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lucky enough

July 18, 2014

flower at the beach

The beach is a special place. I always say, even on a bad weather day, it is beautiful at the beach…and, I pretty much feel the same way about summer in general.

umbrella at the beach pleasure in simple things

For Friday field trip today, I am sharing a few photos from a random day at the beach. On this particular day, a day when everyone at work was complaining about the weather, this is what it looked like at the beach throughout that day…

every day is good at the beach pleasure in simple things

rocks at the beach pleasure in simple things

My appreciation for the beach starting young…some of my best childhood memories revolve around the beach and water activities. When I reflect on these memories, it is no wonder the beach holds such a special place in my heart. Just the thought of an old-school orange life preserver puts a smile on my face! Some of these memories include:

  • Learning to swim (in the salt water)
  • Eating fresh caught shark brought home from my Dad’s fishing trip
  • Going clamming with my grandfather
  • A lifetime of collecting sea glass & other ocean treasures
  • Fishing on the boat with my siblings
  • Steering the boat for the very first time
  • Bringing home sea creatures in a plastic bucket
  • Buying a cardboard box of scary sand worms for bait
  • And, yes, even cleaning barnacles off the bottom of the boat with my dad!

Do you have some favorite beach memories from your childhood?

beach pleasure in simple things

After all, if you are lucky enough to be at the beach, you are lucky enough. :)

aaOcean House 010


Visiting the beach pleasure in simple things

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

P.S. I am so thrilled one of my summer photos was included in Martha Stewart’s My American Summer gallery posted on her website! Check out all the wonderful summer photos in the gallery by clicking here. If you are an Instagram user, please follow me and be sure to share your summer photos with the hashtag #pleasuregram.

Sharing at Craftberry Bush, Shabby Nest, and Coastal Charm.

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beauty by the sea

July 11, 2014

Ocean House RI front view pleasure in simple things

Come visit an iconic New England seaside resort located on the bluffs of Watch Hill, Rhode Island…today on Friday field trip!

Ocen House, RI pleasure in simple things

If you are a beach lover, Ocean House is the definitive beachside luxury that inspires at every turn…the kind of place dreams of made of…I am excited to share some photos of this ‘must see’ location with you for today’s field trip – especially for my friends that have never been to this area of the country.

Ocean House croquet pleasure in simple things

Ocean House pleasure in simple things

It really is impossible to include enough photos to give an accurate sense of the beauty of this destination and the incredible attention to detail displayed throughout the property. (I will post additional photos on my Facebook page to help!).

Ocean House, RI pleasure in simple things

Ocean House, RI pleasure in simple things

The resort originally opened in 1868 and was a widely recognized summer destination back in the 1800s. After welcoming guests for more than 136 years (and surviving the Great Hurricane of 1938), Ocean House was rebuilt replicating the original exterior design.   Isn’t it amazing?

Ocean House, RI pleasure in simple things

Ocean House, RI pleasure in simple things

One of only seventy-six hotels in the world to hold a Forbes Five Star rating, the Ocean House offers 49 spacious guest rooms, 15 extraordinary suites, and 6 gourmet and casual al fresco dining options.

Ocean House, RI pleasure in simple things

Ocean House, RI pleasure in simple things

Boasting a 650-foot private white sand beach and world-class amenities, Ocean House is the ultimate New England resort destination.

Ocean House, RI pleasure in simple things

Ocean House, RI pleasure in simple things

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed visiting this iconic New England spot with me today for Friday field trip. Have a fabulous weekend!

Ocean House, RI pleasure in simple thingsRemember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing at Finding Silver Pennies and  Coastal Charm.


patriotic tie-dye on the beach

July 4, 2014

patriotic tees pleasure in simple things diy

Happy Fourth my friends!  For Friday field trip today, I am taking you to the beach to show you my summer shirt creations made to wear to today’s neighborhood parade and party on the beach!

Tie-dye is the perfect beach craft – not only because it is fun, but because as a beach activity, there is very little mess or clean up.

Both experienced and first-time tie-dyers enjoy making their own patriotic creations!

If you want to hold your own patriotic tie-dye session, not much is needed to have a really fun time that produces some great results!

patriotic tie=dye pleasure in simple things

Patriotic Tie-Dye Supplies

  • 1 bottle Rit Liquid Dye (8 oz.) in navy blue
  • 1 bottle Rit Liquid Dye (8 oz.) in cherry red
  • Rubber bands
  • 2 cups salt
  • All cotton tee shirts
  • 2 plastic dish pails (each large enough to accommodate 3 gallons of water)
  • Rubber gloves to protect hands from dye (optional, but recommended)

The most economical way to purchase shirts is to choose (all cotton) shirts in multiple packs at a discount store.  But, you don’t necessarily need to purchase shirts – you can use some shirts or other articles you already own!  (It is fine to use a white shirt with writing…maybe a tie-dyed version of a shirt from your alma mater!)  Another option, if purchasing shirts is not in your budget, is to simply ask your guests to bring their own!

tie-dye on the beach pleasure in simple things

As everyone gets wrapped up in the excitement of the activity, it is inevitable at our house that one of the kids raids their sock or underwear drawer to add some extra articles of clothing to the mix…old pillowcases and sheets are also fair game!

beach tie-dye pleasure in simple things

First, be sure to wet the articles of clothing you intend to dye and wring out excess water in preparation for dyeing…this produces the best results.

The next step is to add tie-dyeing at the beach pleasure in simple thingsthe elastics.   The elastics prevent the dye from getting to the part of the shirt they are attached to, so be sure to make them tight!  There are so many variations of designs that can be created.  Even experienced tie-dyers come up with new designs… If you are at a loss for ideas, you can use an online resource to find suggestions for applying elastics for specific designs.  We like to just wing it and see what results!

After the shirts are prepared with the elastics, prepare the dye baths.  I prefer liquid dye and I use it double strength.  For each color, first dissolve 1 cup of salt (it helps better set the dye) in 3 gallons of hot water before mixing in an 8 oz. bottle of liquid dye.

tie-dye on the beach pleasure in simple things

As far as the actual dyeing, like Easter eggs, everyone comes up with their own favorite technique.  That may be leaving the entire piece in one color…it may be dipping various parts of the shirt in each color, etc.  Dip or submerge your shirt into the desired color(s) and have fun!  The longer the piece remains in the dye, the stronger the color.

patriotic tie-dye on the sand pleasure in simple things

When you are done, squeeze the excess dye from the finished product and rinse with cold water from the hose until the runoff runs clear.  Cold saltwater helps set the color, so we end the process by throwing the item into the ocean!

tie-dye at the beach pleasure in simple things

Now to remove the elastics…this is the best part!  Everyone loves pulling off the elastics after the dyeing process to proudly admire the final results!  And, every shirt looks so good…it is impossible to mess up a shirt – every one looks super!

You now have a tee in patriotic colors!  Enjoy!

After the shirt is dry, you can further embellish it with fabric paint – In the past, I have used silver metallic puffy fabric paint to add stars to a 4th of July tee.

tie-dye at the beach pleasure in simple things

Thanks for stopping by and I hope today’s field trip will inspire you to hold a tie-dying session of your own!

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

Sharing with Silver Pennies, Coastal Charm, and Sand & Sisal.

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visiting the st. augustine lighthouse

June 27, 2014

visiting the St. Augustine lighthouse pleasure in simple things

The latest issue of Coastal Living Magazine named St. Augustine, Florida in the top 5 for happiest seaside towns in America.

For today’s Friday field trip, I am taking you on a lighthouse visit – one of my happy places during a recent weekend visit to the “Nation’s Oldest City” in the Northeast part of Florida.

St. Augustine Lighthouse in Florida pleasure in simple things

Completed in 1874, after taking three years to build, the lighthouse is St. Augustine’s first and oldest surviving brick structure and rises 165 feet above sea level.

Staircase in St. Augustine lighthouse pleasure in simple things

Walking past the nine windows in the lighthouse provided beautiful panoramic views as I ascended the 8 flights of cast iron spiral stairs – a total of 219 steps.

St. Augustine lighthouse pleasure in simple things

This is what one of the windows looks like from the inside…now, check out some of the views to the outside!

view from lighthouse pleasure in simple things

A view of the keeper’s house from one of the St. Augustine lighthouse windows.

view from lighthouse window pleasure in simple things

view from St. Augustine lighthouse window pleasure in simple things

I was able to make it to the observation deck at the top of the lighthouse just before an impending lightning storm cut my visit short.

top of the St. Augustine lighthouse pleasure in simple things

Jackie at the top of the ST. Augustine lighthouse pleasure in simple things

The lightning storm was probably a good thing – no telling how many photos I would have taken if I was given the opportunity!

top of the St Augustine lighthouse pleasure in simple things

I hope you enjoyed sharing my visit to the St. Augustine lighthouse on today’s Friday field trip.  Thank you so much for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie


the beekman boys’ fabulous tomato tart

June 20, 2014

pleasure in simple things tomato tart

You may already know of my infatuation with the Beekman Boys.  I had the good fortune to meet them at the Philadelphia Flower Show this past year and then, lucky enough to see them again at the Country Living Magazine Fair this past month.

I adore their dessert cookbook and now, I am equally enamored with their new vegetable cookbook. The first recipe I tried from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook was the tomato tart and it is definitely a winner!

beekman boys tomato tart recipe

I was so excited by the results; I decided to bring you into my kitchen for Friday field trip this week to share the recipe for this easy and delicious tomato tart.  Using heirloom tomatoes in a variety of sizes and colors helped my tarts resemble works of art!  Everyone should include this recipe in their summer repertoire as an elegant way to serve up the summer harvest!

I suggest purchasing some interesting varieties of tomatoes at your local farmer’s market (or use some from your own garden) and create this awesome tart making sure to include some of your favorite wine and favorite friends!

tomato tart recipe pleasure in simple things

Tomato Tart Recipe


  • Flour, for rolling the pastry
  • 1 sheet (about 8 oz.) frozen all-butter puff pastry, thawed but still cold
  • 2 Tabs olive oil
  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta, drained
  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ pound assorted tomatoes, cored, cut into slices, and halved

Preheat oven to 425.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out pastry to a 10 x 15 inch rectangle and transfer it to the baking sheet.

With a paring knife, score a border 1 inch in from the edge all around the rectangle, cutting into, but not through, the dough.  With a fork, prick the dough inside the border all over (this will allow border to rise higher than the center that’s been pricked). Brush the center with 1 tablespoon oil.

In a large bowl, stir together ricotta, goat cheese, eggs, basil, ½ tsp salt, and pepper.  Spread mixture over the center of puff pastry sheet.  Top with tomatoes, overlapping slightly.  Sprinkle tomatoes with remaining ¼ tsp salt and remaining 1 Tab oil.

Bake 30 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is set.

This recipe is for one tart…I doubled it to make two and found it is almost easier to plan on making two when purchasing the ingredients (quantities of goat cheese, ricotta, and puff pastry – 2 sheets come in a box – were easier to purchase for two.)

making a tomato tart pleasure in simple things

Keep this recipe handy for when your garden tomatoes become abundant – it is a super way to celebrate your garden treasures!  If you are interested in more recipes for vegetables, there are many more great ones (and stunning photographs) in The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook.

The Beekman Boys at the Country Living Fair 2014 in Rhinebeck NY pleasure in simple things

Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge – ‘The Fabulous Beekman Boys’ – discussing the newly released The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook with me at the Country Living Magazine Fair 2014 in Rhinebeck, NY.

I think this recipe is the perfect one to start the summer!  Enjoy! 

Thanks so much for stopping by and remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

P.S. My friend Phyllis planted a white variety of tomatoes in her garden this year…how cool would they look in this tart?

Sharing at Crafts a la Mode.

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country living magazine fair 2014

June 13, 2014

country living fair 2014 pleasure in simple things

With picture perfect weather and inspiration around every corner, The 2014 Country Living Magazine Fair in Rhinebeck, NY was awesome!

Birdhouse pleasure in simple things

Visiting Rhinebeck, NY is always great…getting together with good friends is the best, but in the beautiful surroundings of Rhinebeck, this feeling is intensified.  My last trip to Rhinebeck (to my friend’s awesome woodland retreat) also included a special treat – The Country Living Magazine Fair!

country living house of the year 2014

Visiting the 2014 Country Living Magazine House of the Year was awesome! Here are some photos of the outside…check out the September 2014 issue for more photos of all the decor!

The beauty of this three day event is that each visitor has a unique experience.  No two people are inspired in the same way or by the same things.  What can visitors experience at this fair on the lovely Dutchess County Fairgrounds?  Tons of vendors, craft and decorating demonstrations, lectures, celebrity meetings, samplings, book signings, and a visit to the 2014 Country Living House of the Year!  (Not to mention, plenty of clean bathrooms, a great food court with lots of seating and free parking!)

country living magazine fair 2014

It is a busy few weeks for me with very few free moments, but I had to share some photos from the fair on Friday field trip this week – a small sampling of my personal experience…enjoy a glimpse of The Country Living Fair 2014 through my eyes!  If you went to the fair, I would love to hear about your favorites!

Country Living Fair 2014

The beach themed fairy garden really caught my eye…and, aren’t the toolboxes adorable for Father’s Day?!

Jan Blough pleasure in simple things

The silhouettes by Jan Blough were one of my favorites…especially the garden themed designs!

whale painted rock pleasure in simple things

The Beekman Boys (I am a huge fan!) were my favorite of the many fun people to meet at the Country Living Magazine Fair 2014.

pleasure in simple things Beekman Boys

The photo below shows a few of the many demonstrations offered during the three days at The Country Living Magazine Fair 2014. Michael Devine, author of Flowers by Design creates a vegetable topiary, Libbie Summers offers 15 Fun & Festive cake decorating ideas (like this PEZ covered cake), and Cari Cucksey of HGTV’s Cash & Cari offers painting and repurposing tips.

demonstrations at the Country Living Magazine Fair2014

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a wonderful weekend…I have an exciting one planned!!

Rachel Hardage Barrett

Country Living Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Rachel Hardage Barrett.

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing at Little Red House and Coastal Charm.


fun with gelatin

June 6, 2014

D & P Pimms jelly shots

You have heard of signature drinks?  What about a signature jelly shot?

For Friday field trip this week, I will show you just that…and, some other fun with gelatin!

After my nephew’s wedding this past summer, I was able to secure the recipe for his signature drink – the D & P Pimm’s Cup – from his wedding venue.  When Thanksgiving rolled around, I used the signature drink as an inspiration to create the D & P Pimm’s Cup cupcake by incorporating the signature drink ingredients into a cupcake recipe.

Pimms cup jelly shots

Wanting to continue the D & P signature drink inspiration for the newlywed couple’s first year of holidays, on Easter I created the D & P Pimm’s Cup Jelly Shot!

D & P Pimm’s Cup Jelly Shot

  •  4 strawberries
  • 2 sprigs fresh basil
  • 1 (1 inch piece) cucumber, coarsely chopped
  • ¾ cup Pimm’s No. 1 Cup
  • 6 ice cubes
  • 2/3 cup ginger ale
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 1/3 cup frozen lemonade concentrate (thawed & strained)
  • 2 envelopes Knox gelatin
  • Garnish (optional) basil, strawberries, lemon, cucumber

Muddle (mash) strawberries, basil and cucumber in a large cocktail shaker.  Add the Pimm’s and the ice cubes and shake vigorously.  Strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer and set aside.

Combine the ginger ale, lemon syrup, and water in a medium saucepan and sprinkle with the gelatin.  Allow the gelatin to soak for a minute or two.

Heat over very low heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin is fully dissolved, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and add 2/3 cup of the reserved Pimm’s liquid, stirring well to blend.

Pour into a standard size loaf pan and chill overnight or until fully set.   Cut, serve, and add garnish as desired.

Pimms cup jelly shots

This recipe is a variation of a recipe created by the jelly shot master Michelle Palm – Michelle has been my inspiration to start playing with gelatin. :)

Since these jelly shots can only be consumed by those over 21, I also created a fun jelly shot for the younger set.  During Jell-O brand gelatin’s heyday in the 1960’s, a recipe for ‘Broken Glass Jell-O’ was printed right on the side of the Jell-O box.  It is the technique from this recipe that I implemented to create my ‘kid friendly’  jelly shots.  The recipe – the name wisely updated to ‘Stained Glass Bars’ - is available on the Kraft Foods website.  I cut the completed recipe into small cubes and added mini marshmallows to the skewers…there are so many fun variations based on a party theme, color scheme, etc.

jelly shots for kids

jelly shots for the kids

I hope you will use these ideas to help inspire some of your own gelatin fun!

P.S. For more jelly shot fun, you might like a school of pink lemonade fish jelly shots.

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

Sharing with Craftberry Bush.

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interest to plantings with diy teepees

May 16, 2014

pleasure in simple things diy garden teepees

Garden ‘teepees’ are a quick and easy way to add some great visual interested to your plantings.

pleasure in simple things garden teepee

For Friday field trip today, I am visiting with my friend Phyllis (thanks Phyllis!) to demonstrate this easy tutorial.

You may remember Phyllis from when I hijacked her magnificent yard for a charity garden tour or, from when I shared a terrarium making session at her home.

pleasure in simple things garden teepees

Today, we are creating garden teepees to add to outdoor pots.

pleasure in simple things garden teepees

To create the teepees, simply arrange branches in a teepee shape, holding them in place, while pushing into the soil.  Attach the top of the branches together using a small piece of green floral wire.  Place a piece of moss over the green wire and attach it using another small length of the wire.

pleasure in simple things garden teepees

*Moss can be purchased at a garden store and is preferred over the moss found in the yard or the forest to avoid undiscovered insect eggs, etc.

pleasure in simple things pussy willow garden teepees

pleasure in simple things making garden teepees

Looks like we have some ‘students’ interested in our tutorial from the other side of the screen door!


A garden teepee is such a great way to add some visual interest to plantings with very little effort and minimal supplies!

Have fun with it!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

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

Sharing at Craftberry Bush, Crafts a la Mode, and Mona’s Picturesque.


april showers bring may flowers

May 2, 2014

White's Flower Farm

Who visits a flower nursery on a cold and rainy day?  Apparently, I do!

pansies in the rain

Although I usually plan my visits for the summertime, I recently decided to make a trip to White Flower Farm on an April day.

garden wagons

I expected a different seasonal view, but certainly did not expect a day that turned out so cold that I dreamed of wearing mittens!

White's Flower Farm

You, my friends, are a wee bit luckier than I; since you can visit White Flower Farm from the comfort of your own home on today’s Friday field trip…no mittens required!

flower collage

White Flower Farm, both a working nursery and a private residence, is located in Litchfield, Connecticut and is an awesome place!  If you are an avid gardener, you may be familiar with the nursery, even if you live outside the area, since they do a huge mail order business.  I ordered from them long before I decided to make my first location trip.

White's Flower Farm

The visit turned out to be an inspiring one as I discovered the beauty in the preseason garden.  My typical visit is in July when the trees are filled with leaves and all the perennials are in bloom.  This quiet, somber day gave a special quietness and sense of promise to the gardens.  And, the trees looked so majestic in their bare state!

White's Flower Farm

Unfortunately, I was forced to take ‘rest stops’ in the heated gift shop to thaw out my frigid fingers!  Of course I would not have dropped in; if not for the cold hands! ;)

gift shop at White's Flower Farm

gift shop at White's Flower Farm

Landscape at White's Flower Farm

Garden Bench

Collage of photos from WHite's Flower Farm

White's Flower Farm

I hope you enjoyed sharing some of White Flower Farm in Litchfield, Connecticut for today’s Friday field trip…definitely worth a trip if you are in the area!  By the way, White Flower Farm takes its name from their first perennial border, the all-white garden (and my favorite) called the Moon Garden because the white flowers gleam even by moonlight!  Have a fantastic weekend!

And, thank you so very much for stopping by!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing at Craftberry Bush, Mona’s Picturesque, Fridays Unfolded, and Crafts a la Mode.


happy easter!

April 18, 2014

easter quote

Today is Good Friday and I want to wish all my friends who celebrate, a blessed Easter!  I am excited that my family will all be together for the holiday and I hope that you too are surrounded by the ones you love this weekend.

For Friday field trip today, I have assembled some Easter posts in one place in case you need some last minute Easter inspiration…links from past posts…Enjoy!

favorite ways to decorate eggs

a vintage egg cup collection

eggs from natural dyes

a recipe for Easter butter cookies

some Easter nostalgia

Easter basket ideas for the college set

growing eggs in eggshells

diy easy paper egg holders/place cards & (grass heads for the kids!)

dyed eggs for coastal décor

dye for creating eggs in shades of gray

Thank you so much for visiting! 

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

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