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repurposed calendar diy

July 18, 2017

pleasure in simple things calendar repurpose

Do you have a calendar that is just too pretty to throw away?  This is the perfect DIY to repurpose it and to create something beautiful in the process!

Let me share how I repurposed pages from a calendar to create some special mementos!

The calendar I am using in this example is my Anna Rifle calendar.  This beautiful calendar was actually one of my previous giveaways – if you were the one to win it, you already have the start to create some wonderful gifts!

Calendar diy Anna Rifle calendar

All you need to do is to use the page of the month from the date you have chosen, circle the date, and frame to your liking!  So pretty and so easy!

My calendar choice has metallic gold accents, so I circled my chosen date with a gold metallic marker.   Use any permanent marker that coordinates with the page you have chosen.  Gold leaf, calligraphy ink, or watercolor paint can also be used, based on your taste and the style of the calendar you are using.

calendar diy repurpose Anna Rifle

Here, rather than using a frame, I have clipped the calendar page to a clipboard I covered with a metallic dot wrapping paper.

repurposed calendar diy with clipboard

What special date do you want to remember?  A baby’s birth date, a special anniversary, the arrival of a new pet – many possibilities – any date you may want to commemorate is fair game!

If you plan on framing the page, remember to think about the frame size when you purchase the calendar since the cost of your project will be much less if the calendar fits a stock mat/frame.   Of course, you have the option to have the piece professionally framed, if you prefer.  You may also come up with other ideas –using a clipboard as a frame or slipping the page under a piece of glass on a serving tray.

calendar repurpose diy

Think about gifts for showers, anniversaries, or wedding dates – if you don’t have a calendar to reuse, buy a beautiful calendar after the year begins, when they are drastically marked down in price!

I hope I have inspired you to create a special gift for yourself or for someone special!

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

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botanical wedding details

July 11, 2017

botanical wedding escort cards pleasure in simple things

For a botanical themed wedding held in the woods by a lake, I had a blast coming up with some fun little details to carry the vibe!  Here are a few you may want to incorporate into your own event!

wedding hashtag cards pleasure in simple things blog

Beautiful paper products are always a must for any event I plan, and this wedding was no exception!  I think a “hashtag card” should be a standard these days with social media having such a strong presence at a wedding.  Creating something similar to a business card, but using the couple’s hashtag is a beautiful way to spread the word!

botanical wedding details hashtag wedding cards

For this wedding, I created two different cards using illustrations on the front and the hashtag on the back.  A fashion illustrator created two different designs for me at a very reasonable price. (You can use her too, by emailing inquiries to  One depicted the couple from behind and the other was an illustration of the gazebo where the couple was married.  I used them to create square, heavyweight cards with rounded corners that I ordered online using Moo.

signature drink cards for botanical wedding theme

wedding details botanical wedding straws

Another great paper product for a wedding is the recipe for the couple’s signature drink.  In this case, the recipe cards were added to the couple’s hotel welcome boxes (Kraft paper boxes were used in place of bags) as well as provided at the bar (near the birch bark straws).  This idea can also be incorporated into thank you cards if the drink proves a big hit at the wedding!

Hotel welcome boxes botanical themed wedding

Personalized napkins are not new for weddings, but including ‘factoids’ about the couple is so much more personal than just printing them with initials.  I created 6 different designs that included how the couple met and other interesting personal stories about them.  These are simple to create online on Wedding Paper Divas.  (I waited for a big sale and personalized to my liking.)

gray and white wedding details fun fact napkins

Doing away with a typical centerpiece by a florist opens up a whole new way of thinking for bridal tables!  Why not create your own!  Using a beautiful potted planting or designing a terrarium is fun to create and adds a personal touch to a celebration.

making terrarium centerpieces for a botanical themed wedding

For this event, I got together with a few special friends (who happen to have huge green thumbs!) to build my terrarium vision…perfect for a botanical theme!  The table numbers were written on rocks inside the terrariums and fairy lights were also added.  Lanterns I purchased from HomeGoods were used for the vessels and plants were purchased from local nurseries, as well as Trader Joe’s.  Event planners, take note:  If you need reasonably priced plants for centerpieces, think of your local Trader Joe’s as a source…the flower department at the store could not be more helpful when ordering in bulk, and the pricing can’t be beat!

diy wedding terrarium centerpieces

moss wedding wreath botanical weddingPlenty of moss, rocks, and organic materials added to the botanical vibe at the venue.  Rocks ordered at Home Depot were used as escort cards.  Table numbers were written on the underside of the rocks so the guests could reuse the beautifully lettered rocks as paperweights or decorative objects after the wedding.  (If you want someone to do lettering for you, check out Sam Epstein Design on Etsy!)  Fresh plantings in pretty containers joined the table arrangement of ‘escort rocks’ as well as tiny fairy lights, pretty votives (Jamali Garden), and a lighted moss wreath on a beautiful gray silk ribbon (Silk & Willow).  A lantern was used for gifts of cards.


rock escort card at botanical themed wedding

The favors. arranged on the salad plates. were small tin camp cups filled with gray-toned candy beach stones ordered from Stonewall Kitchen.  A gray grosgrain ribbon, in keeping with the wedding accent color, (The bridesmaids wore gray Vera Wang dresses.) adorned the cup handles.

Botanical themed wedding favors

birch straws in cup botanical weddingI hope you found some of the details at this botanical themed wedding inspiring…I will share photos at the venue in an upcoming post!  If you need any ideas for your own celebration, shoot me an email – I’d be happy to help you brainstorm some ideas to personalize your own celebration!


mens bathroom basket at botanical wedding

The women’s room wasn’t the only bathroom to get attention – the men’s room had a necessity basket on-theme as well!

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


naples botanical garden

June 27, 2017

Naples succulent pleasure in simple things blog

June is coming to an end and since Friday’s post this week will be the monthly giveaway, today will be more like a field trip.  I shared my favorite exhibit in the Naples Botanical Garden in a post this month…it was a temporary exhibit called Origami in the Garden. (Click here if you missed it!)

Today, in keeping with my garden focus, I am sharing my favorite floral spot in that garden.  And, guess what?  The flowers aren’t white!  I know – out of character, but can you see why I fell for this gorgeous spot in The Naples Botanical Garden?

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Once in a while, I am a sucker for some color!  Like this:

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Talk to you again on Friday.  If you haven’t entered the book giveaway for June, you have a couple more days.  I will pick the winner at midnight on Thursday.  Click here to leave a comment on the giveaway post to be entered to win.  Good luck!

Docent Naples botanical garden

A docent at the Naples Botanical Garden in Naples, Florida.

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

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the fountain at the breakers, palm beach

June 16, 2017

Front view Breakers Fountain

This month I have been on something of a plant/garden kick…it always happens this time of year.  I love go to nurseries and I love admiring plants and great plantings and containers.  Of course, part of the whole garden experience is to add some interesting features.  I have been thinking about and admiring water features of late and it got me thinking of the great fountain I saw on my recent Palm Beach trip.

Alligator detail Breakers Fountain

The great fountain I am talking about sits in front of the iconic Breakers Hotel.

Breakers Fountain

Of course it is not a water feature I could ever have in my garden, but I thought I would share it’s beauty with you on today’s Friday field trip.

boy fountain detail The Breakers

boy with alligator fountain detail

When I stayed at the hotel, I saw more photos staged in front of this fountain than in front of the magnificent coastline – certainly that was the case with new brides and grooms at the hotel!

Fountain detail and palms

No matter what it’s form, you certainly can not beat the sound of water to create a sense of calm!

close up Breakers fountain

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Flag front Breakers

Have a fabulous weekend and remember to take pleasure in simple things – like the sound of water in a fountain!  xo Jackie

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ferns in urns diy

June 13, 2017

boston fern

I have a really easy DIY I’d like to share today.

When I found that florists charged hundreds of dollars for a simple urn with ferns (plus delivery!), I decided there had to be a less expensive way to have create the same result.

Well, I turned hundreds of dollars into less than $40!

fern diy

First, I went to my go-to home store, HomeGoods, to find an appropriate urn.  They had plenty of low priced urns in stoneware, ceramic, or acrylic choices.  I opted for the acrylic since I wanted to create something as inexpensive as possible that would be easy to transport to a special event.

All the acrylic choices were in dark colors, so I would have to give my urns a coat of spray paint!  I took the two urns I purchased into the yard and sprayed them to coat – a very quick process.

urn diy

I had purchased two large hanging Boston Fern plants from Lowe’s when they were on sale for $9.99.  My plan was to plant them in the urns until one of my friends suggested it would be easier to transport them if they weren’t planted!  Of course!  So, I stuffed the bottoms of the two urns with some Styrofoam left from some packaging and now I plan to just drop the plants on top of the Styrofoam when I am ready for my event!  The planters weigh next to nothing – even filled with the material – and the plants are very light as well.

Ferns in urns

What a savings…and, so easy!  And the urns really look like stoneware.  When I get to the event, I will simply add the plants to the urns and remove the plastic hangers!  (I am leaving them on for now because it is easier to move the plants with the hangers as handles.)

ferns in urns diy

I hope you I have inspired you in some way for planning the décor for your next special event!

Thanks for stopping by!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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shakespeare’s garden in brookfield, ct

June 9, 2017

shakespeare 10

My friends have been holding out on me!  They have just recently shared what is currently one of my favorite nurseries!

shakespeare gardens bethel ct 9

Shakespeare’s Garden in Brookfield, Connecticut now joins a list that includes places like White’s Flower Farm and Terrain.

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What makes a great nursery?  For me, three important criteria!  First, and foremost, creativity!  The plants need to be presented in a beautiful way…with creative, imaginative, and even innovative added to the mix!

shakespeare gardens bethel,ct 4

Of course, plants can easily be purchased at a local grocery or warehouse store.  So, for a nursery to become a favorite means the plants aren’t just offered for sale, but are displayed in a creative way.

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The second way to become a favorite is to have plenty of unique containers for plantings.  Vintage pieces or repurposed items used as planters are an example.  I’m looking for containers that help create an organic look or enhance the beauty of the planting it contains.

shakespeare gardens bethel ct1

The third criteria is for the nursery to employ a knowledgeable staff.  I want to be able to ask a question about caring for a particular plant or about the habit of a perennial I am purchasing and be confident I am getting an educated response.

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Those are my top three.  The bonus number four for me is a great gift shop!  Finding some unique and aesthetically beautiful items for sale is always a plus!

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Because Shakespeare’s Garden checked all the boxes for me – including the bonus item (!) – I am including some photos I took on my visit for today’s Friday field trip.

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I hope they have inspired you in some way!  Shakespeare’s Garden is worth a visit if you are in commuting distance.

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Have a wonderful weekend!  Remember take pleasure in simple things – like visiting a favorite nursery!  xo Jackie

P.S. If you go, remember to say hello to Romeo – the resident cat.

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naples botanical garden origami

June 6, 2017

Naples pleasure in simple things blog 6

On my first visit to the Naples Botanical Garden in Naples, Florida, I was intrigued by the tag line ‘Gardens with Latitude.’

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I discovered the gardens showcase subtropical plants that grow around the world between the 26th latitude north, where Naples is located, and 26th latitude south.

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One hundred and seventy acres of themed gardens that represent the culture and flora of the tropics – country climates from the 26th latitude – what an interesting concept!

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It did not take me long to figure out that plants growing in the 26th latitude are very different from the plants in my native Connecticut, or in my favorite public garden – Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania!

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But, the difference in plants was not what intrigued me most during my visit.  That honor went to the temporary exhibit, Origami in the Garden.

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Monumental sculptures created by artist Kevin Box told the story of origami, the Japanese art of paper folding.

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The exhibition included large-scale installations, gallery works, Box’s own compositions as well as collaborative works with his wife Jennifer and world-renowned origami artists Dr. Robert J. Land, Te Jui Fu, and Michael G. LaFosse.

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Examples of this amazing display are represented in the photos I am sharing with you today.  I was thrilled that the installation happened to be in the garden on the day of my visit!

Origami in the Garden pleasure in simple things blog

The exhibit inspired me to do a little more research on origami.  I hope it inspired you in some way!

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Thank you for stopping by and sharing the Origami in the Garden display with me!

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Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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plants of palm beach

May 9, 2017

succulent arrangement

As I start to clean up my garden and plant some annuals here in Connecticut, I can’t help but think of some of the inspiring plantings I saw on my first trip to Palm Beach, Florida.

Like all things in Palm Beach, the green spaces are magnificent. So today, as part of my Palm Beach homage, I am sharing some of my favorites from the great plantings I spotted!

Some of my favorite container plantings were located around the pool at The Breakers hotel…

container garden poolside at The Breakers

poolside container garden

This colorful orchid was one of many located in an interior courtyard at The Breakers. This beautiful variety of flower can easily grow on the trees in Palm Beach.

colorful orchids

The Living Wall (located on the west wall of Saks Fifth Avenue) on Worth Avenue, has to be the most high-profile garden in a Palm Beach public space! It was assembled in 2010 as part of the nearly $16 million beautification of Worth Avenue. A computerized system provides water and nutrients to the more than 10,000 plants in the 24-foot high, 36-foot wide grid. Amazingly beautiful!

Living wall in Palm Beach

These topiaries were also spotted on the famous high-end shopping street, Worth Avenue.

Palm Beach Topiaries

I found this cool looking flower in some shrubbery on the grounds of The Breakers hotel…not too sure what it is, but I thought it was uniquely beautiful.

flowers at The Breakers

This simple but majestic container planting was spotted outside Henry Flagler’s 1902 Palm Beach estate. Flagler was the gentlemen that established Palm Beach as a resort.

plant outside Flagler Estate

And, of course, you can’t help but notice the beautiful palms when in Palm Beach! They are everywhere! The coconut palm is not native to Florida. It’s presence in Palm Beach is due to a shipwreck back in 1878. The ship, traveling to Spain from Havana, was carrying a cargo of coconut palms and many of the coconuts were salvaged; many planted.

outside landscape at The Breakers

evening palms

I hope you enjoyed sharing a few of the many plants that caught my eye while in Palm Beach. While inspiring, they certainly make my humble garden seem a lot less exciting! I have to remind myself that Connecticut is lacking the tropical rain forest climate of Palm Beach!

dish garden The Breakers

A dish garden I admired on a table inside The Breakers hotel.

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

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valentines at terrain

January 27, 2017

succulents at Terrain Valentine pleasure in simple things blog

Today’s Friday field trip is to a familiar location if you frequent my blog.  I made a quick trip to Terrain this week between some work meetings, and I wanted to share some Valentine’s Day inspiration!  I always feel sorry for those of you that aren’t close enough to a Terrain to frequent it, but by sharing I hope I can inspire you just the same!

There are some signs of transitioning into spring with some new displays in the store…

Spring at Terrain Valentine pleasure in simple things blog

But looking around at inspiration for Valentine’s Day, there is plenty!  From the heart shaped planters…

heart planters Terrain pleasure in simple things blog

…to creative sweets!

Terrain Valentine heart candy pleasure in simple things blog

Chocolate valentine hearts at Terrain in Westport, Connecticut.


Terrain Valentine marshmallows pleasure in simple things blog

Some adorable heart shaped marshmallows at Terrain in Westport, Connecticut.


If you would rather buy a plant already potted, there are some cuties!

Terrain violets pleasure in simple things blog

Terrain Valentine succulents pleasure in simple things blog

I was inspired to create some plantings of my own when I saw these pretty drinking glasses in the sale section!  I bought a couple of these beauties as well as some ferns to create my own plantings!  Won’t these be adorable as planters?

Terrain sale glasses pleasure in simple things blog

I found one other item I want to use for a DIY.  Can you guess what I will use these for?  Hint…it is not for Valentine’s Day!

Fern notes Terrain pleasure in simple things blog

Thank you for joining me today for Friday field trip!  I hope I have given you a little Valentine’s Day inspiration – botanical style!

Ferns at Terrain pleasure in simple things blogHave a wonderful weekend and remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie



bird feeder diy valentine gift

January 17, 2017

making diy bird feeders pleasure in simple things blog

A bird feeder is a great gift you can make yourself.  Who doesn’t enjoy watching a free nature show from their window?

Hanging bird feeders made from bird seed are really simple and inexpensive to make.  A simple DIY, the bird seed is held together with clear gelatin and hangs from a tree branch with a piece of twine.

diy bird feeders pleasure in simple things blog heart

As a Valentine, a feeder can be packaged up really cute with a corny Valentine saying!  I love  “Valentine, you are so very tweet!”  So appropriate for a bird themed gift!  And, a small bird from a craft store is the perfect addition to the wrapping!

Choose an appropriate shaped cookie cutter to use as a mold.  I chose a heart to go along with a Valentine theme, but also chose a state-shaped mold to make a ‘state pride’ feeder to gift to an out-of-state relative.  Cookie cutters are available in virtually any shape so, have fun with it!

diy state pride bird feeders pleasure in simple things blog

Supplies Needed:

  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 envelopes unflavored Knox gelatin
  • 2 cups bird seed
  • Large baking sheet
  • Parchment or wax paper
  • Cookie cutters
  • Cooking spray
  • Drinking straw
  • Twine

Place a piece of parchment or wax paper on a flat baking sheet.  Set out desired cookie cutters onto the sheet.  Use cooking spray to spray the surface/cutters.  Cut the straw into 2” pieces and set aside.

a collage diy bird feeders valentines gifts
Heat 2/3 cup water in a medium saucepan; removing from the heat just before it starts to boil.  Sprinkle the contents of 2 envelopes (4 come in a package) of Knox unflavored gelatin on top of the water and let dissolve, stirring as necessary.  After the gelatin is fully incorporated, let the mixture stand 5 minutes – enough to cool down, but not enough to completely set.  Stir in 2 cups of bird seed, mixing thoroughly.  I used the seed for small birds – small seed pieces best stick together.

Place the bird seed mixture into the cutter molds; pressing firmly in place.  Insert a piece of straw into each piece to create a hole for hanging.

Place the sheet in fridge to set.  After an hour or two, remove each feeder from its cookie cutter and lay flat to dry overnight.

Remove straw pieces and let dry a couple days before adding twine to each feeder for hanging.

diy CT state bird feeders pleasure in simple things blog

Package as desired.  Makes approximately 2-4 feeders, depending on the size of the cookie cutters.  (For example, one batch could fill one 5” cookie cutter, one 4” cookie cutter and one 3” inch cookie cutter.)

gifting diy bird feeders pleasure in simple things blog
Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you are inspired to make and gift a bird seed feeder for Valentine’s Day!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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