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balmy and the beach

February 23, 2018

Feb beach day

What to do on a 70-degree day in February?  Head to the beach, of course!  Connecticut does not usually experience temperatures this high in February, so a trip to the beach, no matter how short, seemed in order!

balmy and beautiful

Today I am sharing a few photos from that warm day earlier this week.

loosing the horizon

I wanted you to see how the fog had created some really cool views by making the water and the sky appear as one.

balmy and the beach

Enjoy!

foggy day at the beach

Thanks for stopping by!

shell on rock

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

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at frost glance

January 12, 2018

When Long Island Sound freezes

Bitter cold temperatures made walking along all the town beaches this past week risky business!  I felt I was in danger of frostbite when I took my hand out of my mitten long enough to snap a couple photos!

frozen waves

But, with wind chills below zero and over 13” of snowfall last week, Long Island Sound was definitely something to look at!  I don’t know if I would say the beaches looked magical or if they looked more like something out of a science fiction movie, but they did look amazing!

waves frozen in place CT

For today’s Friday field trip, I am sharing some of this frozen beauty through photographs!  And, you don’t have to risk frostbite to enjoy them!

frozen in CT Long Island Sound

Seeing ripples of waves frozen in action is pretty cool (pun intended)!

CT waves frozen in place

Wouldn’t a polar bear look right at home in this photo!  (I was tempted to draw one in!)

frozen long island sound

Thanks for stopping by!

Long Island Sound in freezing temps

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

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taken for granite 2017 holiday

November 24, 2017

colorful bottle brush trees

The games have begun…the shoppers are off!

beachy holiday

I promised a week of shopping inspiration and today I share some photos from one of my favorite ‘beachy’ vibe shops.

turquoise ornaments

holiday fairy

Today, for Friday field trip, a holiday visit to Taken for Granite in Stony Creek, Connecticut.

trees in miniature

holiday jewels

copper bracelet

Choose this brick and mortar store over internet shopping and delight in the personal service, gorgeous gift wrap, and carefully selected merchandise offered!

shells and holiday decor

teapot holiday vignette

Enjoy!

bottle brush trees in colors

Thanks for visiting!  Have a wonderful weekend.

pink bottle brush trees

Remember to take pleasure in simple things…like visiting a beautiful gift shop! xo Jackie

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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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