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december book giveaway!

December 2, 2014

Dec2014 book giveaway pleasure in simple things blog winter cocktails

December is upon us!  Today I am announcing Tracy in Connecticut as the winner of the November giveaway book, Mast Brothers Chocolate.  Congrats Tracy!  The recipes in this book are super for creating holiday gifts of chocolate!  Next Friday I will be sharing the chocolate granola recipe, so be sure to stop back to see how cute it can be wrapped for giving!

The December giveaway selection is a great seasonal choice – Winter Cocktails by Maria Del Mar Sacasa.  Leave a comment to be entered to win this great selection and make some wonderful drinks (both with and without alcohol) – from mulled cider and hot toddies to lavender hot cocoa!

Recently, when I was in Anthropologie, I saw these cute 2015 calendar pages that seemed to fit in with this month’s giveaway perfectly!  So, I decided to pick up two and I will be giving away the calendars also!  Three chances to win this month!  Good luck!

cocktail calendar giveaway pleasure in simple things blog

Thanks so much for stopping by!  As December continues, I am excited to share inspiring ideas for the holiday season!  Please join me all month for creative ways to celebrate the season!

For those of you on Instagram, this month’s challenge is to share tree ornaments!  Let’s use hashtag #pleasuregram to share some of the wonderful variety of ornaments you may find.  I can’t wait to see your favorites!

Instagram december 2014 challenge pleasure in simple things blog favorite ornaments

Remember – especially during this holiday season – to find pleasure in simple things, Jackie


october book giveaway!

September 30, 2014

october giveaway book pleasure in simple things

It’s that time! Since it is the last day of September, I am announcing the winner of the September book giveaway and the book selection for the October giveaway.

Congratulations to Lee from Texas, winner of the book Inspire: The Art of Living with Nature. Lee was chosen at random from the selection of people responding in some way through the blog, social media, or email to let me know they wanted the chance to win. I know you will find this book inspiring Lee!

For October, I have chosen the book The Cheesemonger’s Seasons: Recipes for Enjoying Cheeses with Ripe Fruits and Vegetables by Chester Hastings. Organized by season, this book provides ninety of the author’s favorite inspired recipes that combine fine cheeses with the ripest, freshest fruits and vegetables. It is a must-have for a cheese lover’s cookbook shelf.  Win this book and you will be rewarded with new ways to celebrate the deliciousness of cheese!

october giveaway book pleasure in simple things

We all know once October concludes, the holidays seem to arrive fast and furious! Don’t we all enjoy finding some new selections to serve our guests each year?  Recipes from this book are the perfect way to create some new dishes to serve during your holiday entertaining.

Just leave a comment on this post for a chance to win the October selection. The winner will be chosen at the end of October – chosen at random from all comments left to me on this post, social media, or email asking to be entered.  Good luck!

october giveaway book pleasure in simple things

For those of you following on Instagram, this month’s challenge is to share photos of pumpkins…you know I am partial to white pumpkins, but any pumpkin that hits your fancy will do! It would be great to see some of your design creations using pumpkins or some photos of your visit to a nursery or pumpkin patch…have fun with it!

Can’t wait to see the posts!  And, if you aren’t an Instagram follower – why aren’t you?!  I love Instagram and sharing inspirations – I invite you to follow along @pleasureinsimplethings.  Remember to use the hashtag #pleasuregram to share your pumpkin photos during the month of October. :)

October Instagram challenge pleasure in simple things

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


july book giveaway!

July 1, 2014

july book giveaway pleasure in simple things

Congratulations to Candice in Chicago, the winner of the June giveaway book, The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer!  Be sure to tuck this author-signed paperback into your beach bag for some great summer reading!

When I came across the book Summertime edited by Joanne Dugan, I knew it had to be the July giveaway book!  It is a marvelous collection of summer photos joined with some wonderful quotes.  Because I love so many of the images contained in this book and because so many of the quotes in this book are favorites of mine; it almost seems like I could have been the editor of Summertime!  The book is a wonderful tribute to this special (and my favorite) time of year!

summertime edited by joanne dugan

“Summertime,” edited by Joanne Dugan, is a wonderful tribute to my favorite time of year!

Summertime is the perfect hostess gift for when you spend the day at a friend’s beach house or a great book to flip through during the long winter months when summer seems so far away!  The images in Summertime will instantly transport you to a more relaxing time when the weather is warm and the living is easy!  :)

Simply leave a comment here on the blog (or Instagram, or Facebook) and let me know you would like to own this book and you will be entered to win.

Instagram users, please read on!  For the pleasure in simple things July Instagram challenge, please share your own summertime photos…what does summer mean to you?  Salt water breezes?  Eating a freeze pop?  Watching fireworks?  Share your photos during the month of July with hashtag #pleasuregram.

instagram challenge 2014 pleasure in simple things

Happy summer!  Thanks for stopping by, Jackie  

1 comment

book giveaway for june!

May 30, 2014

pleasure in simple things The Interestings book giveaway

Friday field trip today will be used for the book giveaway since May is coming to a close.

Congratulations to Carolyn for winning the May book selection!  Carolyn, you are going to love trying all the fabulous recipes in The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook!  It is awesome!

Now, on to the June selection!

Since the first day of summer arrives in June, what would be better than a beach read giveaway?  So, for June I have chosen a book by Meg Wolitzer that makes for a great beach read!  The book is The Interestings.   Published in 2013, the book was a New York Times Bestseller and received much critical acclaim – named as a Best Book of the Year by many.

When I had the great fortune to listen to Ms. Wolitzer speak about the book in person, I had a paperback copy signed (ah, so much easier to slip into a beach bag :) ) for the June giveaway.

The interestings Meg Wolitzer

The book follows the friendship of six artsy teenagers in the 70’s that meet at sleep away camp and vow to never lose touch.  Following the lives of these complex characters from camp through middle age is a fun and wild ride.  Part of the fun is the authenticity in characters and events as New York is presented from the time of Watergate through today.

Ms. Wolitzer speaks from experience.  She lived in Long Island as a teenager (at the same time as the characters in her book) and going away to an arts camp inspired much for this well-crafted read.  Certainly this is part of the reason the events and friendships in the story are so engaging and authentic – Ms. Wolitzer’s ability to so beautifully draw on real life experiences.

I know you will enjoy this read as much as I, and you will relate to the multi-faceted friendships that continue throughout the lives of the book’s characters.  And, if you happened to be a teenager during the ‘70’s, you will find period references throughout the book extremely engaging.

Leave me a comment during the month of June to be entered to win this great selection.  Happy beach reading!

Speaking of the beach, Instagram users please read on for this month’s pleasure in simple things Instagram challenge!  For June, we are sharing our beach inspired photos…my favorite!  Can’t wait to see what everyone will post!  Use hashtag #pleasuregram to share.

June instagram challenge beach pleasure in simple things

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

1 comment

book giveaway for may!

April 29, 2014

Beekman dessert cookbook

April is already coming to a close and that means it is time to announce the winner of the April book and to let you know the book selection for May!  I am happy to announce that Lindsay from Pennsylvania is the winner of a copy of Ecobeauty by Lauren Cox with Janice Cox.  Congratulations!  This book is sure to come in handy to create some Mother’s Day surprises!  I will be sharing a couple of the natural beauty product recipes from the book in the days ahead to help all my friends create some beautiful gifts!

beekman boys book photo

I am excited about May’s book selection!  Have you heard of the Beekman Boys?  You may have seen them on the Cooking Channel.  I had the opportunity to see them in person recently when I attended the Philadelphia Flower Show.  At the show, I picked up a copy of their book  The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook.  I love this book!  I am so excited by it, that I had to pick up another copy to include as a monthly giveaway to send to one lucky follower!

The book is so beautifully put together and the photos are truly inspiring.  Since I am a ‘farm to table’ kind of gal, I love the way the recipes are organized by season.  The most recent recipe I tried from the book was one using fresh mint – one of the first spring selections from the garden.  The mint bars were so yummy and fresh tasting!

Beekman boys mint bars

Trying a spring recipe for mint bars from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook.

I know you will enjoy this marvelous dessert recipe book.  Just leave a comment here or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram or send me an email message during the month of May for a chance to win a free copy of this month’s selection.  The winner will be announced at the end of the month.  Good luck!

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

Instagram users, please read on for the pleasure in simple things May Instagram Challenge!

For May, we are sharing our flower photos…it can be a flower from your garden, from a garden you visit, or even a patch of beautiful wildflowers you spot along the side of the road!  Please share your inspiring flower photos for the whole month of May using the hashtag #pleasuregram.  Enjoy!

May Instagram Challenge



book giveaway for april!

April 1, 2014

Ecobeauty by Janice cox

Congratulations to Jenna, the winner of the March book giveaway Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist!  I hope this book provides you with some inspiration to celebrate the extraordinary nature of everyday life!

It’s April 1st and I have a special “how to” book to announce for the April giveaway selection!  Ecobeauty by Lauren & Janice (photo above) Cox is a great DIY book with a hundred different projects that are easy and economical to create.  It even includes instructions on creating henna tattoos!  This mother and daughter team have created some really easy recipes to make beauty products at home as a great way to save money and help the environment.

Included are some wonderful photographs of ways to package the products and also hints for shopping for natural ingredients.  With the help of this wonderful book, you too can create products that will rival the products sold at the natural beauty product chain at your local mall!

The book offers some great gift ideas and will be the perfect inspiration to create some wonderful beauty products for your own use or as really thoughtful and beautiful Mother’s Day gifts!

Leave a comment on this post, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter during the month of April as a ‘chance’ to be entered to win!  Good luck!

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

Instagram users, please read on!  For the monthly pleasure in simple things Instagram challenge, use hashtag #pleasuregram to share egg photos throughout the month!  Share your decorated eggs, eggs that inspire you, or any cool egg finds during the month!  Have fun with it!

April Instagram Challenge


book giveaway for february!

January 31, 2014

Lots of Candles, Plenty of CakeThe months sure go by fast…don’t they?  Because it is month’s end, Friday field trip today will be used for the book giveaway since it is already time to announce the winner of January’s book selection, Vedge by Rich Landau & Kate Jacoby.  This wonderful cookbook goes to Erica from Illinois.  Congratulations Erica!  I know you will enjoy this wonderful collection of recipes!

For February, I have chosen the book Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen for the giveaway.

Anna Quindlen has been a favorite author of mine for a long time.  As she did in her beloved New York Times columns, and in A Short Guide to a Happy Life, this Pulitzer Prize winning author uses her past, present, and future to explore what matters most to women at different ages.  She celebrates it all – as she considers marriage, girlfriends, mothers, faith, loss, all the stuff in our closets, and more.

“Ask any woman how she makes it through the day, and she may mention her calendar, her to-do lists, her babysitter.  But if you push her on how she really makes it through her day, she will mention her girlfriends.”

Candid, funny, and moving, this irresistible memoir is filled with sharp insights and revealing observations.

Anna Quindlen

Just leave a comment on the blog, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for a chance to win this month’s author-signed selection.  Good luck!

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

For Instagram users, as a nod to the monthly book selection, February’s Instagram Challenge is to post birthday celebration photos!  Use hashtag #pleasuregram to share your photos!  Looking forward to lots of candles and plenty of cake. :)

February Instagram Challenge



monthly book giveaway for january!

December 31, 2013

Vedge cookbook

It is that time again…a new month, a new giveaway!  Congratulations to Julianne for winning December’s giveaway book selection One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp…a great inspiration book to start your new year!

Now, for this month…the last time I offered a cookbook selection, there was a great response – so, I thought I would offer a really magnificent cookbook selection for the start of 2014!

Vedge cookbook

I chose the book Vedge by Rich Landau & Kate Jacoby.  The authors are the award-winning chef/owners of Vedge restaurant in Philadelphia.  I was very excited when I discovered this book was being released since I am such a fan of the restaurant.

The most amazing thing about this restaurant is that you don’t have to be a vegetarian to love it!  Yes, it is true that Landau has been in the forefront of vegetarian dining since 1994, but don’t let the name of his restaurant fool you…the food is superb by any standard – meat eaters are certain to be just as impressed as vegetarians with his outstanding creations.

Vedge restaurant in Philly

The restaurant Vedge in Philadelphia, housed in an elegant nineteenth-century townhouse, where chef-proprietors Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby serve amazingly flavorful and ingenious vegetable dishes.

Vedge opened in 2011 to rave reviews and I understood why after my first visit…what an awesome place!  You may not live near Philadelphia and have the chance to visit Vedge, but this new cookbook gives you the opportunity to recreate some of the restaurant’s selections in your own kitchen.

Just leave me a comment to be entered for a chance to win this wonderful cookbook offering recipes for 100 plates – large and small – that redefine vegetable cooking!

Good luck!

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

For Instagram users, please take the January pleasure in simple things Instagram challenge.   In the spirit of healthy eating for 2014 and a nod to Vedge, this month’s challenge is for photos of fruits & veggies!  Post your photos of fruits and vegetables throughout the month of January using the hashtag #pleasuregram.  Here’s to a happy and healthy 2014!

January Instagram Challenge


monthly book giveaway for november!

November 1, 2013

Penguin and the Pinecone

penguinYikes!  November already?!  That month sure went fast!  The October giveaway selection of Backyard Foraging signed by author Ellen Zachos goes to Jennifer!  Congratulations!

This month’s giveaway is a picture book that tells a special story of friendship…

a perfect gift for any little one on your holiday gift giving list.

One of my friends introduced me to Penguin and Pinecone by Salina Yoon and I just fell in love with the book!

In keeping with my woodland holiday theme this season, the story is set in the forest and offers some great tie-in gift options…

I can’t wait to show you the gifts I am creating to give with the book!  Be sure to check in to see my ideas for gifts to use with this charming storybook!

Leave me a comment here or on twitter, facebook, or instagram to be entered to win this lovely storybook!

Have a great start to the month!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie   Instagram users, read on…

For November’s Instagram challenge use hashtag #pleasuregram to share your woodland inspired photos!

aaaaPicMonkey Collage


monthly book giveaway for august!

August 1, 2013

author colum mccannWriter Colum McCann

Congratulations to Jacqueline, who writes the blog Marbles Rolling, for winning July’s giveaway!  I know you will enjoy the signed copy of Wonder by R. J. Palacio!

The August selection is a New York Times bestseller written in 2009.  I read Let the Great World Spin some time ago and found it so wonderfully fascinating that when I got the opportunity to see the author speak in Philadelphia last week, I jumped at the chance.

Colum McCann spoke at the Free Library in Philadelphia and read selections from his newest book Trans Atlantic.  Although his newest book seems to contain the same poetic passion that I enjoyed in Let the Great World Spin, I decided to have his last book signed for the giveaway since it was such a favorite of mine.  A passionate, beautifully written book set in New York City in the ’70’s,  McCann provides a very unique reading experience that includes a richness of characters and a vivid depiction of New York.

The New York Times Book Review wrote:

“An emotional tour de force…electric, profound…Like a great pitcher in his prime, McCann is constantly changing speeds, adopting different voices, tones and narrative styles as he shifts between story lines…It is a mark of the novel’s soaring and largely fulfilled ambition that McCann just keeps rolling out new people, deftly linking each to the next as his story moves toward its surprising and deeply affecting conclusion…Let the Great World Spin (feels) like a precursor to…The Bonfire of the Vanities.”

Meeting Colum McCann in Philadelphia

My favorite part of meeting Colum McCann was when he asked me to signed his book!  How fun…although it did catch me off guard!  I guess I should have been a little more thoughtful in what I wrote (Big Fan!?)…but, I was so excited to meet him!

Be sure to leave a comment on a post or on my Facebook page (or Twitter or Instagram) to be entered in the random drawing to win a signed copy of Colum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin.  Good luck!

Thanks so much for visiting, Jackie

P.S.  Instagram users, please read on for the August word prompt challenge!  Share your photos daily with hashtag #pleasuregram.

august instagram challenge



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