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stop and smell the roses

August 19, 2016

yellow rose pleasure in simple things blog

Friday field trip today is a simple reminder to enjoy the flowers around you!  I am sharing a few photos of the beauty surrounding me.

 flowers pleasure in simple things blog

As the summer gardens are winding down,

pink rose pleasure in simple things blog
I am appreciating all the beauty they have to offer!

potting shed pleasure in simple things blog

Before you know it, I will be harvesting the last of my summer flowers and displaying them in pumpkins!

peony pleasure in simple things blog

I hope I have inspired you to take some time to notice summer growing!

Hydrangea pleasure in simple things blog

Thanks for stopping by!

fern on table pleasure in simple things blog

Have a wonderful weekend!

And, remember to take pleasure in simple things – like smelling a fresh flower! :)   xo Jackie

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creations in the sand

August 5, 2016

couch in sandcastle contest pleaasure in simple things blog

I love checking out sandcastle contests at this time of year!  One of the great things about living on the coast in Connecticut is that it is easy to find one!

making sandcastles pleasure in simple things blog

Today for Friday field trip, I am sharing a few of my favorite sand creations from a recent contest.  It was not easy to edit my photos to post just a few sand sculptures, but it was easy to pick my favorite!

sea creatures in sandcastle contest pleasure in simple things blog

There were plenty of wonderful creations, but the couch design was my personal fave!  Isn’t it great?

closeup couch in sandcastle contest pleasure in simple things blog

The best part of this Christmas in July themed creation was probably the music!  The creators played the Hawaiian Christmas Song (Mele Kulilkimaka) during the judging!  I had the Christmas classic by Bing Crosby stuck in my head for at least a week after the contest!

 pleasure in simple things blog

Namaste!

namaste in sandcastle contest pleasure in simple things blog

Some of the animals looked really great…

animal in sandcastle contest pleasure in simple things blog

lion sandcastle pleasure in simple things blog

And, insects as well!

dragonfly sandcastle pleasure in simple things blog

Maybe I have inspired you to play in the sand a little bit this weekend?  I hope so!  Have a great one!

chillaxing at sandcastle contest pleasure in simple things blog

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

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surf’s up!

July 15, 2016

surfing heritage pleasure in simple things blog

I have shared some of my California trip from this past spring in previous Friday field trips.  Today, I am sharing the last – but certainly not least – of visited spots during my quick visit to the West Coast.

Today’s Friday field trip is to the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center in San Clemente, California.

shark attack surf board pleasure in simple things blog

Conducting some research on surfing history prior to my trip made the visit particularly interesting. I read the book Waterman:  The Life and Times of Duke Kahanamoku by David Davis and was fascinated with Hawaiian surfing legend Duke Kahanamoku. To find out that Duke’s boards were part of the center’s collection was exciting!

wooden surf boards pleasure in simple things blog

Duke was the first to be inducted into both the surfing and swimming Halls of Fame and is considered the “father of modern surfing.”  Being up close to Duke’s personal collection of surfboards – built in the day of wooden boards – was awesome!

Duke's wooden surfboard pleasure in simple things blog

These wooden works of art were magnificent to examine.  The Flying “V,” circa early 1920’s, made from a solid redwood plank and signed by the legend was my favorite!  It stands 9’ 4” and weighs 76 lbs.

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This was one of Duke’s personal surfboards purchased from his estate in 1985 for $3,000.  Built in the mid-1930’s, standing 11’ 6” and weighing 80 lbs., it was made from redwood, mahogany and balsa.

Dick Metz, the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center founder, served as our tour guide the day of my visit.  A surfer from the age of eight, Dick helped inspire Bruce Brown’s landmark 1964 documentary surfing film The Endless Summer and surfing stories were in no short supply that morning!

SHCC pleasure in simple things blog

If you have any interest in the surfing culture, I strongly recommend the Pulitzer Prize winning book Barbarian Days:  A Surfing Life by William Finnegan.  (I read it on the plane ride home from California!)

Mahalo!

Thanks for stopping by!

Have a wonderful weekend!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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lunch in laguna

July 8, 2016

Looking at Bird Rock from the lookout point pleasure in simple things blog in Laguna Beach

Join me for Friday field trip as I take you on a little trip up Cliff Drive to Las Brisas – a restaurant with one of the most scenic views in Laguna Beach, California!

Las Brisas in Laguna pleasure in simple things blog

Las Brisas provides wonderful meals inspired by Mexico, and served with California freshness; using local ingredients.

view from Las Brisas pleasure in simple things blog

The food is wonderful, but coupled with the view from a window table, the experience can not be beat!  Of course, a Mexican inspired meal has to begin with a little fresh guacamole!

guac at Las Brisas in Laguna Beach pleasure in simple things blog

Even with a wonderful meal, for me, the focus was on the view!  And, after the meal, taking in the view outside the restaurant is definitely in order!

Lauguna Beach from Las Brisas restuarant pleasure in simple things blog

Within a few walking steps, a gazebo with a lookout spot provides a clear view of Bird Rock.

my view of Laguna pleasure in simple things blog

A great spot to enjoy a little daydreaming…

lookout point near Las Brisas in Laguna pleasure in simple things blog

And, to do a little bird watching.

great view of Laguna Beach pleasure in simple things blog

Have a wonderful weekend friends!  Thanks for stopping by!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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laguna beach!

June 24, 2016

shoreline at Laguna Beach pleasure in simple things blog

I recently made my first visit to Laguna Beach!  It may have been a brief encounter, but it was a fabulous one!  I am sharing a few photos today on Friday field trip.

Laguna Beach pleasure in simple things blog

waves at Laguna BEach pleasure in simple things blog

I was in awe of this iconic beach and I had to be sure and document my visit with a few photos.  I hope they inspire you to take a trip to a beach – no matter how brief – on one of these marvelous summer days!

 Beach pleasure in simple things blog

I didn’t do any shopping that afternoon in Laguna, but I did bring back a valuable memento.  Holding the papers on my office desk is a smooth, pale gray, heart shaped stone that I have marked very carefully in white permanent marker with the letters L-A-G-U-N-A.

the Laguna Beach CA pleasure in simple things blog

It is a reminder that I will be back someday!

weather at Laguna Beach pleasure in simple things blog

Thanks for stopping by!

Have a wonderful weekend!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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lunch with a view

June 17, 2016

tableside at Raya Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel pleasure in simple things blog

I showed you the fabulous hotel I visited in California recently.  But, I didn’t show you the fabulous restaurant I visited IN the fabulous hotel!  For today’s Friday field trip, we are visiting Raya!

Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel view from Raya pleasure in simple things blog

I almost didn’t make it to Raya (the fabulous restaurant) because I was on a work trip and I didn’t have a speck of free time.  But, you know what?  When the assignment was completed, I had about an hour to spare while I waited for my transportation to arrive. I decided to use that time to grab a pre-flight snack at the restaurant I had wanted to visit the entire time I was at the hotel!

soup at Raya pleasure in simple things blog

Poblano, garlic, goat cheese, and white soy – the start of my Zucchini Flower Soup served tableside at Raya in the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel.

I wasn’t even really sure if the food was any good at this restaurant – which I assumed it was based on the rest of my experience at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel.  But, what I did know about this restaurant was that it had an amazing view!  I had walked past it (usually, very much in a hurry) so many times while at the hotel!

Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel at restaurant Raya pleasure in simple things blog

I just wanted to sit in Raya at one of the tables with the ocean view!  And, that is exactly what I did on my last day at the Ritz, minutes before I was set to leave my new favorite hotel!

ice tea at Raya Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel pleasure in simple things blog

You can see more photos of the fabulous Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel by clicking here.

Thanks for stopping by for today’s Friday field trip!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

P.S.  The food was good and I was also able to share the experience with two great people!  Enjoy your weekend!

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visiting dana point

June 3, 2016

Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel from a distance pleasure in simple things blog

This week, on Friday field trip, I am sharing some of my gorgeous hotel views from my short stay at the Ritz-Carlton in Dana Point while on the West Coast!  I was so very lucky to have the opportunity to stay at this awesome hotel for a work assignment.

Ritz- Carlton Laguna Niguel stairs to beach pleasure in simple things blog

Named after ‘east coaster’ Richard Henry Dana, Jr., author of the book Two Years before the Mast, Dana Point was the spot used by film producer Bruce Brown for the 1966 surfing documentary Endless Summer.  (Music buffs may recognize the title as the same as the film’s theme song by The Sandals.)

seating at Ritz- Carlton Laguna Niguel pleasure in simple things blog

beach at Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel pleasure in simple things blog

I was up at 5:00 am for workouts during my stay at the Ritz, and local surfers were already dotting the shoreline and providing some great entertainment for those of us interested in being spectators while enjoying an amazing ocean view!

working out at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel Pleasure in simple things blog

The views also made for wonderful al fresco dining!

Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel breakfast with a view pleasure in simple things blog

beautiful beach at Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel pleasure in simple things blog

The sprawling footprint of the hotel optimizes its expansive ocean views.  Believe me, my photos do not do the view justice, but I hope you enjoyed seeing a little bit of the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel – Southern Orange County at its finest!

great beach at Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel pleasure in simple things blog

Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel umbrellas pleasure in simple things blog

Thanks for stopping by!

sunset Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel pleasure in simple things blog

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

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ice cream & liquid nitrogen!

May 20, 2016

cookie butter speculoos pleasure in simple things blog

A new ice cream shop called Milkcraft opened last Monday in Fairfield’s Brick Walk in the center of Fairfield, Connecticut.  An ice cream shop may not sound all that exciting, but there was quite a buzz going on about this place. menu at Milkcraft pleasure in simple things blogI really wanted to see first-hand what made the place unique, so I made a trip over and I am sharing with you on today’s Friday field trip.  I knew there would be a long line, so I planned my trip on a rainy evening figuring an ice cream shop would not be as crowded on a rainy night…poor assumption on my part!  Indeed, the line was long!  But, since I went with a friend and we were busy talking – mostly about the amazing popularity of Milkcraft  – the line seemed to go pretty quickly! Most of the line was occupied by teens and it was apparent why – social media!  The owner of the shop did a great job of using social media to get the hype going about the place.

Milkcraft visit pleasure in simple things blog

The unique part of the store was the use of liquid nitrogen to freeze each customer’s made-to-order ice cream batch in a mixer.  This process creates a super creamy texture to the product by eliminating any formation of ice crystals.  It is also really fun to watch!

strawberry balsamic ice cream pleasure in simple things blog

Milkcraft boasts the use of locally sourced ingredients and fresh milk base from local farms. The menu, which is said to be updated seasonally, features sustainable and organic ingredients and delectable flavors such as roasted banana PBJ, Vietnamese coffee, cookie butter Speculoos and strawberry balsamic.  I have to admit though, I did have trouble figuring out what organic ingredient created the brilliant green and blue colors on some of the ice cream I saw served!

bubblecones at Milkcraft pleasure in simple things blog

The ice cream is served in two ways.  The most popular seemed to be the Bubblecone.  This is a Lego-like patterned bubble-waffle cone.  The Milkcraft website lists addresses in California and in Shanghai, China, so I have to think the origination of the concept must come from one of these two locales. And, the Bubblecones are definitely inspired by similar ones found in Hong Kong.

store exterior at milkcraft pleasure in simple things blog

The second way the ice cream is served is called Creameebun.  This is a glazed donut used as a bun and the ice cream is tucked inside.

I chose the Bubblecone option and split a strawberry balsamic with my friend – she got the short end of the split!  I also tried the cookie butter Speculoos (the bright green one).  Both were really good with a wonderful texture.  They were very creamy and dense.

cookie butter speculoos ice cream pleasure in simple things blog

A fun trip!  If you decide to visit, I would chose a time during the day when the teen set is still in school!

mixins pleasure in simple things ice cream visit

It is interesting to note that the owner of Milkcraft is also the past owner of one of Fairfield’s former Brick Walk restaurants – Spazzi – one of my favorite places to eat back in the 1990’s!

chillin at milkcraft pleasure in simple things blog

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

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garden party bridal shower

April 15, 2016

bride to be placesetting at Terrain bridal shower pleasure in simple things blog

What is better than shopping at Terrain? Attending a bridal shower at Terrain, of course!

Bridal shower at Terrain in Westport pleasure in simple things blog

I recently had the opportunity to do just that at Terrain’s Garden Café and today I am sharing with you on Friday field trip!

bridal shower menu pleasure in simple things blog Terrain WEstport

bridal shower apps at Terrain pleasure in simple things blog

fern favors bridal shower pleasure in simple things blog

I know many of you are not lucky enough to have a Terrain located near you. With only two Terrain store locations – one outside Philadelphia, and one in Fairfield County, Connecticut – many of you can’t frequent the store regularly like me!

placesettings Terrain bridal shower pleasure in simple things blog

favors from bridal shower on pleasure in simple things blog

But, for today, everyone can enjoy the beautiful aesthetics of a Terrain event! For a detail oriented, color obsessed person like me; Terrain hits all the marks – particularly when the organizers of the party working with Terrain have incredible style as well!

bread and butter at Terrain Westport bridal shower pleasure in simple things blog

Enjoy the photos!

party prizes bridal shower pleasure in simple things blog

bridal shower naked cake pleasure in simple things blog

Please note: The beautiful fern favors, Prosecco prizes, wooden spoons, and cake top were not done by Terrain – they were created by the party organizers and, as you can see, tied into the Terrain décor perfectly!

celebration at Terrain pleasure in simple things blog

Thank you so much for stopping by and have a marvelous weekend!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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jonesing for warmer temps

April 8, 2016

sunset on the ct coast pleasure in simple things blog

Can you believe, here in Connecticut, there are still weather forecasts of snow? It is a little much, in my opinion. Can we just get on with spring?

stonington ct pleasure in simple things blog

For today’s Friday field trip, I am providing a little glimpse of the Connecticut coast and hoping to inspire some thoughts of warmer weather.

ct coast pleasure in simple things blog

I know you can’t tell by the photos that the April temperatures while I was photographing were in the ‘20s!

enjoying the ct coast pleasure in simple things blog

Enjoy thoughts of warmer weather ahead!

end of day in ct pleasure in simple things blog

Thank you so much for stopping by.

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

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