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valentine, read my lips

January 23, 2018

gummy mouth pops

Doesn’t everything taste better on a stick?  Think about cake pops – a bunch of cake crumbs instantly become chic when placed on a stick!  Why not do the same thing for Valentine’s Day…elevating candy or cookies to a new level by simply adding a stick!

making candy hearts on a stick

Using Reese’s peanut butter hearts to make these pretty skewers.

It is easy to transform treats into chic Valentine’s Day candy skewers to gift to loved ones.

heart on a skewer

One skewer can be a perfectly elegant gift (and very affordable!)

Valentine Cookie pop

Or, create a whole bouquet of skewers!

lip pops for Valentines

I hope you are inspired to create your own Valentine’s Day skewers!  If you want, package your creation in cellophane and add a Valentine’s Day note with a witty pun.  For my lip bouquet, I added a note that said “Valentine, read my lips.”  Leftover pieces of ribbons from holiday packages are perfect to tie to your finished skewers.

Reeses candy heart on a stick

Thanks for stopping by!

heart shaped cookies

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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january book giveaway!

December 29, 2017

giveaway planner

Today, for the January giveaway, I decided to continue one more month with an organization theme!  Since we all think about getting organized at this time of year, I am giving away a planner and some cute notes!  I am hoping to inspire some organization with style!

Just leave a comment to earn a chance to win!  I will pick the winner at random from the comments at the end of the month.

organizing with a snack

Congrats to Berna, the winner of the December giveaway.  (Click here to see last month’s giveaway).  I know you will put the cute planner and Lilly Pulitzer notebook to good use.  Enjoy!  Thanks to everyone who entered to win!

If you are an Instagram user, please read on!  This month we are sharing our organization photos!  Are you revamping your closet?  Organizing the spice rack?  Whatever your project may be, please share with hashtag #pleasuregram.

organization

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

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holiday 2017 at grace

December 15, 2017

holiday wrap by Grace in Niantic

For Friday field trip today, a visit to one more of my favorite stores for holiday shopping!

feather ornaments

holiday bird

throw selection at Grace in NianticHave a little virtual shopping trip with a few photos from this holiday season at Grace in Niantic, Connecticut.

holiday at Grace

holiday packages at Grace

holiday cutting board at Grace

Enjoy!

happy place mugs

buddah head at Grace

throws at Grace

Hope your holiday preparations are coming along!  Thanks for stopping by!

Have a fabulous weekend, Jackie

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green tea holiday bark

December 8, 2017

close up candy bark

I mentioned in a previous post that I found a great recipe book for trying some new food gifts this year.  Today, on Friday field trip, I am taking you into my kitchen to check out the first one I chose to make.  The recipe I tried is candy bark from the new recipe book Holiday Cookies:  Showstopping Recipes to Sweeten the Season by Elisabet der Nederlanden.  (For more on this book, click here.)

I couldn’t wait to make this!  I have friends that love green tea and I was sure the bark would look festive with green from the tea and red from freeze dried berries.

piece of candy bark

As it turned out, the recipe did not disappoint!  It looks super festive and tastes great.  I do have a few tips if you decide to make this for giving.

First, green tea powder can be super expensive – shop wisely!  I found some at HomeGoods in the food section for a great price!  You can also probably find it as a teabag.  Just be sure to check the label on whatever you purchase and be sure green tea is the only ingredient.  I found the freeze dried berries at a great price at Target in the section where trail mix and nuts are sold.

collage making candy bark

As far as preparation – do not let the dark chocolate layer get too cold before layering the green tea mixture on top!  What I found out is that the green tea layer does not adhere to the chocolate if it is too cold – as soon as the chocolate is firm, spread the green tea layer on top.  Also, work quickly to add the ingredients to the green tea layer because it sets up quickly!

christmas candy bark

This candy was so easy to put together and so quick to make!  Now, it just needs a cute package for gifting!

gift package of candy bark

Thanks for stopping by today!  I hope you are inspired to make a food gift of your own.  I have a couple more new recipes I want to try before Christmas!

last of candy bark

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

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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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palm beach style

May 2, 2017

sand dollar key chain pleasure in simple things blog

You know how I love a good theme!  Currently, it is all about Palm Beach!  Today, I am sharing a glimpse of a super cool project I created with Ralph & Martha.

sail key chain pleasure in simple things blog

For a gal that is all about neutrals, embracing Palm Beach – in all its pink and green glory – has been a big departure from my usual color palette!  But, what a fun time I have had immersing myself in all things Palm Beach!

anchor key chain pleasure in simple things

For this specific project, I chose some fabrics and ribbons to create some key chain gifts.  So fun!

flamingo key chain pleasure in simple things

The construction part was all Ralph & Martha and they are such professionals (and perfectionists), I knew my end result would be fabulous!

sand dollar key chain pleasure in simple things

Aren’t they great!  I think we nailed the Palm Beach vibe!  ;)  Think about what great wedding favors these could make for a summer celebration!

sail boat key chain pleasure in simple things

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

 

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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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holiday shopping trip

December 9, 2016

holiday-jewelspleasure-in-simple-things-blog

Today for Friday field trip, a little shopping trip to one of my very favorite gift shops – Taken for Granite in Stony Creek.  If you follow the blog, you know I especially love this shop at its holiday finest!

holiday-wreath-pleasure-in-simple-things-blog

My schedule did not allow me to make it to the evening open house this year, but I found the daylight just as magical!

holiday-shopping-bird-pleasure-in-simple-things-blog

As always, the best in holiday styling!  Enjoy!

pleasure-in-simple-things-blog-jewels

holiday-tress-pleasure-in-simple-things-blog

pleasure-in-simple-things-holiday-blog

holiday-shopping-necklace-pleasure-in-simple-things-blog

holiday-owl-pleasure-in-simple-things-blog

holiday-shopping-pleasure-in-simple-things-blog

holiday-decor-pleasure-in-simple-things-blog

I hope this awesome shop provided you with a little holiday inspiration!  Thanks for stopping by!

taken-for-granite-pleasure-in-simple-things-blog

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

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target bargain bin diy

December 6, 2016

diy-felt-bag-pleasure-in-simple-things-blog

I love the section at Target with all the low-priced items!  It is so much fun to find a great item for $1. or $3. in those magical bins at the front of the store!  Sometimes, a little DIY is the perfect thing to make something from the bin simply fabulous!

before-felt-clutch-pleasure-in-simple-things-blog-Recently, I ‘felt’ that way about a marvelous felt clutch I found in the $3. bin!  Though great on its own, a little enhancement would make it special!

I had a few ideas for a modification right from the start, but I knew I wanted to do an initial.  I was thinking I would use a plaid fabric that would make a nice contrast against the gray and would scream holiday.   To make it easy, I could use fabric bonding to adhere the initial.  Then, if I had any embroidery thread in an appropriate color, I would use a blanket stitch on the edges to finish it off.

felt-clutch-close-up-pleasure-in-simple-things-blog

When I got home, I looked at the random buttons I had left in my button box and some of the button colors were perfect against the gray felt of the clutch.  I changed my plaid idea to an initial formed from  buttons!  Based on the colors I was using, I would make a mustard colored tassel to add a finishing touch!

I used a small bead of glue from my glue gun on each button to hold it into place before I sewed each one onto the clutch.

sewing-a-felt-clutch-pleasure-in-simple-things-blog

When I went to the craft store to buy some yarn to make a tassel, I found a premade one in the color I wanted for less than the price of the material to make one!  Perfect!

initial bag diy pleasure in simple things

The pouch makes a great gift on its own or it can be used as a pretty item to tuck some presents into!

If you’d rather not use a needle and thread, another way to add an initial to the clutch could be to use a metallic iron-on initial from the fabric or craft store.

wrapped-gift-pleasure-in-simple-things-blog

A beautiful gift for under $5!  Thank you Target for the bargain bins – they are a wealth of (inexpensive) inspiration!

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

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