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amelia island beach memories

November 10, 2017

Ritz Carlton Amelia Island Beach

Here in Connecticut, the weather has turned cold.  Thoughts of fall are being replaced by winter and holiday preparations…Christmas decorations are on display everywhere!

The beach at The Ritz Amelia Island

I think it is the perfect day to take a glimpse of some warmer days that are not that far behind us!  Don’t you miss that feeling of sand between your toes?

tables amelia island

For today’s Friday field trip, a few photos of the beach taken during my recent stay at the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, Florida.

umbrella on the beach amelia island

Enjoy!

walkway Amelia Island

Thanks for stopping by!

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

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fall by the sea velvet pumpkins

October 27, 2017

white velvet fall by the sea pumpkins

I thought I would leave you with one last velvet pumpkin post for this year.  If you have been inspired to try making some velvet pumpkins, I want to suggest you experiment with stems.  Yes, the real pumpkin stems are so beautiful (and my favorites), but changing up the stems can create a different vibe for your homemade creations.

teal velvet and driftwood pumpkin fall by the sea

For today’s Friday field trip, I am demonstrating this by sharing a few of my seaside pumpkins.  By simply changing up the stems, it is possible to create a beachy vibe with your velvet pumpkins.

fall by the sea pumpkin trio

Just as I save pumpkin stems, I also save pieces of driftwood that I think will make great pumpkin stems come fall.

white velvets fall by the sea pumpkins

Driftwood stems are much more challenging to collect than real pumpkin stems, since the shapes are so varied and not all pieces will translate well as pumpkin stems.

fall by the sea velvet pumpkins on shells

My favorite driftwood stem this year is on this light sea green pumpkin – isn’t it perfect?!  The driftwood stems usually are chunkier, just by nature of the driftwood – but, the shape of this piece looks like an authentic pumpkin stem shape!  I love it!

fall by the sea aqua velvet pumpkin

Sea themed velvet pumpkins look great in a home displayed in a cluster with sea glass and some Spanish moss.  Adding ribbons, twine, seashells, pearls, etc. to the pumpkin can help convey your vibe…have fun with it!

fall by the sea gray velvet pumpkin

I hope I have inspired you to try making a velvet pumpkin in a sea themed color with a driftwood stem!

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing with The Inspiration Gallery at  Taryn Whiteaker. :)

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harkness memorial state park

August 4, 2017

garden flowers

Today, I am sharing a few photos from my walk around Harkness Memorial State Park.  The park is the home of Eolia, the former summer mansion purchased in 1907 by the Harkness family, set on over 230 seaside acres in Waterford, Connecticut.

gate at Harkness Park

shore at Harkness

Never having been to the park, my goal for my first visit was to explore the gardens on both the east and west lawns as well as the Alpine rock garden.

gardens at Harkness

Tree over a century old Harkness State Park

And, as it happened, the facility was being set up for a wedding on the afternoon I chose to visit, so I did not venture inside the mansion itself.

the mansion at Harkness State Park

column Harkness State Park

I hope you enjoyed a few photos of my walk around Harkness Memorial State Park.  If you should be in the area, it is definitely worth a visit and the park is easily accessed from I-95.

queen annes lace pleasure in simple things

ferns pleasure in simple things

The 200+ acres were left to the state of Connecticut in 1950; becoming a part of the state park system in 1952.  The park is open from 8:00 am to sunset all year long and entrance only requires a minimal parking fee.

Harkness coastline

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a fabulous weekend!

daisies at Harkness State Park

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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popcorn with ‘everything’

July 21, 2017

everything but the bagel seasoning blend

I often eat popcorn.  Using plain kernels and popping them in the microwave makes for a great snack with lots of fiber and no trans fats. I add my own seasonings, usually parmesan cheese and fresh rosemary, for a savory combination.

For today’s Friday field trip, I am sharing my newest popcorn seasoning discovery.

Have you heard of Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend?  This tasty blend makes any toasted bread with cream cheese taste like an everything bagel.  And, I discovered, it also makes for a great popcorn seasoning!

popcorn on the beach

Trader joes everything but the bagel seasoningHere’s how to make it:  After making plain popcorn in the microwave, spray it with sunflower oil.  A spray bottle is the best because it distributes a small amount of the oil evenly over the popcorn.  If you don’t have a spray bottle, drizzle the oil over the popcorn and toss lightly.  Something is needed to make the seasoning ‘stick’ and sunflower oil is perfect since it has very little taste – plus, it is a healthful alternative to butter.  Trader Joe’s has recently started selling sunflower oil, so both the seasoning and the oil can be purchased there.  Next, just sprinkle the Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning over the prepared popcorn and toss.

Even if you don’t like popcorn, I suggest you buy the seasoning – for under $2. there is plenty of experimentation that can be done with this yummy spice mix!

closeup seasoned popcorn

Popcorn is ready…movie on the beach, anyone?

coastal ct evening on the beach

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great weekend!

sunset at the CT beach

Remember to take pleasure in simple things…like enjoying popcorn while watching an outdoor movie!  xo 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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living the cabana life

May 26, 2017

secluded cabana The Breakers

Today, for Friday field trip, let’s imagine what it is like to have a private cabana on Palm Beach!

A great idea on a gray and rainy day!  If you were to stay at The Breakers Palm Beach and lounge in a private cabana, it would look like this:

couch in cabana

Cold drinks, and sunscreen would be provided….but, most importantly, so would this view!

lounge chair view

cabana view

And, these ‘beachy’ details!

cabana kitchen

beach club at breakers

nautical wall fixture

beach painting

I hope you have been enjoying the Palm Beach inspiration this month.  I can’t believe how fast the month is coming to a close!  Have a wonderful weekend!

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

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pink & gold nautical bridal shower

May 23, 2017

 Flowers pink and gold shower

Pink and gold may not seem the typical color choice for a nautical themed party, but who said anything about typical?  And, I certainly have no problem arranging a nautical party in any color scheme! :)

Since no décor can beat a coastal view, this bridal shower needed to take place at a yacht club!

a gold and pink invite
The gals in the bridal party, serving as hostesses for the event, dressed in the theme colors and all looked beautiful!  Of course, it helps when all the gals are gorgeous!  ;)

a coordinating bridal party

Soft pink and gold appeared in all the details of the day.

a nautical table signs for pink and gold

The tables were set with gold chargers and cream linens.  Table names were displayed in a brushed gold finish pedestal frame and displayed the names of bodies of water that held significance for the bride-to-be.  Examples include the name of a lake from a campground she frequented as a child and the name of a river from college crew.  Working with a florist, subtle and romantic blush and white free-form arrangements were created in gold compotes. (A smaller version for the powder room!)

a pink and gold shower flowers 2
a compass shower favor nautical pink and goldA small (personalized) brushed gold compass and gold dipped feather adorned each place setting.

Individually wrapped sea glass candy on the tables also added to the nautical vibe. (Oddly enough, I make sea glass candy every Christmas, but rarely at any other time of year!)  The bride’s favorite flavors were represented in the white (pear), pink (cotton candy), and brown (root beer) pieces of candy wrapped with raffia and adorned with a mini sand dollar.

 

a pink and gold shower favor

Standard cocktail napkins and water glasses were replaced with some on-theme choices and festive gold straws were added to the water station.

a pink and gold nautical bridal shower

Wedding photos of the bride-to-be’s mother, future mother-in-law, grandmother, and grandmother-to-be were displayed in the entry way in glass and gold frames to add a personal touch.

a pink and gold flowers 6

Themed prize baskets were given to winners of the games organized by the maid-of-honor, as well as the guest with the closest birthday, the guest that drove the farthest to attend the shower, etc.

The golden bracelets for the ‘bracelet bonanza’ game had everyone wearing a shiny gold bangle (right on theme) and provided some added interaction between guests.  The ‘he said, she said’ game was fun and added a glimpse into the personalities of the soon-to-be wed couple.

a bracelet game bridal shower

For the refreshments – a selection of assorted breads, coffee and mimosas were available when the guests arrived.  A fruit course, served in martini glasses, was followed by a plated brunch and later with cake and sorbet.

a pink and gold shower details
Adding to the theme of the day, the cake (vanilla with salted caramel filling) was created with an outside of soft pink ‘waves’ and garnished with fondant starfish dipped in gold.  The sorbet was provided by a friend of the bride’s mom, created specifically for the shower in coconut lemongrass from a local gourmet food store and served in take-home stemless wine glasses.  (The bridal party gals were each gifted a set of four.)

pink and gold wedding shower cake 2

Now, who said pink and gold wasn’t nautical?

a pink and gold flowers 24
I hope you are inspired to host a pink and gold coastal party of your own!

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

Sources are available upon request – I’m happy to share!

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the breakers palm beach ocean views

May 19, 2017

Spa pool The Breakers

The best part of Palm Beach?  THE BEACH!

breakers sunrise

Start with the Palm Beach sunrise…each day unique!

Here in Connecticut the weather has been more like Palm Beach than typical New England – in the 90’s and humid!  So, it is the perfect day to imagine relaxing by the ocean in Florida!  Sit back and enjoy Friday field trip today – Palm Beach – Breakers style!  Enjoy!

beach chairs at The Breakers

life guard station The Breakers

pool at The Breakers

umbrellas on the beach The Breakers

The Breakers Beach

water floats at The Breakers

windy surf The Breakers

stairs to fitness center The Breakers

overlooking umbrellas The Breakers

Hanging out at Palm Beach at The Breakers is the best, isn’t it?  Thanks so much for stopping by!

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

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the breakers palm beach

May 16, 2017

Close up ceiling fixture The Breakers

We can’t talk about Palm Beach without including the most luxurious and iconic place to stay!

hallway ceiling The Breakers

Industry tycoons and elegant socialites started visiting the then new destination of Palm Beach in the late 1890’s.  Soon, the Breakers hotel became the place to stay!

gold ceiling The Breakers

Founded by Henry M. Flagler and opening in 1926 (after two reconstructions – required after fires in both 1903 and 1925), the hotel was built by New York City-based designers Chultze and Weaver (they later created Park Avenue’s Waldorf Astoria).

ThE Breakers main lobby

The Breakers Lobby. Every week the large flower arrangement in the lobby is replaced with a new, fresh arrangement.

Modeled after Villa Medici in Rome, Flagler brought in 75 artisans from Italy to complete his vision for the opulent hotel.

Closeup of light The Breakers

In the early 20th-century, guests that frequented the hotel included Rockefellers and Vanderbilts, as well as US presidents, and European nobility.

ceiling detail The Breakers

Today, I am sharing a few of my favorite photos from the interior of the hotel during my stay at The Breakers.  And, though I can’t say my taste is in line with this ornate and lavish decor, it was something definitely worth seeing at least once in my lifetime!

Impressive ceiling The Breakers

Since I am from New England, I can’t help but think about the Vanderbilt Mansion in Newport, RI when I walk through The Breakers hotel.  Also called The Breakers, and also built during the ‘gilded age,’  the Newport mansion is a museum, not a hotel, but there are many similarities in style between the two.

Entrance to The Circle Room

The entrance to my favorite room in the hotel – The Circle Room.

 

The Circle Room at The Breakers

Detail inside The Circle Room.

The incredible attention to detail The Breakers in Palm Beach provides is not lost on me!  One example, I wish I had photographed, were the staff uniforms.  The over 2,000 employees at The Breakers are all beautifully dressed – the women in Lilly Pulitzer – not a bad uniform, right?

Breakers Ballroom 3

If you want to experience incredible luxury and seaside glamour, consider a stay at The Breakers.  The rates go down dramatically during the summer, so maybe plan a summer weekend for a very special occasion?

The Breakers chandeliers

Thanks for stopping by as we continue our Palm Beach inspired month of May!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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cocktails with a view

May 12, 2017

fish at The Breakers bar Palm Beach

The Seafood Bar, located in the historic Breakers hotel, was completely reimagined around its stunning Atlantic backdrop in late December 2016 and we are visiting it today on Friday field trip.

hello seafood bar
This place lets you experience the allure of the yachting lifestyle with great nautical details, beautiful new aquariums, and a front-row seat to ocean views.

ocean view at seafood bar

Of the two large aquariums housed in the Seafood Bar, the most spectacular is the one that creates the bar itself.

detail of bar seafood bar

Fish bar at The Breakers

It makes sitting at the bar an amazing sensory experience – looking ahead is a view of the ocean and looking down is a view of fish swimming under the spot you placed your drink!

light detail at seafood bar

The Seafood Bar serves lunch and dinner. Cocktails are offered at the bar until 1 am.

seafood bar menu

The beverage menu is wonderful. For something tropical and a little different to try, there is a watermelon jalapeno or a smoked coconut margarita. Local drafts are offered, as well as a great selection of alcohol free elixirs. My favorite is a coconut lavender lemonade made with lemon juice, coconut water and lavender simple syrup! Craft sodas are another great alcohol free option – like an organic summer pear!

restaurant at the seafood bar

The Seafood Bar is definitely Palm Beach life at its best!

seafood bar detail

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a wonderful weekend!

P.S.  If you are wondering about the maintenance involved with this unique bar – hours are spent each morning cleaning both the inside (delicately) and outside of the tank!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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