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lunch al fresco

September 12, 2017

Table at Terrain

Sadly, the days are getting shorter.  Soon, eating al fresco will be a memory.

As a homage to this year’s outdoor eating, I am sharing a few photos from a lunch at The Garden Café at Terrain in Connecticut – a farm to table inspired restaurant using local ingredients – outdoor eating at its best!

Terrain’s trademark bread service – in a clay pot…

Bread and Butter at Terrain

I always enjoy a variation on a traditional deviled egg.  This one is filled with a roasted red pepper mousse and garnished with crispy prosciutto.

Deviled eggs at Terrain

Salad is a standard at lunch for me.  This kale one is served with a yummy brown butter dressing.

Kale salad at Terrain

Browned butter salad dressing at Terrain

Whether it be in your backyard or at a restaurant, I hope I have inspired you to enjoy a meal outdoors – while you still can!

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

For all those suffering from Hurricane Irma – my prayers are with you.

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inspiration to kickstart fall decor

September 8, 2017

fall neutrals

Since I have gotten a little bit of an itch for fall décor this week, I am resharing my 5 easy tips for fall décor for today’s Friday field trip.

white pumpkins

Click here for guidelines to kickstart your fall décor planning!

pumpkins and dusty miller

Have a wonderful weekend!  Thanks for stopping by!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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mini lantern with pumpkins

September 5, 2017

pumpkin lantern for fall

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend!  I spent a recent weekend in the woods visiting a friend – and, one cool evening by a fire, my thoughts turned towards the fall season.

When I got back home and was thinking about fall (and, of course white pumpkins), I went into my closet and pulled out all the velvet pumpkins I have made over the years.  Like every other year, I will make a few new ones in neutral shades this year to add to my collection!   I started thinking about what new fabrics I will use for the current year…

inside a mini pumpkin lantern

While I was contemplating the pumpkin box and fabrics, I noticed a little misplaced holiday lantern that didn’t make it into one of the Christmas storage boxes – seeing it immediately inspired me to use it for fall!

Inside the lantern, I added a couple of the smaller pumpkins I have made, a little Spanish moss, some of my DIY bleached mini pine cones and a couple acorns I had painted.

velvet pumpkins in a lantern

Instantly, my holiday lantern is transformed into fall décor!  Maybe, as the days get shorter, I will add a few white fairy lights.  So, just like that, fall décor has sneaked up on me…and, you know how that goes…now I am all in!  To add fuel to the fire – my favorite garden store starts selling white pumpkins this week!

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope I have inspired you to repurpose something from another season for your fall decor!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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september book giveaway!

September 1, 2017

woman in the window sept giveaway book

This month’s giveaway is a book I recommended in my ‘reading ahead’ post.  It is titled The Woman in the Window by A .J. Finn.

Even though the book is not releasing until January 2018,  it is wildly popular and already in development as a major film.

This new, smart thriller is 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.

woman in the window giveaway

Leave me a comment to be entered into the random drawing for a copy of The Woman in the Window.  I will pick a winner at random from the comments on this post and any comments about this book on my social media.  Good luck!

Thank you to everyone that entered to win the August giveaway.  Congratulations to Jen from Connecticut, winner of last month’s giveaway selection Stay With Me by Ayobanji Adebayo!  (Click here to read more about this selection.)  Jen, this is a fabulous read that I know you are going to enjoy!

Instagram users, read on!  For September let’s share photos of signs of fall.  Here in New England, we are already starting to experience some cool mornings and it won’t be long before we are enjoying pumpkins and cider!  Use hashtag #pleasuregram to share photos that represent signs of the upcoming season.  I’m using a photo here of the start of my fall decor!

sept instagram 2017 challenge

Thank you for stopping by!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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from ferns to fall

August 29, 2017

fall planter with Home Depot plants

Remember the DIY of the ferns in urns?  Look how easily one of the wedding décor urns can be transformed for fall!

The couple who walked down the aisle decorated with the urns of ferns are now enjoying one of the same urns, from their wedding day, with a fall planting on the front porch of their first home!a planter two waysAll it took was a quick trip to Home Depot and under $30. to change the whole look of the urn and its planting.  I was determined to get everything I needed in one trip, so even though I couldn’t find the charcoal gray spray paint I wanted, I settled for a lighter gray and I chose plants that were available at Home Depot.  My purchase included a can of spray paint, a tall burgundy grass (millet), 4 small white mums, and 2 small vines.

ferns to fall plants

I started by spray painting the planter – a quick and easy color change!  And, the simple arrangement of plants was easy enough to plant in the urn.

I placed the completed planting on the front porch and watered it thoroughly…it will look even better when it gets established!

I hope I have inspired you to change up a planting for fall!

fall diy planter

What’s next for this urn?  Maybe some black spray paint, white lights, and an evergreen for the holidays?

Thanks for stopping by!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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nybg

August 25, 2017

The best part about visiting a botanical garden is knowing that every visit is unique. There are so many variables that contribute to creating the environment – ensuring that no two visits are ever the same! And, with 250 acres and over 1,000 plants, there is certainly plenty to admire! For Friday field trip today, we are visiting the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG). Spanning 250 acres and containing over 1,000 plants, there is certainly plenty to admire and each visitor to NYBG is sure to experience it in a different way. Here are a few of my favorite glimpses from a visit on a rainy day in August! Enjoy! Have a fabulous weekend! Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

The best part about visiting a botanical garden is knowing that every visit is unique.  There are so many variables that contribute to creating the environment – ensuring that no two visits are ever the same!  And, with 250 acres and over 1,000 plants, there is certainly plenty to admire!

NYBG herb garden

NYBG water lilly

For Friday field trip today, we are visiting the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG).  Spanning 250 acres and containing over 1,000 plants, there is certainly plenty to admire and each visitor to NYBG is sure to experience it in a different way.

NYBG hydrandgea

NYBG fern

Here are a few of my favorite glimpses from a visit on a rainy day in August!

NYBG bench

NYBG water garden

Enjoy!

NYBG black eyed susans

NYBG rock garden waterfall

NYBG conservatory

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

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chihuly at new york botanical garden

August 22, 2017

Chihuly NYBG Sapphire Star 2016

On a recent trip to the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG), I had the opportunity to see glass art installations created by the renowned artist Dale Chihuly.  Created specifically for the venue, the more than 20 installations in the garden are the first to come to New York in more than 10 years.

Chihuly NYBG YellowChihuly NYBG Red Reeds on Logs 2016

Sharing photos from my recent visit, I hope you are inspired by Chihuly’s work – his lifelong fascination with glasshouses growing into a series of exhibitions within botanical settings.

Chihuly NYBG Blue and white

Chihuly NYBG pink

I really like the subtlety of the way these glass leaves play against the real ones!

chihuly NYBG blue and green leaves

Blue Polyvitro Crystals Chihuly NYBG 2006

Chihuly NYBG white

If you live near New York or are planning a trip soon, schedule a visit to the Bronx to see Chihuly’s art.  The NYBG is always a beautiful spot to visit and the addition of the Chihuly exhibit makes it extra special!

Chihuly NYBG 2017

chihuly NYBG blue spikes

To see the works spectacularly illuminated, schedule an evening visit to NYBG on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday in September or October and visit CHIHULY Nights.  Can you imagine this piece illuminated?

Chihuly NYBG Neon 2017

Thanks for stopping by!

Chihuly NYBG Float Boat 2014

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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eclipse cookies

August 18, 2017

gifting eclipse cookies pleasure in simple things blog

I picked up a pair of glasses from my local library so I can watch the eclipse on Monday afternoon safely.  But, after all the hype, is that it?  Glance up to the sky wearing a pair of paper glasses?   I feel like there should be more!

How about a special snack?  For today’s Friday field trip, I am sharing my eclipse snack idea…black and white cookies!  Isn’t a classic New York black and white the perfect eclipse snack?  I thought so!

eclipse cookies from pleasure in simple things blog

I searched online for a recipe for the classic cookie and found many – I decided to go with a Gourmet Magazine recipe from February 2002.

Making the cookies makes the eclipse seem a little bit more like a celebration!  Because, after all, don’t all good celebrations include good food?

eclipse tags pleasure in simple things blog

My very first batch ever of black and white cookies was pretty successful!  (My only advice is to avoid getting crumbs in the white frosting!)  You still have time to make your own eclipse viewing snack!  If not a black and white, how about making some whoopie pies?

cookie tray eclipse cookies

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a fabulous weekend and remember to take pleasure in simple things!

Whoopie pies in 2024!  Happy eclipse viewing, Jackie

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dreaming in black & white

August 15, 2017

facepots Anthro

For years I would respond “black” when anyone asked me my favorite color.  Of course, as a former art student, I know black is not actually a color!  Nonetheless, I do love black and I have always enjoyed incorporating black and white into my wardrobe, my decor, and even…into my garden.

As a black lover, it has been exciting for me to see so many black and white influences of late.  Today, I am sharing of few of my current favorite black and white inspirations…like these adorable black and white face pots (above) from Anthropologie!  Don’t you want them all?!

Here are a few more Anthropologie home decor items – the (jungle dreams) wallpaper and the lamp below.  The beautifully simple clock is from Target.

black and white decorThis inspiring black and white bathroom is from Pottery Barn…

bathroom pottery barn

Black and white patterned pillows are showing up everywhere and this cool pouf is from Anthro…

black and white pillowsThis super hip couch is available at West Elm…

west elm couch

This black and white peel and stick wallpaper from Target doesn’t need to be used for the walls – how about covering books on a bookshelf or some old photo albums with faded covers…instant update!  The pendant lamp is available at Crate & Barrel and looks so super with any decor.  The decorative camel figurine is another idea for a Target item that can add an instant black and white update!

black and white home decor piecesThe first complete set of dishes I owned was solid black and I still have a soft spot for black dishware.  I think this matte black batter bowl from Crate & Barrel is super chic!

black batter bowl candb

These zig zag totes from Crate & Barrel add so personality to a linen closet and black and white check dish towels are a staple in my kitchen!  The spreaders from Anthro go beautifully with wood or marble – an easy way to change the look of your current cheeseboard!

kitchen items black and whiteOf course, black and white is showing up in wearable items as well.  Wouldn’t you love this dress and earrings from Anthro for your Labor Day picnic?  The cool loafers are currently on clearance at Banana Republic.

black and white clothingSpeaking of shoes…have you seen the Anna Rifle Keds?  SO cool!  Here is a pair in black.

anna rifle kedsWant a pretty way to add a little black and white to your day?  Pack a lunch in one of these beautiful botanical print bags from Paper Source.  You can even add a little contrast to the bag by sealing it with one of these cool washi tapes – the 3 pack is from Paper Source, the bottom one is available at Target.

botanical lunch bagsIf none of these black and white ideas appeal to you, you can always pick up some chalkboard paint and some chalk – try using the paint on something unique!

I hope I have inspired you to incorporate some new black and white accents into your life!

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

Note:  The photos in this post are from the websites of the respective stores selling the items.

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baby goats…cute or creepy?

August 11, 2017

baby goat 2

Baby animals are cute, right?  I thought so…until, I spent some time around baby goats and had some second thoughts on that!

baby goat 10

For today’s Friday field trip, I will let you make your own decision!

goat 2

They start out all cute and cuddly…

 

baby goat 17

But then, maybe not so much?

baby goat 6

baby goat 11

And, what the heck is up with these eyes?!

baby goat 13

Creepy?

baby goat 15

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a wonderful weekend.

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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