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may book giveaway!

May 1, 2015

May 2015 giveaway book pleasure in simple things blog

Doodles have been getting plenty of attention. In recent years, Google has definitely helped elevate doodles to an art form – don’t you agree? Who hasn’t checked out the cool doodles on the Google search bar? Now, there are a flurry of books published on the topic of doodling.

One of the more popular published works of doodles recently is Secret Garden by Johanna Basford. Designed to be interactive, this book is touted as a coloring book for adults – chock full of black and white doodles just crying out to be colored in!

inside the secret garden book pleasure in simple things blog

Like me, many of you life-long doodlers out there may be thinking “Why the heck didn’t I think of that?” Somehow, the fact that a published book of doodles exists seems to validate the compulsion we all have to create scribbles on paper. I wonder if the author’s grade school teacher complained when the margins of her assignments were full of squiggles!   Ms. Basford has made those squiggles pay off – literally!

For the May book giveaway, I will be sending a copy of Secret Garden to one of my readers. In addition, I am including a box of colored pencils from Target. (Have you seen Target’s newest section of craft supplies?!) To win, be sure to leave a comment on this post. I will pick a winner at random from all comments I receive about the giveaway on my social media during the month and announce the winner at the end of May. Good luck!

secret garden book and colored pencils pleasure in simple things blog

The winner of the April giveaway (that includes two books – click here for more) was chosen at random from the comments I received. These books will be going out to Michelle from New York. Congrats to Michelle!Instagram challenge pleasure in simple things blogIn celebration of all things doodle, the May Instagram Challenge will be to share your doodles!  For Instagram followers, please share your doodles throughout the month of May using the hashtag #pleasuregram. Doodle on!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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


april book giveaway!

March 31, 2015

TWO giveaway books for April 2015 pleasure in simple things blog

‘Spring has sprung*’ and with it starts the season for entertaining! Beginning with Easter, the events in spring just seem to parade on, one after another – bridal and baby showers, graduations, Mother’s Day…the list seems to go on and on.

The thoughts of celebrating in mild weather is so appealing after the crazy winter we had here in Connecticut – where guests needed to negotiate snow drifts to get into the house and subzero temperatures made warm weather gear a necessity like never before! Don’t get me wrong, cozy fires and warm drinks do have a certain appeal – but, enough already!

With these thoughts in mind, I have come up with a really unique book giveaway idea for April and I am excited to tell you about it!

I found a great vintage book – published in 1966 – about entertaining, titled All About Entertaining: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Fabulous Social Life by Kay Corninth and Mary Sargent. With talk of “gloves are not only correct but called for” and “no matter how generous your husband may be with your clothing allowance…” this book is sure to be an interesting read!

april giveaway book authors pleasure in simple thingsI thought it would be fun to contrast the old with the new – SO. the winner of this month’s giveaway will receive TWO books. One is this vintage find and the other is a more recent book on entertaining called The Butler Speaks: A Guide to Stylish Entertaining, Etiquette and the Art of Good Housekeeping by Charles MacPherson. This is an author signed copy and is a great reference book for contemporary entertaining. The author has over twenty-four years of experience in household management. In 2009, he opened North America’s only registered school for butlers and household managers in Toronto. MacPherson is an expert in the areas of staffing, training and planning, and is recognized as a world authority in the household management and butler fields.

How fun to see the differences – and similarities – in entertaining guidelines between the 60’s and today! Leave a comment to be entered to win. The winner will be chosen at random from the comments. Good luck!

Congratulations to Becca, a blogger over at Becca’s Backyard, winner of the March selection Lazy Days and Beach Blankets. Shoot me an email with your address, Becca, and I will send it right out to you! This book about alfresco dining is a winner!

In the spirit of the giveaway, our Instagram challenge this month will be to post pics of entertaining. Please share the favorite moments of your celebrations by using the hashtag #pleasuregram during the month of April.

April 2015 Instagram Challenge

*P.S. I am ignoring the fact that it is snowing as I write this!

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


march book giveaway!

February 27, 2015

giveaway book march 2015 pleasure in simple things blog

February has certainly gone by quickly – though I am not complaining. After the winter we have been having here in Connecticut, most people seem to have the same sentiment – spring cannot come soon enough! Now we only need to wait until the 20th day of March to officially welcome the new season!

For the giveaway book this month, I am really being a tease and selecting Lazy Days and Beach Blankets: Simple Alfresco Dining with Friends and Family by Ryland Peters & Small. Right now alfresco is really a stretch – I know – especially when you consider the temperatures are below freezing and the ground is covered with mounds of ice and snow. A girl can dream though, can’t she?

giveaway book pleasure in simple things blog

I thought this selection would prove a great way to dream of warmer days ahead! “Lazy Days and Beach Blankets” celebrates the joy of eating alfresco with loved ones and provides plenty of inspiration with beautiful images of lazy days and outdoor dining. The book contains more than 120 simple recipes and ideas for dining alfresco – sections devoted to snacks & sides, salads, barbecues, entrees, desserts, and drinks.

Leave a comment during the month of March to let me know you would like to be entered to win this book. “Lazy Days and Beach Blankets” is sure to have you dreaming of setting up cool drinks on the terrace or dinner under the stars in no time flat!

Congratulates to Barbara, the winner of the February selection, The House Gardener by Isabelle Palmer. Barb, send me an email through the blog with your mailing information, and I will send it right out to you! I know you will enjoy it!

march 2015 instagram challenge pleasure in simple things blog

For Instagram users, this month’s challenge will be to photograph the first signs of spring! We are all eager for it to arrive – what signals the start of the season to you? Please share using hashtag #pleasuregram. We could all use some images promising warmer days ahead!

Have a wonderful weekend! Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie


january book giveaway!

December 30, 2014

page from Kinfolk pleasure in simple things blog

Hard to believe – not only is it the end of the month, but also the end of the year!  Where has the time gone?!

I am pleased to announce that Manda from Oklahoma is the winner of the December giveaway book Winter Cocktails by Maria Del Mar Sacasa!  Congrats Manda!  I know you will enjoy the book!  The two calendars are going to Ashley from Texas and Mary from Chicago.

For the first giveaway book selection for 2015, I have chosen The Kinfolk Table:  Recipes for Small Gatherings by Nathan Williams.  This book is definitely a winner!  The recipes in this book are a collection of recipes from home cooks from around the world where the author has taken us into the home of each of the contributors.  “Here you will find recipes not just for one-pot stews and refreshing salads, but for evenings spent with friends when the hours pass effortlessly, conversation flows naturally, cooking us participatory, and the meal ends with a satisfying sense of accomplishment.”

free giveaway book for January by pleasure in simple things blog

The book is a great way to set the tone for the start of a new year that includes many wonderful friends and many wonderful meals – demonstrating the joy in casual entertaining.  As much a coffee table book as a recipe book, this selection is sure to please!  (So much so, I am willing to send all 344 pages of this large, heavy book to the winner via mail!)

Leave a comment here or on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter to be entered to win this great book selection that will help you discover the simple pleasures of a shared meal.  Good luck!

For those on Instagram, this month’s challenge is Winter Whites!  Whether it be your skinny white cords paired with a white angora sweater or the piles of snow outside your back door, white in winter is special…a visual treat! For the month of January, let’s share photos of winter whites, using hashtag #pleasuregram. I can’t wait to see your photos!!

Jan 2015 Instagram Challenge pleasure in simple things blog

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I am excited to start a new year sharing pleasure in simple things with you!  Happy 2015!  xo Jackie


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


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