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dusk in the garden

July 10, 2015

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At the beach or in the garden, the light at dusk is my favorite light of the day.

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I am enjoying the opportunity to explore a yard I haven’t seen before at this glorious time of day.

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And, today for Friday field trip, I am sharing my visit with you.

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Many would have found the challenge of creating a pleasing landscape in a sloping yard with plenty of trees and ledge as too much to handle.

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That is not the case with the owners of this yard!  If the abundance of shade presented a challenge, it is not evident to anyone who visits this beautiful and imaginative space.

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The details are lovely and there are plenty of unique features.

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I think one of my favorite aspects of the garden spaces is that where many may have used white, (on a pair of Adirondack chairs, planters, garden shelves, fence) this couple chose to use black as a ‘go-to’ color.  The use of the darker color brings a sense of richness to the design.

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I hope you have enjoyed a few glimpses of this lovely space today on Friday field trip.  Thanks for stopping by.

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

Sharing with NancherrowThe Shabby Nest, French Country Cottage, and Craftberry Bush.

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baby robins are born

June 23, 2015

Robins nest for baby birds pleasure in simple things blog

How was your Father’s Day weekend? As I suspect it is for most gals that have lost their dads, Father’s Day is kind of sad for me. When my children were small, I was wonderfully distracted by helping them with festivities to celebrate their dad. As they get older; not so much.

This year, I had a wonderful distraction. Over the past weekend, I was able to watch a new dad take care of his two babies! The dad I am referring to is a father robin and he has been caring for his two little newborn birds in a nearby primrose bush!

robins coming out of egg pleasure in simple things blog

The little newborns are so cute – in an ugly sort of way, of course. I will have another 10 days or so before they leave the nest and I am enjoying the show! Both parents are frantically back and forth to the nest, feeding the little tikes.

When the parents are away from the nest, the babies stay very still and look like they are hiding. Instinctively, I think they must stay still for protection. As soon as the parents come close, the little ones have their mouths wide open and are ready to accept the next morsel!

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You may have seen the Instagram video (click here and click follow to see Instagram postings)  I posted a couple of days ago with the actual birth – it took the little babies a good part of the day to peck through the shells. When they were done, the father cleared the broken shell pieces out of the nest. (Dad on clean up? Doesn’t really translate to most human families lol!)

miracle of baby birds pleasure in simple things

Because of the position of the nest, I have had a really easy time viewing the process…the best of any other year. I sneak peeks occasionally, when the parents are off on their food quests. The next milestone for me will be to see the babies open their eyes – this should happen in a day or two!

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I hope you enjoyed seeing this year’s Father’s Day tribute. ;)

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

Sharing with Sand & Sisal, Coastal Charm, and Elizabeth & Co.

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country living magazine fair 2015

June 9, 2015

placesetting at the Country Living Fair pleasure in simple things blog

I am so lucky. I get the chance to attend the best fair ever! The Country Living Magazine Fair is held in four spots across the U.S. each year and one of the locations is the Northeast!

Michelle Masters at the Country Living Fair pleasure in simple things blog

card display at The Country Living Fair pleasure in simple things blog

The Dutchess County Fairgrounds are located in Rhinebeck, New York and each year, for three days in the beginning of June, it is host to the Country Living Magazine Fair.

The Rhinebeck countryside pleasure in simple things blog

Driving through the Rhinebeck, NY countryside.

This venue is amazing. Think lush, green grass and beautiful landscaping – with views of rolling hills. Think real, (not portable) nicely maintained restrooms. Think great food. (maybe a delicious chicken lemongrass salad for lunch?) Think free parking. Yes, it is amazing.

signs at the Country Living Fair pleasure in simple things blog

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The Fair provides tons of great inspiration and shopping, seminars and demonstrations, and a chance to meet the magazine’s editors as well as some fun celebrities.

pretty trees at the Country Living Fair pleasure in simple things blog

bottles with nos at the Country Living Fair pleasure in simple things blog

So, as I attempt to settle down from my busy weekend exploring the Country Living Fair and the community of Rhinebeck with friends, I am sharing some of my weekend inspiration with you.

birdhouse at the Country Living Fair pleasure in simple things blog

topiaries at the Country Living Fair pleasure in simple things blog

I hope you enjoy these few photos from my weekend. You can also find some additional photos on Facebook by clicking here or on Instagram by clicking here.

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A vintage collection of wedding toppers caught my eye in a little shop in the center of Rhinebeck.

Snickers ice cream at the Country Living Fair pleasure in simple things blog

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

Sharing with Thoughts From Alice, and Finding Silver Pennies.

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a visit to ben wolff pottery

May 15, 2015

Ben Wolff white clay pots pleasure in simple things blog

Because I am so enamored with his handcrafted pots, I have wanted to make a visit to Ben Wolff’s studio for a long time. Even though it is located right here in Connecticut, the studio was one spot on my ‘to visit’ list that never seemed to get crossed off.

Ben Wolff flower pots with Tuscan Rim pleasure in simple things blog

That changed this past weekend when my son asked what I wanted to do for Mother’s Day. I decided I could pass on a meal and, instead, we aimed to get Ben Wolff’s pottery studio crossed off my list of places to visit- yippee! It was a great day for a drive and the ride provided some great alone time with my son – catching up on what was going on with him.

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If purchasing flower pots were my goal, it would have been easy enough to just order them online. I’m not saying I didn’t want any pots, but that was not my main reason for the visit. I wanted to see the studio and meet the artist. As luck would have it, I was able to do both.

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Ben and his wife, Corinne, were both in the studio when we arrived. I knew Ben was a third generation artisan and he was happy to share his history and explain how he got started learning his craft at the age of two!

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It was a great visit and it turned out my son’s gift also included a few of Ben’s pieces! As a lover of neutral color schemes, the pots Ben creates in white clay are my favorite! I carefully picked out a few; choosing ones with Tuscan rims.

Tuscan rim white clay pot Ben Wolff pleasure in simple things blog

They are just so gorgeous! It is hard to imagine using a terra-cotta pot after you have seen Ben’s work. (If you read this blog, you probably have already figured out that I don’t use terra-cotta pots because of my aversion to the color and that my passion in the garden is for all white flowers!)

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With pieces starting as low as $8, they are affordable pieces of art – each signed by Ben.

White clay Ben Wolff flower pots pleasure in simple things blog

I haven’t yet planted in my new pieces, but for Friday field trip today, I hope you enjoyed sharing some of Ben’s works of art – a few from the thousands of flower pots he creates each year on his potter’s wheel in Goshen, Connecticut. I photographed them with some of the early bloomers from my garden.

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I hope you are enjoying some of your own garden flowers. If you follow my Instagram, you know I have been enjoying mine!

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The outside of Ben Wolff’s pottery studio in Connecticut.

Thank you so much for stopping by!  Have a fabulous weekend, Jackie

Sharing with Craftberry Bush and French Country Cottage.

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a twist on may day

April 28, 2015

nest globe pleasure in simple things blog

Hi friends. You know each year as May Day approaches and I post some type of hanging flowers? Well, this year I am posting something hanging….but, flowers?  Not so much!

Have you seen the little hanging glass globe terrariums? I have seen them in some of my favorite garden stores, but, because of the price, could never justify actually purchasing one. Then, I saw some online at World Market. They had two sizes – the larger one was $6.99! For these prices, I could purchase a couple! So, I did! I thought they would be great to use for May Day planters.

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But, as I started experimenting with them, I found my favorite items to showcase in these containers were not necessarily flowers!

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The globes each came with a piece of twine, but it would be easy enough to change out the twine for ribbon. I actually ended up keeping it – I like the natural/rustic feel of the twine.

What to display? Because the containers are small, I found ‘the simpler, the better’ fit my taste.

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Today I am sharing a couple of my favorites.  May Day this year is less about flowers and more about hanging! So much fun!

I did do one with a few pansy blooms for the more traditionalists out there!

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For some previous May Day ideas – click here for May Day with some coastal flair, and click here for some May Day flower globes.

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Thanks for stopping by!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing with Craftberry Bush, The Shabby Nest Sand & Sisal and Coastal Charm.

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growing easter grass

March 17, 2015

hello sunshine Easter grass pleasure in simple things blog

I am a huge proponent of unconventional Easter baskets – I think an Easter basket can be any vessel that appeals to your sense of style. And, at Easter time, I feel the same way about the containers I chose to plant grass seeds. I love to plant grass in any and all containers (including Easter baskets) that currently hit my fancy! Today, I am sharing a couple of this year’s container picks for grass planting!

You don’t need to celebrate Easter to plant grass – think of it as a ‘celebration of spring’ activity!  A grass filled mug makes a cute spring gift that can be reused long after the recipient tires of the grass.

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Any type of grass seed will work. Here, I have used wheat grass seeds. It won’t take more than a week to have a nice patch of grass. Just put potting soil in the container you have chosen. I always use packaged soil, not soil from the outdoors. The reason for this is that I don’t need any unwanted insects, etc. from the outdoor soil to find their way into my home!

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Liberally add grass seeds onto the soil, and then cover with a thin layer of additional soil. Water your new planting and keep in a sunny spot. Be careful not to water too much if you have a small container and/or no drainage. You will want to moisten the soil, but too much water (a puddle) will inhibit the seeds from growing.

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Now you can just water daily and wait for the seeds to grow! They will sprout very quickly and grow rapidly. They are so much fun!

I always start planting containers in March and just trim the grass with scissors if needed. You may remember last year I shared planting grass in egg shells – click here to see the tutorial for planting grass in real egg shells.

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Small, clear glass containers, like the Weck jars I have used here, provide an opportunity to see the roots of the plant. In this way, using one of these tiny jars at each Easter place setting at the ‘kids table’ is a great way to get the children excited about the growing process! Additional jars can be used to fill with treats.

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Do you have a special container in mind to try your hand at growing grass? I would love to see what you choose!

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

Sharing with Craftberry Bush, The Shabby NestNancherrow, Thoughts from Alice, Sand & Sisal, and House of Hipsters.

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a winter trip to the flower show

March 13, 2015

the shed at Terrain in Glen Mills PA pleasure in simple things blog

For Friday field trip today, I would like to share a few photos from my recent trip to Philadelphia. Every March, Philadelphia is home to the world’s longest-running and largest indoor floor show. Yes, I did go to the flower show, but this year the photos I am sharing are not actually from the show! Instead, these photos are from a couple of my favorite stops along the way!

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The first few photos are from Terrain in Glen Mills, PA – for me, always a required stop on a Philly trip. One of my very favorite stores, Terrain is the ultimate in home and garden inspiration!

Next stop is Longwood Gardens!  Listed as the 2nd best public garden in the nation, my other “must visit” spot on a Philly trip is Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA.

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Even on a day when the hemlocks are dripping with ice and the weather prohibits walking the extensive grounds of the gardens, Longwood does not disappoint.  Even the bad weather doesn’t prevent a quick walk past the topiary garden.

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At this time of year, the Conservatory sports an amazing display of orchids. But, this trip, these were my favorite flowers.

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And for me, the winter is a wonderful time to admire favorite indoor spaces that do not get as much attention when the weather makes the outdoor spaces at Longwood more inviting – like the children’s garden. Here are some of the great water features in the children’s garden (Did you see the video of the nest and bird fountain on my Instagram?)

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Water feature at Longwood Gardens pleasure in simple things blog

Fountain in Children's Garden at Longwood Gardens pleasure in simple things

As I leave, I see a suggestion of what is coming in the better weather ahead – this will be filled with roses in bloom before you know it!

rose trellis at Longwood Gardens pleasure in simple things blog

Thanks for sharing a few photos from my (snowy and icy) trip to Philadelphia on today’s Friday field trip.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing with French Country Cottage and The Shabby Nest.

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rosewater lemonade for valentine’s day

February 6, 2015

rosewater lemonade pleasure in simple things blog

Since a rose is one of the most enduring symbols of love and appreciation, what better way to add something special to a Valentine’s Day table than to serve a beverage enhanced by a rose?  For Friday field trip today, we are adding rose essence to served lemonade to add a subtle suggestion of friendship or romance to the table.

Lemonade is always a great soft drink option – particularly fresh squeezed – and adding raspberries, strawberries, and/or basil is always a nice way to ‘fancy it up.’ But, for a romantic option, an even nicer addition is a little rosewater.

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The essence of roses is a lovely way to add a little romance to an ordinary beverage…Perfect when a nonalcoholic drink is in order. I add a single tablespoon of rosewater to a quart of lemonade. Obviously, this amount can be adjusted to your taste.

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Rosewater lemonade is the perfect beverage to serve to friends at a lunch, as a garden club meeting refreshment, or at a Valentine’s Day brunch. I always have a bottle of rosewater in my kitchen because I frequently use it in my baking. If you don’t happen to have any on hand, you can pick it up at a specialty food store or Middle Eastern market.

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serving rosewater lemonade pleasure in simple things blogNow that you have some rosewater on hand, you may want to try using it in other ways. Click here to see my recipe for rosewater meringues.

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

This post is dedicated to someone very special…welcome to the world, Rose Catherine!  In little Rose’s honor, and as a special Valentine’s Day gift to you for sharing pleasure in simple things, I am giving you a gift of a pretty recipe card for rosewater meringues – just send me an email with your address and I will mail one right off to you – in plenty of time for Valentine’s Day!  Happy Valentine’s Day sweet friends. xo :)

Sharing with House of HipstersShabby Nest, French Country Cottage, Craftberry Bush, and Kim Klassen.

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february book giveaway!

January 30, 2015

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As usual for me at this time of year, my mind wanders towards thoughts of warmer weather, gardening, and spending a lot more time outdoors. Even though I can appreciate some aspects of winter, it is most definitely not my favorite of the seasons.

With this in mind, you will understand why I chose The House Gardener by Isabelle Palmer as the book for the February giveaway selection. This book provides tons of ideas and inspiration for indoor gardens…a great way to brighten up cold winter days and to inspire thoughts of the next (warmer!) season ahead.

giveaway book for feb 15 on pleasure in simple things blogThrough this delightful book, Ms. Palmer will show you how to choose, grow, and decorate with houseplants, as well as guide you through the different techniques needed to care for your new “green guests.”

Included in this book are instructions for drying and pressing flowers, suggestions for specific plant types based on conditions, caring for orchids, creating terrariums, and much more!

Just leave a comment during the month of February to be entered into the random drawing at the end of the month.

And, a big congratulations to Carol at Art & Sand for being selected randomly from everyone that commented during the month of January!  Carol, you have won the January giveaway selection, The Kinfolk Table: Recipes for Small Gatherings by Nathan Williams.  This is a beautiful book and I know you will enjoy it!

For those that use Instagram, February’s challenge will be to share heart photos. At this time of year, hearts seem to appear everywhere! Be creative and share a photo of a heart you spot in an unexpected place using the hashtag #pleasuregram! Can’t wait to see what you find! ;)

Instagram challenge Feb 2015 pleasure in simple things blog

Thank you so much for stopping by! Have a wonderful weekend, Jackie xo

P.S.  If you want some inspiration to get started on some indoor gardening, click here for some terrarium inspiration!

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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!

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

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

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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.

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

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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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