in Simsbury, CT pleasure in simple things

It was fun having a destination, but the hit of the day was definitely the foliage – not the tower!

fall beauty at Talcott Mt State Park pleasure in simple things

The tower is a 165-foot structure built as a summer home in 1914 by Gilbert Heublein.  Heublein was a celebrated German-born hotelier and restauranteur as well as an innovator in the American gourmet food and liquor industry.  The tower holds some interesting history…in the early fifties, two future presidents visited the tower – General Dwight D. Eisenhower (who was asked to run for office there) and Ronald Reagan, then president of the Screen Actors’ Guild!  History buffs are sure to enjoy the photographs and historical information on display throughout the building.

fall at Talcott Mt State Park in CT pleasure in simple things

The tower is open and accessible to the public through the entire month of October.  The hike to the tower is a wonderful family outing, especially since it is not a difficult climb and the park requires no admittance charge or parking fee.

looking up at fall trees pleasure in simple things

Once at the tower,  visitors (like me) can climb the six-storied structure to the top and admire the beautiful views of Connecticut and beyond.

Heublein Tower window pleasure in simple things

On the horizon, Mount Monadnock, eighty miles away in New Hampshire, is discernible.  To the northwest, the Berkshires dominate the horizon.

water view from the Heublein Tower pleasure in simple things

In addition to river views, Long Island Sound is revealed as a thin blue streak to the south.  Those with sharp vision can see an area estimated to be 1,200 square miles.

view from Heublein Tower pleasure in simple things

This photo is the view out the door of the tower as we were leaving to head back down the trail…

view of front entrance of Heublein Tower pleasure in simple things

And, this view is one from a stop along the trail heading down the mountain.

walking the trail to the Heublein Tower pleasure in simple things

A truly wonderful afternoon sharing the beauty of the season with friends –  in awe of autumn.

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

Sharing at Craftberry Bush and Friday Finds.

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christmas in october

October 24, 2014

brush trees terrain pleasure in simple things

Hi friends!  Earlier this week I shared my first Christmas post of the season with a gift tag tutorial.  Today, I am continuing the holiday spirit with a shopping trip!  Who doesn’t love a shopping trip, right!  For today’s Friday field trip, I am sharing some of the items I’ve seen on an early shopping trip and am excited about for the upcoming holiday season.  So, grab a cup of cocoa or tea on this cold, windy day and enjoy!

The first photo is one of some bottle trees at Terrain.  You probably already know of my love for Terrain.  This season, they are carrying bottle brush trees in many shades – including aqua and teal (did you see the photo on my Instagram?)…so exciting!  Another really cool item I saw in the Westport store, was a candleholder in the shape of a house and made of cinnamon bark…can’t you just imagine the smell when the candle is lit!?  I wish you had a scratch and sniff screen!

cinnamon bark house terrain pleasure in simple things

I also loved these cocktail napkins..so natural yet elegant!  Since there are only two Terrain stores in the country, you may not have the opportunity to shop this fabulous home and garden resource.  If not, take some time to check the website for some great holiday inspiration.

cocktail napkins terrain pleasure in simple things

Talking about inspiration…what about this chalkboard wrapping paper at Paper Source!  Definitely 50 feet of fun!

chalkboard wrapping paper source pleasure in simple things

Christmas always involves ornaments and I love looking at the variety of ornaments offered at each of my favorite stores throughout the holidays.  With my passion for typography, I could not ignore this stunner from Pottery Barn!  I want to hang them up in many word combinations…like fa la la and ho ho ho!

Initial Ornament pottery barn pleasure in simple things

I have been enarmored with this mistletoe ornament at Crate & Barrel for a couple of years now…so happy they are still offering it!  I love to put them on packages of bridal shower or engagement gifts…so lovely!

silver-mistletoe-ornament crate and barrel pleasure in simple things

I LOVE this Terrain ornament!  Any favorite dried flower can be added…from your own garden or from a special bouquet!  Even a lock of hair or small photo would be a great addition!

terrain ornament pleasure in simple things

Mercury glass votives are always a lovely way to add some sparkle during the holidays.  This year, Crate & Barrel not only offers some really inexpensive options, but has colors that remind me of the sea.  At only $4.95 each, you can create a pretty cluster at a reasonable price for a beautiful sea inspired glow.  :)  Also, be sure to check out their snowflake hurricanes.

mercury-turquoise-tealight-candleholder crate and barrel pleasure in simple things

Fresh flowers are great all the time, but at the holidays they are always a requirement.  Anthropologie has not yet put out their holiday merchandise, but I love these pinched vases as an artistic way to display a few beautiful blooms.

pinched glass vase anthro pleasure in simple things

Ballard Designs always offers some beautiful holiday items, and this year is no exception.  These gray and white antler totes really appeal to my neutral color passion!  The Suzanne Kasler collection this year also features bears in a gray tone.

Tote bag ballard designs pleasure in simple things

Christmas is always so very exciting for the children and it is wonderful to find great items for the kids (or the kids in us!) :)  This cookie stamp from Crate & Barrel is sure to leave a smile on the faces of the kids during a Christmas Eve cookie making session for Santa!

cat-baked-for-santa-cookie-stamp crate and barrel pleasure in simple things

Decorating the children’s rooms in a special way during the holiday is a great way to add to the excitement to the season.  This year, Garnet Hill  has a pattern called “North Pole” that is cheery and seasonal…

north pole sheets garnet hill pleasure in simple things

And, for the cutest little night light, how about this flameless squirrel candle from West Elm that can be used all year long!

west elm squirrel light pleasure in simple things

With all the shopping and decorating, a relaxing cup of tea is always in order during the holidays…even better in a pretty mug.  This monogrammed vine mug is from Terrain and oh, so pretty!  It would also make a great holiday gift for that special teacher!

vine mug terrain pleasure in simple things

The last item I am going to share is also from Terrain.  I love this inexpensive hanging zinc bucket as an alternative to a front door wreath!  Filled with greens or holly, it makes for a really interesting addition to the outdoor decor!  Don’t you love the dots!  It would also make a great indoor organizer for wrapping supplies.

zinc wall bucket terrain pleasure in simple things

So that is it for today’s Friday field trip!  I hope you enjoyed our little preseason holiday shopping trip!  There is so much more to explore as the stores start stocking up…let me know some of your favorites!!

Please note that none of the photos in this post were taken by me…they came from the respective store websites.

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

Sharing at Shabby Nest.

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visiting a sheep farm in ct

October 10, 2014

a sheep by fence pleasure in simple things

I have to admit that the 332 miles of shoreline in my home state is my favorite part, but there are so many more places to visit in Connecticut!   And today, for Friday field trip, I am sharing one of these places – Connecticut’s largest sheep farm.

a sheep in CT pleasure in simple things

a sheep barn in ct pleasure in simple things

Sankow’s Beaver Brook Farm, located on a 175-acre setting in the town of Lyme, has been owned by Stan and Suzanne Sankow since 1984.

 a sheep on a sheep farm pleasure in simple things

 a flock of sheep pleasure in simple things

Named after the creek that runs through the property and continues on to the Connecticut River, Sankow’s is currently home to 600 sheep.

 a sheep on a CT sheep farm pleasure in simple things

 sheep in a sheep barn pleasure in simple things

The farm makes and sells artisanal sheep and cow’s milk cheeses as well as yogurts, milk, and gelato.

farm market at the sheep farm pleasure in simple things

The wool shop features handspun wool garments for sale and the farm store also sells fresh lamb meats and homemade entrees such as white bean chili and lamb curry stew.

wool items made from sheep's wool pleasure in simple things

I have to say, I found the idea of purchasing lamb meats or entrees made with lamb a little unnerving after feeling like I developed a relationship with the resident sheep! But, I did leave the farm with some sheep’s cheese that I later used in a pasta dish back at home.  Afterward, I felt really guilty about eating it because I learned, that although sheep’s milk has more calcium than cow’s milk, it also contains almost double the fat!

 hay bales in a sheep barn pleasure in simple things

a sheep closeup pleasure in simple things

It is a lovely time of year to visit Sankow’s Beaver Brook Farm to spend some quality time with these gentle animals while admiring the (soon to be) breathtaking backdrop of fall foliage.  It is open 9 to 4 daily.

 a lone sheep on a sheep farm pleasure in simple things

I hope you enjoyed today’s visit to the sheep farm!

a sheep peeking from the barn pleasure in simple things

Fun sheep fact…What do you call a group of sheep?  Did you say flock?  Herd, mob, drove, or trip are also used!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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let’s give them pumpkin to talk about

October 3, 2014

candy corn white pumpkin pleasure in simple things

I am not big on Halloween decorations. As a rule, I don’t decorate with traditional Halloween colors because I love all things neutral. I gave you a taste of this last year when I shared with you some of my white Halloween decorations.

That doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally use other colors in my pumpkins…just to change things up a little. The velvet pumpkins I make each year have been created in most all colors.  Here is a recent batch from this year…

a cluster of green velvet pumpkins pleasure in simple things

But, for Friday field trip today, I am sharing a few pumpkins I created for my home that were inspired by Halloween candy…maybe it will spark some ideas for some pumpkins for your own home!

Even though I don’t normally decorate with black and orange, there is one Halloween color combination I do enjoy! I have used the iconic white, orange, and yellow colors of candy corn on everything and anything from treat bags to Jell-O! It is an instantly recognizable color combination that screams (pun intended) Halloween almost as much as a pumpkin!  Using orange and yellow paint, it is easy to create a mini ‘candy corn’ white pumpkin.

pumpkin fun with black and candy corn spoons pleasure in simple things

This year, the colors of candy corn also made it onto some disposable wooden spoons to make quick and easy fun dessert spoons.  I just added a little bit of paint and some dollar store spiders to create a whole lot of Halloween fun!

The other candy that inspired some pumpkin fun for me this year was black licorice. Inspired by this black treat, I created a few black pumpkins to use in vignettes throughout my home.

a black plasti dip pumpkin pleasure in simple things

My first, the one that really took on the look of licorice for me was painted with Plasti Dip. If you follow the blog, you know that I love Plasti Dip and use it in many different ways. (On wooden spoons or seafood forks to name two favorites!)  For my black ‘licorice’ pumpkin, I used the Plasti Dip in a spray can to create a shiny black finish…spooky!

 odd man out black plasti dip pumpkin pleasure in simple things

After creating that pumpkin, I started playing with some different textures in black.

a  black onyx sparkle pumpkin pleasure in simple things

For a glittering, sparkly pumpkin, I used Martha Stewart’s glitter in onyx…I think this little vignette using an Anthropologie planter and some black amaranthus creates a great Halloween feel.

While crafting some of my velvet pumpkins this year, I created some in black to add another texture to my collection of black pumpkins.

black velvet pumpkins pleasure in simple things

It is always so fun to try different ways to decorate pumpkins! I hope you enjoyed seeing a few of my candy inspired pumpkins for Halloween on Friday field trip today…I can’t wait for next week when I share some of this year’s neutral themed pumpkin designs!

fun with  pumpkins small black plastidip pumpkin pleasure in simple things

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a fabulous weekend!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing at The Shabby NestCraftberry Bush, Crafts a la Mode, Nancherrow

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a passion for purple

September 26, 2014

a pleasure in simple things friday field trip to Smith's in Niantic

Before we start Friday field trip today, I will give you fair warning…if you have an aversion to the color purple – step away from the computer!

a purple flowers and a bee pleasure in simple things friday field trip

Why? Because the nursery we are visiting has adopted purple as their signature color and it is very obvious!

 purple flowers in a purple truck pleasure in simple things friday field trip

These are photos I took at Smith’s Acres; a small family owned and operated garden shop in Niantic, Connecticut.

 purple coneflowers pleasure in simple things friday field trip

purple garden utensils pleasure in simple things friday field trip

I thought it would be fun to share a few photos of the purple on display on Smith’s before all the fall colors set in and we are seeing everything in yellow, orange, and red.

 purple flower  posts pleasure in simple things friday field trip

purple flowers in a chair pleasure in simple things friday field trip

The purple definitely makes a statement! What do you think? I am not a purple fan, but you gotta love a theme!

 pleasure in simple things friday field trip purple flowers

Thanks for stopping by!

 purple nursery pleasure in simple things friday field trip

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

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the best park in nyc

September 12, 2014

 view of the Hudson River from the High Line NYC pleasure in simple things

 view of city streets on the High Line NYC pleasure in simple things

I can’t deny that Central Park is magnificent, but it is not my favorite park in New York City. For Friday field trip today, I am sharing a glimpse of my favorite park in the city. It not only provides an amazing display of shrubs, grasses, trees and perennials that rival any public garden, but also provides a unique view of the city from 30 feet above the ground!

 black eyed susans along the High Line NYC pleasure in simple things

 grafitti on the High Line NYC pleasure in simple things

view of hydrangea on the High Line in NYC pleasure in simple things

Running from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street, the High Line is a one mile New York City linear park built on a section of an old railroad spur. This unique park, 30 feet above street level, contains innovatively designed seating areas and beautiful plantings in addition to expansive views of New York City and the Hudson River.

view from the High Line NYC pleasure in simple things

walking the High Line pleasure in simple things field trip

The park provides a view of life in New York like no other.

office along the High Line NYC pleasure in simple things

A view of an office from the High Line in New York City.

art on the High Line NYC pleasure in simple things

Seasonal blooms (click here for September list), art on display, and scheduled activities are all part of the High Line culture. Dining is also an option during a visit and a fun way to take a rest and admire views of the Hudson River.

one of the many food options on the High Line in NYC pleasure in simple things

It is an exciting time to be a High Line fan, because on September 21st a new High Line section, from 30th Street and 10th Avenue to the curve near 12th Avenue, and up to 34th Street will be opened to the public. I can’t wait to check out the new design features and plantings in the new Rail Yards section!

 flowers amid construction High Line NYC pleasure in simple things

original rail tracks on the High Line in NYC pleasure in simple things

Cleverly designed seating amid the original rails on the High Line in New York City.

If you should visit New York City, be sure to include the High Line in your schedule of activities.

 view of a window on High Line NYC pleasure in simple things

Thanks so much for stopping by for Friday field trip. Have a wonderful weekend!

Remember to find pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing at Finding Silver Pennies, and Crafts a la Mode.

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in the fabric mood

September 5, 2014

Mood home decor fabrics pleasure in simple things field trip

It is very hard for me to admit that summer is coming to an end. It is my favorite season, by far!

We all have our end of season traditions and I’m no exception. One of mine is to start looking for some fabric to make velvet pumpkins. Last year I also started making velvet acorns to go with my woodland themed holiday décor for 2013.

So, for today’s Friday field trip, I am taking you to my favorite fabric store – Mood in New York City. If you watch Project Runway on television you may recognize the name as the store used by the show’s fashion designer contestants. Located in the fashion district of Manhattan, it is a popular place for students of fashion design to shop for supplies.

Although I do often shop for fabric at the local craft store, it does not compare to the selection available at Mood. And, fabric is one of those things I prefer not to purchase online… I need to see and feel the fabrics I am selecting for my projects.

 home decor fabric at Mood in NYC pleasure in simple things

 mood home sign in NYC pleasure in simple things

At Mood, I can be sure to find a huge selection of fabric to admire! Starting downstairs, in the home décor section, I start by looking at upholstery fabric. I have a couple chairs to upholster and I want to find just the right fabric. I have brought my handy paint color swatches – they make it so much easier to compare paint colors to the colors of various fabrics.

choosing fabric at Mood pleasure in simple things

pleasure in simple things visits Mood fabrics

 pleasure in simple things matching colors at Mood fabrics in NYC

So many great choices…it is hard to choose! Can you guess what I decided to purchase? You may recognize some of these fabrics in upcoming projects!

pleasure in simple things visits Mood fabric in NYC

I am always a sucker for a great awning stripe! There are plenty to choose from at Mood in New York City.

My next stop is upstairs to the apparel fabric section. Here I will look for velvets that I use to make velvet pumpkins and velvet acorns. It is so inspiring to find so many different choices and my creative juices are in overdrive! My budget limits me to only a couple choices, but it is so fun to pick up some new fabrics and to imagine the pieces I will create!

entrance to Mood apparel fabrics  NYC pleasure in simple things

velvet fabric selection at Mood NYC pleasure in simple things field trip

Upholstery fabric…check! Velvets…check! Mission accomplished! That’s it for today’s trip! I had fun discussing my projects with the Mood staff and talking about some of the new fabric trends. Mood is always an awesome and inspiring place to visit!

Thanks so much for stopping by.

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

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chocolate excellence at mast brothers

August 29, 2014

Mast Brothers chocolate products pleasure in simple things

Have you tried Mast Brothers Chocolate? It is really something special. And, the excellence of this product extends to the packaging…it is truly a work of art! You know how I feel about package design! My first purchase of a Mast Brothers chocolate bar some years ago was actually motivated by the packaging. I really didn’t expect to be so wowed by the product!

display of chocolate at Mast Brothers in Brooklyn pleasure in simple things field trip

This display of chocolate bars at Mast Brothers Chocolate in Brooklyn reminds me of a museum installation!

For Friday field trip this week, I am taking you to the company’s flagship factory and store in Brooklyn, NY where these sophisticated chocolate products are created.

bags of cocoa at Mast Brothers Chocolate Factory pleasure in simple things

 Mast Brothers Chocolate Products pleasure in simple things

To get to Mast Brothers Chocolate from Connecticut, take Metro North into the city. From Grand Central Station, either walk or take the subway to Union Square. From there, an easy trip on the L to Bedford. The store is located in Williamsburg at 111 North Third Street, near the corner of Bedford and 3rd – the Brew Bar just a few feet away at 105A.

Mast Brothers Brew Bar in Brooklyn pleasure in simple things

This visit, I was particularly interested in the newly opened Brew Bar. Opening only a few weeks ago, the Brew Bar creates and serves chocolate beverages that are quite possibly the first of their kind. High quality cocoa nibs are brewed in water for 24 hours and used to create a drink with an essence of chocolate. On my first trip, I tried an iced variety.

Angela at Mast Brothers Brew Bar pleasure in simple things

Angela at Mast Brothers Chocolate Brew Bar in Brooklyn.

Servers Angela and Derrick were extremely accommodating on my visit and took time to explain the process used to create the drinks and the varieties of chocolate available. The beverage itself is the color of a tea and has a subtle chocolate fragrance and flavor. It is extremely unique…I enjoyed it. I am sure most patrons probably add sweetener – a simple syrup is offered – I drank mine unsweetened. The subtleness of the flavor really appealed to me – so much different than a milk-based chocolate drink like hot cocoa.

Mast Brothers Chocolate store pleasure in simple things

Rick and Michael Mast are extremely passionate about their work and it shows in everything they produce. If you would like to learn a little more about them and their business, click here for a video. (If you would like to visit, sign up in advance online for a 45 minute tour of the factory at the cost of $16. by using Eventbrite.)

outside of Mast Brothers store pleasure in simple things

Thanks so much for joining me on Friday field trip today for a little glimpse of Mast Brothers Chocolate in Brooklyn.

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

P.S. I purchase my Mast Brothers Chocolate locally at Whole Foods Market.

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