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holiday cookies

November 17, 2017

Holiday cookies cookbook

2017 has been a good year for cookbooks.  There have been a wide variety of new books published.  This selection includes cookbooks by celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Zac Posen – as well as cookbooks by famous chefs like Bobby Flay, Wylie Dufresne, Jacques Pepin and Richard Blais.

But, for recipes to use for holiday gifting, I have a favorite cookbook release this year and I would like to share the title with you today on Friday field trip.

holiday baking

The book?  Holiday Cookies:  Showstopping Recipes to Sweeten the Season by Elisabet der Nederlanden.  With some intriguing new dessert recipes accompanied by fabulous photos, I am really enamored with this book!  Can you tell why based on the few photos here?!

holiday cookie trees

The holidays are a time when most people succumb to food temptations and I am no different!  For me, it is definitely a new sweet that will do me in! On Thanksgiving it is all about Eileen’s lemon meringue pie…as far as Christmas is concerned?  You never know!

new holiday cookbook

Because baking is my favorite, I add some new recipes to my holiday repertoire each year – adding some new treats to include with my old standbys!  Making something new to gift to others is a special part of my holiday routine.  This year, the new recipes I try are definitely coming out of Nederlanden’s book!

holiday pinwheel cookies

I can’t wait to share my creations with you on future Friday field trips!

Browse through some of this year’s new cookbooks at your local library!   I hope you are inspired to try at least one new dessert recipe this holiday season! ;)

antique cookie cutters

Thanks for stopping by!

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

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november book giveaway!

October 31, 2017

november 2017 giveaway pleasure in simple things

November’s giveaway is not actually a book!  I saw this adorable succulent calendar for 2018 and, since the end of November is near the end of the year, why not substitute a calendar for a book!

A comment will earn you a chance to win this cute standing calendar – perfect for a desk or an end table!  The winner will be chosen at random at the end of November.  Good luck!

succulent calendar pleasure in simple things blog

Congratulations to Mari, winner of last month’s book selection The Misfortune of Marion Palm by Emily Culliton.  (Click here to read more about this book.)  I know you will enjoy this read Mari!

Instagram readers, please read on for this month’s challenge!

november 2017 instagram challenge
Since November is such a great time to contemplate all that we are grateful for, let’s share!  Use hashtag #pleasuregram to share photos of things you are grateful for…it can be anything from the blessing of your family to a quiet moment of solitude on a beach…

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you are having a wonderful Halloween evening!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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october book giveaway!

September 29, 2017

october book giveaway

The October book giveaway is The Misfortune of Marion Palm by Emily Culliton.

This book was one of my summer read recommendations.  A debut novel that tells the story of Marion, a Brooklyn Heights woman who has embezzled from her children’s private school and makes a run for it when she is close to becoming discovered. Told from the points of view of Marion’s husband, her two children, and Marion herself, this witty and engaging story makes for a quick read.

giveaway pleasure in simple things blog

For a chance to win this advance copy of the book, just leave a comment and you will be entered! Good luck!

Congratulations to Angie, winner of September’s giveaway selection The Woman in the Window  by A.J. Finn. (click here for more on this book.) Enjoy this read, Angie!  Thank you to everyone who entered to win.

If you use Instagram, please read on! For October, let’s share photos of pumpkins…real or faux, orange or white, velvet or cashmere…all kinds! Share your favorites using hashtag #pleasuregram.

Instagramoctober

Thanks for stopping by! Have a fabulous weekend!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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august book giveaway!

July 28, 2017

beach glass

This month’s giveaway is Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo.  A soon-to-be released first novel, written by a Nigerian author and set in Nigeria, the story gives a voice to both a husband and a wife as they tell the story of their marriage.  After meeting and falling in love in college, Yejde and Akin marry and agree polygamy is not for them, though accepted in their culture.  But, four years into their marriage, circumstances change.

A great emotional read with some interesting twists and turns that examines how much we can sacrifice for the sake of family.

stay with me on the beach

To be entered to win an advance copy of this great read, just leave a comment on this post or on the Instagram post.  I will pick a winner at random from those comments and any emails I receive.

This book makes for an excellent book group choice.  If chosen by my own book group, I wouldn’t be surprised if our group hostess was authentic to Nigerian culture and served smashed yams!

august 2017 book giveaway

Congrats to Sam from Connecticut, winner of the July giveaway, The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin!  Click here for more on that selection.  I know you will enjoy the book  Sam – I will send it right off to you!  Thank you to everyone who entered.  Don’t forget to enter this month’s giveaway!

Instagram users, please read on!  In keeping with a summer reading theme, for the August challenge, let’s share our summer reads!  Use hashtag #pleasuregram to share photos of what you are reading this summer!  I hope to enjoy some new recommendations to add to my ‘must read’ list!

August Instagram ChallengeThanks for stopping by!

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

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reading ahead

July 25, 2017

fiction on the beach

I am sharing a few soon-to-be released fiction titles I have read this summer that should make it to your reading list!

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

I was hesitant to read Celeste Ng’s second novel, wondering how I could possibly enjoy it as much as her first!  (Click here for more on her first.)  But, I had gotten the chance to meet her and she gave me a signed, advance copy of Little Fires Everywhere.  That was more than enough encouragement to give the second novel a shot!  And, you know what?  I may have enjoyed Ms. Ng’s second book even more than her first!  This one explores the weight of secrets and the dynamics of motherhood as well as examining the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.  A fabulous read and a fabulous book group selection!  Release date:  September 12, 2017

Little Fires Everywhere pleasure in simple things read

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

A new, smart thriller already in development as a major film.  The story of an agoraphobic woman in New York City who believes she witnessed a crime in a neighboring house.  Hearing the story told from inside one (rather colorful) woman’s mind, as she spies on her neighbors, gives this suspenseful novel a unique perspective.  Release date:  January 23, 2018

Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo

A first novel, written by a Nigerian author and set in Nigeria, the story gives a voice to both a husband and a wife as they tell the story of their marriage.  After meeting and falling in love in college, Yejde and Akin marry and agree polygamy is not for them, though the practice is accepted in their culture.  But, four years into their marriage, circumstances change.  A great emotional read that examines how much we can sacrifice for the sake of family.  This book makes for a great book group selection!  Release date:  August 22, 2017.

Note:  An advance copy of this book will be the giveaway for August – leave a comment on the August giveaway post coming on July 28th to be entered to win it!

Stay with me

The Misfortune of Marion Palm by Emily Culliton

A debut novel that tells the story of Marion, a Brooklyn Heights woman, who has embezzled from her children’s private school and makes a run for it when she is close to becoming discovered.  Told from the points of view of Marion’s husband, her two children, and Marion herself, this witty and engaging story makes for a quick read.  Release date:  August 8, 2017

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

A previous giveaway selection, this story examines the special relationships and dynamics of siblings in a unique way.  Read more about this selection by clicking here.  Release date:  January 9, 2018

great reading on the beach

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

A smart, psychological thriller from the Connecticut author who gave us All is Not Forgotten, this title is a previous giveaway selection.  Read more about it by clicking here.  Release date:  August 8, 2017

Happy Reading!  Thanks for stopping by!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things…like, reading a good book on the beach!  xo Jackie

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july book giveaway!

June 30, 2017

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

This month’s giveaway is an advance copy of a wonderful new novel  The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin.  This is a super summer read – a ‘can’t put it down’ beach day read!

“If you were told the date of your death, how would it shape your present?  It’s 1969, and holed up in a grimy tenement building in New York’s Lower East Side is a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the date they will die. Four siblings, too young for what they are about to hear, sneak out to hear their fortunes.

july book giveaway pleasure in simple things blog

We then follow the intertwined paths the siblings take over the course of five decades and, in particular, how they choose to live with the supposed knowledge the fortune-teller gave them that day.

This is a story about life, mortality and the choices we make: is it better to live a long and cautious life, or to burn brightly, but for the shortest time?”

This book makes for a great book club selection!  Read it first, then do your friends a favor and lend it out, because once it is released, there will be a long list of holds at the local library for The Immortalists!

sprinkles please

Leave a comment on this post (or a social media post for the giveaway) and you will be entered into the random drawing to win the July giveaway book!

Thank you to everyone who entered to win the June book selection Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker.  Congratulations to Lisa in Pennsylvania, the winner of the giveaway.  I am so excited about the book’s upcoming release and I know you will enjoy being one of the first to read this new novel!  Click here to read more about the book.

exploring

For those of you who use Instagram, read on!  This month, let’s share photos of the summer!  Anything that says summer to you is fair game!  I am starting us off with one of my favorite signs of summer – eating a soft serve overlooking the water!  Use hashtag #pleasuregram to share the things that say summer to you!

july instagram challenge pleasure in simple things blog

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things – like reading a great new book!  xo Jackie

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june book giveaway!

May 30, 2017

wendy walker emma in the night

Wow!  This week June begins!  That means for today’s post I will announce the giveaway for June.

What I love about June and the beautiful weather days it brings with it, is the ability to spend more time outdoors.  Eating a meal, reading or book, or just plain sitting, is so much more enjoyable when enjoyed outdoors on a beautiful day!

So, for the June giveaway I am giving away a great read that would be perfect to read outdoors.  It is the new Wendy Walker book Emma In The Night.  Wendy’s first thriller, All Is Not Forgotten, has become an international bestseller with movie rights sold to Reese Witherspoon and Warner Brothers.  Another smart, psychological thriller, Emma in The Night delves into the mind of a true pathological narcissist through the eyes other daughter, who has just returned after a three-year disappearance.  The older sister, Emma, is still missing and the search to find her uncovers a dark family history that only forensic psychologist, Dr. Abby Winter, is able to see.  Of course – there is a huge twist at the end!

Wendy Walker collage

Be one of the first to read this new novel by an author from my home state of Connecticut.  This book is an advance readers edition – the book will not be released until August.  Just leave a comment and you will be entered to win.  I will pick a name randomly at the end of the month from the comments received and send the book right out to the winner!  This is a great read to share with your book group!

Congratulations to Marsha, the winner of the May giveaway – a Palm Beach inspired prize basket.  Marsha – even though you asked me not to share your comments, I did include your name in the random drawing and it came out the winner!  Enjoy!

Instagram users, read on!  In the spirit of spending time outdoors, let’s share flowers for this month’s Instagram challenge.  It can be a photo of flowers from your garden, flowers from an event you are attending, or something great you found at a nursery…all flowers are fair game!  Just use hashtag #pleasuregram to share your flower photo with others!

june instagram challenge

Thank you so much for stopping by!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things…like admiring some flowers on a beautiful day!  xo Jackie

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april book giveaway!

March 31, 2017

fire pit cooking give away

Spring has sprung!  And, even though here in Connecticut we still have plenty of snow on the ground, everyone is starting to think about spending more time outdoors.

This month’s giveaway book, Fire Pit Cooking by Vanessa Bante, embraces this outdoor time by providing plenty of family-fun recipes to make over an outdoor fire pit or campground fire.

Bante demonstrates that cooking over a fire is not just for s’mores!  With one or a few fun-to-use tools―pie irons, foil, or simply a dowel―you can make family-friendly dishes over your backyard fire pit. With 75 scrumptious recipes like Apple & Cheese Quesadillas, Spaghetti Pie Iron Sandwiches, Maple Chicken with Sweet Potatoes in foil, Pretzel Sticks with Beer Cheese Sauce, Blueberry and Chocolate Iron Sandwich, and Lemon Mousse in Phyllo Cups, every appetite can by satisfied!

giveaway book april 2017

Just leave a comment on this post to be entered to win Fire Pit Cooking!  Congrats go out to Donna, winner of last month’s giveaway Jar Salads by Alexander Hart.  Click here to read more about the selection.  Donna, enjoy this great recipe book!  Thank you to everyone who participated.

Instagram users, please read on for the April challenge!  In keeping with the theme of our giveaway book, let’s share all food cooked outdoors!  Did you create a cool meal on your fire pit?  A new variety of s’more?  Please share photos on Instagram this month using hashtag #pleasuregram.  (If you need some s’more ideas, click here.)

april 2017 instagram challenge

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

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march book giveaway!

February 28, 2017

mar bookgiveaway jar salads pleasure in simple things

I am kind of obsessed with food in mason jars.  Mainly because I am trying so hard not to use plastic for storing and serving foods!  It is part of my commitment to eating healthier!

When I starting flipping through the recipe book Jar Salads by Alexander Hart recently, while shopping at Terrain, I knew it needed to be the March giveaway selection for the blog!

The book inspires me to create some new jar salad combinations, and I am sure it will do the same for you!  I love putting together healthful combinations of fresh ingredients to take on the go and this book is a great guide to creating fresh and transportable salads to eat throughout the day!

mar 2017 giveaway book pleasure in simple things blog

The recipes in the book are divided into four categories:  vegetarian, seafood, poultry, and meat.  There are fifty-two inventive salads – literally, a new one for every week in the year!  From a Mexican-inspired vegetarian taco salad to Vietnamese pork and vermicelli noodle salad, there are plenty of taste combinations to try!  Just add a bunch of fresh ingredients to a screw-top mason jar and you are good to go!

mar book 2017 pleasure in simple things

Leave a comment on this post to be entered to win the March giveaway!  Best of luck!

Thanks to everyone that entered to win last month’s giveaway drawing!  Congratulations to Cynthia from Connecticut, the winner of the February giveaway, Sweeter off the Vine:  Fruit Desserts for Every Season by Yossy Arefi.  I know you will enjoy creating fruit desserts using this wonderful book Cynthia!

Instagram users, read on!  For March, let’s share photos of ‘all things in jars.’  It can be an inventive salad, some homemade soup, or a layered dessert…whatever you are eating from a jar, use hashtag #pleasuregram to share a photo!

march instagram challenge 2017

Thank you for stopping by!  Wishing you a great start to March…can’t wait to change those clocks!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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pippi longstocking house

February 17, 2017

Amelia Island shells pleasure in simple things blog

You heard my recent trip to Amelia Island left little leisure time.  But, I did get to see 3 items of particular interest while I was there.  The first was the oldest lighthouse in Florida.  Granted, I saw it from a distance, but I DID see it!  I wish I had the opportunity to visit it, but tours were not offered on a daily basis and, even if I had the free time, the tour wasn’t available on the day I spotted the lighthouse from afar.

The 2nd item of interest was the oldest bar in Florida.  I can’t say I went inside, but I did see it!  I heard the Bloody Mary’s were quite a spectacle – adorned with a skewer that included a shrimp and a hush puppy!

Amelia Island oldest bar in Fl

Lastly, and the most interesting to me, the third item of interest was the Pippi Longstocking house.   In 1988, the original Pippi story by children’s author Astrid Lindgren, was made into a movie, “The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking” which was filmed entirely on Amelia Island, Florida.

Pippi Longstocking house pleasure in simple things blog

Most of the movie was filmed on Centre Street, in the quaint historic downtown Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island’s only city.  The ice cream shop in the movie was actually the oldest saloon in Florida that I mentioned above!

Pippi bookThe setting of much of the book and the movie was in Pippi’s dilapidated fictional house, the ‘Villa Villekulla.’  Though in the movie the house looked unkempt, disheveled, and badly in need of a fresh coat of white paint, the present state of the movie house looked a little different.  You can see that the weathered white clapboards so prominently featured in the film are currently an olive green siding!

Even if you hadn’t been a Pippi fan, the 146 year old house was something to see – known for having a wider variety of gingerbread motifs, such as sunbursts, fish scales, clovers, brackets, globes, scallops, circles, diamonds, and Maltese crosses than any other in Fernandina Beach, according to a historic museum tour guide.

If you have an interest in the Amelia Island or in the book Pippi Longstocking, you may want to watch the 1988 film “The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking” described as a fantasy musical with a cast that included Eileen Brennan, Dick Van Patten and John Schuck.

Thanks for stopping by Friday field trip to Villa Villekulla!

Have a wonderful weekend and remember to take pleasure in simple things…like reading a favorite children’s story!   Jackie xo

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