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giraffe love

November 3, 2017

close up giraffee at White Oak

I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity recently to visit White Oak Conservation in Northwest Florida.  White Oak is one of the world’s premiere wildlife breeding, education, and training facilities.  This wildlife conservation facility spans 13,000 acres of pine and hardwood forest and wetlands.  Its mission is to save endangered wildlife and habitats through sustainable conservation breeding, education, and responsible land stewardship.

giraffees at White Oak

Founded in 1982, White Oak leads professional efforts to improve veterinary care, develop holistic animal management techniques, and better understand the biology of critically endangered species.

As you can tell by the photos in my post today for Friday field trip, my favorite part of my visit to White Oak was the opportunity to be ‘up close and personal’ with a group of giraffes!  That, and getting together with a fabulous group of people, made my afternoon at White Oak one I will never forget!

close up of giraffee face

I also had the chance to see rhinoceros, cheetahs (including baby cheetahs!), and antelope as well as a brief sighting of some okapi (a beautiful and rare giraffe relative).

2 giraffees at White Oak

Founded in 1982, White Oak is well known in the conservation and zoo communities and leads professional efforts to improve veterinary care, develop holistic animal management techniques, and better understand the biology of critically endangered species.

I hope today’s post may inspire you to visit your local zoo!  A shout out to White Oak and to all the friends that shared the amazing afternoon visit with me!

feeding a giraffee at White OakThanks for stopping by!

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

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november book giveaway!

October 31, 2017

november 2017 giveaway pleasure in simple things

November’s giveaway is not actually a book!  I saw this adorable succulent calendar for 2018 and, since the end of November is near the end of the year, why not substitute a calendar for a book!

A comment will earn you a chance to win this cute standing calendar – perfect for a desk or an end table!  The winner will be chosen at random at the end of November.  Good luck!

succulent calendar pleasure in simple things blog

Congratulations to Mari, winner of last month’s book selection The Misfortune of Marion Palm by Emily Culliton.  (Click here to read more about this book.)  I know you will enjoy this read Mari!

Instagram readers, please read on for this month’s challenge!

november 2017 instagram challenge
Since November is such a great time to contemplate all that we are grateful for, let’s share!  Use hashtag #pleasuregram to share photos of things you are grateful for…it can be anything from the blessing of your family to a quiet moment of solitude on a beach…

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you are having a wonderful Halloween evening!

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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marbleizing baby boos

October 24, 2017

diy marbleizing pumpkins

The best part of October is getting creative with pumpkin decorating!  And, there are so many ways to do so!

Today, I just wanted to take a moment to share the simple technique for creating a marbleized pumpkin.  I thought most people had tried this technique by now, but if you haven’t – you need to!

A marbleized pumpkin is super easy to create.

baby boo and diy green marble

The only materials needed are some warm water, a bottle of nail polish, and a disposable container large enough to accommodate the pumpkin you are planning to marbleize.

I use a disposable container to make clean-up quick and easy and to avoid damage to a regular dish or bowl.  For mini pumpkins, a disposable foil lasagna pan is perfect.

Fill the container with warm water.  Drizzle some of the nail polish over the surface of the water by pouring it in a thin stream in an irregular pattern.  Not much is needed.

marbleizing pumpkin processHold a pumpkin by the stem and dip it into the water.  The nail polish will adhere to the pumpkin in an irregular pattern.  Twist the pumpkin while in the water to create varying patterns.  If you are not understanding how this could work, don’t worry!  After trying it with one pumpkin, you will experience an ‘aha’ moment.  After that one try, you may well be addicted to the process and its many possible outcomes!

some diy marbleized pumpkins

I like to use white pumpkins with a nail polish that coordinates with my décor.  The green I used on these pumpkins creates a look that looks great in my dining room amid my ferns!

Of course, dark colors look the most dramatic.  And, you can use more than one color on a single pumpkin if you’d like.

I hope I have inspired you to try marbleizing a pumpkin!

white baby boo green marbleizing

P.S.  There is a video in my Instagram feed and on my Facebook page if you’d like to see the green marbleized pumpkin creating in process!

Thanks for stopping by!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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jeni’s ice cream

October 20, 2017

flight of ice cream at Jenis in Columbus

I have eaten a lot of ice cream in my day and I thought I had a couple favorite spots that couldn’t be beat. That is, until my recent trip to Ohio!

I found the ice cream by which all other ice creams should be measured! This super flavorful and perfectly textured dessert is sold at Jeni’s scoop shops throughout Ohio (and select other states). OMG. It is truly amazing!

Jeni's scoop shop in Columbus, Ohio

I was visiting the motherland…all Jeni’s ice creams are handcrafted in the production kitchen in Columbus, Ohio. Talking to locals about the ice cream, we actually even found someone who planned their wedding colors around a Jeni’s ice cream flavor! (If you are curious, that flavor was brambleberry crisp.)

What flavors did I try? On my visits to Jeni’s while in Columbus, I ordered a ‘flight’ of half scoops – 3 half scoops served in a dish. This way I could try 3 different flavors per visit.

On one of my two trips to Jeni’s while in Ohio, cream puff was my favorite flavor of the three!

close up Jenis ice cream German village

Cream puff is a salty-sweet custard vanilla reminiscent of the filling inside old world cream puffs. Jeni was inspired by the massive cream puffs served in the 100 year old Ohio restaurant, Schmidts when she created this yummy flavor!

flight of ice cream at Jenis

My second flavor choice was salted peanut butter with chocolate flecks. This is the perfect flavor for anyone that loves peanut butter and chocolate together. Originally named ‘The Buckeye State,’ this regular flavor is made with salted ground roasted peanuts and rich chopped dark chocolate.

My third flavor choice was brown butter almond brittle. Made with a sticky almond toffee candy crushed into butter cream ice-cream, this flavor is inspired by Krokan – a Norwegian toffee-like treat.

finishing a flight of ice cream at Jenis

In flight number 2, on my second visit to Jeni’s, the sweet cream biscuits and peach jam was my favorite flavor! Buttermilk ice-cream, crumbled shortcake biscuits and swirls of sweet-tart jam made from Georgia peaches made this flavor over-the-top delicious!

I also tried wild berry lavender – a berry flavor of pulverized black currants scented with sweet orange and lavender essential oils. Because of my love for lavender, I found this flavor very unique and tasty!

wildberry lavendar ice cream at Jenis Ohio

Lastly, I tried sun-popped corn. This flavor is made with organic popcorn kernels popped by the sun in kettles in the New York Hudson Valley. It truly tastes like a bowl of freshly popped popcorn!

Jeni’s is consistently adding new flavors – both temporary and standards, so there are always interesting flavors to try – like sweet potato éclair or super moon (blue violet and vanilla marshmallow swirled together)!

standard flavor at Jenis

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams was founded in 2002 by Jeni Britton Bauer using whole ingredients with dairy from grass pastured cows and no synthetic flavorings or dyes. Jeni is a James Beard Award-winning author of two cookbooks and her New York Times best-seller Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams has been dubbed the “homemade-ice-cream making Bible” by the Wall Street Journal with more than 100,000 copies in print!

sample spoons at Jenis ice cream in Ohio

Used sample tasting spoons at Jeni’s scoop shop in Columbus, Ohio

Guess what? If your mouth is watering and you wish you could try Jeni’s ice cream – you can! Jeni’s is available online as well as in select markets! If you don’t have a shop near you, I strongly recommend you order some at least once in your life – especially if you are an ice cream lover!

on Jenis scoop shop wall in Columbus

Thanks for stopping by! I hope I have inspired you to make or try a new flavor of ice cream!

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

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pumpkin tower urn diy

October 17, 2017

white stackable pumpkins

Today I am sharing a simple DIY.  Remember my ‘ferns in urns’ project?  I bought some inexpensive urns at HomeGoods and planted them with ferns for a wedding?  You may remember one of those urns was transformed into a fall planter.

specialty pumpkins for stacking

You may wonder what happened to the second urn.  Well, it got transformed into a pumpkin tower for my mom’s house!  I just love stacking pumpkins, don’t you?  Pumpkins can get pretty pricy at garden stores when they are classified as ‘specialty’ pumpkins.  Not true when you purchase them from Trader Joes!

I found a big selection of what would be called ‘specialty’ pumpkins at Trader Joes for just $6.99 each!

Before and after wedding urnTo convert the urn I used for the ferns, I purchased 3 carefully selected pumpkins from Trader Joes and a can of flat black spray paint from Home Depot.

pumpkin tower at Terrain Westport

After the sprayed urn dried, I added an old grapevine wreath and some faux greens to the rim before stacking my 3 purchased pumpkins…perfect!  An easy DIY to convert one of your planters for some fall décor!  Just spend a little time picking out the stackable pumpkins so they work together.  Before you go to the store, measure the diameter of your container so you know what size will work for the bottom pumpkin.  Either bring a ruler or measure out a strip of paper to the size you need and tuck it into your purse.  For the best-looking tower, make sure your smallest pumpkin choice (top spot) has a pretty stem!

pumpkin tower with moss

Other things you may want to add to your tower are hay, straw, Spanish moss, or green moss.  Add your own personal style with the container and accessories you add!   To give you some pumpkin tower inspiration, I have included in this post some photos of pumpkin towers created by Terrain in Westport, Connecticut.

three white pumpkin tower

If you don’t have a yard for a tower outside, it is easy to create a ‘mini’ pumpkin tower for your inside décor.  Buy a pretty container, flower pot, or pedestal at HomeGoods or local garden store and create a smaller version of a pumpkin tower!

pumpkin stack with Spanish moss

I hope I have inspired you to create a pumpkin tower of your own!

Thanks for stopping by!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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german village, columbus

October 13, 2017

picturesque in german village ohio

The most picturesque place we found during my recent visit to Columbus with a friend was just south of the downtown – the quaint, historic neighborhood of German Village.

vintage chair in german village columbus

Settled back in the 19th century by German immigrants, the neighborhood is now a hip location to shop, dine, or just walk around. With many alley-like streets made of brick and pristine landscaping, German Village oozes with character.

german village beautiful home columbus

We visited a few unique shops – like the 32-room bookstore called The Book Loft and the gift shop at the top of all the local’s list – Helen Winnemore’s.

pathway in german village

We also stopped at a candy shop for award-winning fudge and some ‘buckeyes’ to take home. In case you didn’t already know, Ohio is the ‘buckeye state’ and Brutus Buckeye is the mascot of Ohio State University – and, believe me, Columbus certainly has buckeye fever! The candy version of a buckeye is a peanut butter flavored ball dipped in chocolate!

annuals in german village columbus

Another noteworthy visit while in German Village was to Jeni’s scoop shop – with shops located throughout the city, this mouth-watering ice-cream brand originated in Columbus. (I will share more about Jeni’s in its own upcoming post!)

windy walk in german village ohio

window box in german village columbus

For dining, tourists can find a classic German meal at Schmidt’s, but the hip locals favor Lindey’s. And, because Lindey’s has the best outdoor dining in the Village, that was our restaurant choice for dinner while in German Village.

Lindeys in Columbus Ohio

Outdoor dining at Lindey’s in German Village, Columbus, Ohio

You can probably tell by my photos, that for us, the best part about visiting German Village in Columbus, Ohio was admiring the buildings and the landscaping! Walking around the neighborhood was like attending a garden tour!

window box german village columbus ohio

I hope you have enjoyed my little piece of German Village on today’s Friday field trip!

german village columbus

Thanks for stopping by!

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

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free pink pumpkin printable

October 10, 2017

free printable pink pumpkin bookmarks

What better way to support breast cancer awareness than to display a pink pumpkin for the month of October?!

Paint a huge pumpkin with pink chalk paint (ordinary house paint will do as well) and place it on your front steps…if one person driving by thinks “look at that…must be for breast cancer awareness,”  it has done its job!

pink velvet pumpkins on pleasure in simple things blog

A little pink pumpkin on a desk at work can serve the same purpose.  I like to display a handmade pink velvet pumpkin during October.  It reminds me, as well as others, that breast health is important.

The pink velvet pumpkins pictured here are new ones I made up this year for a breast cancer awareness GO PINK! event benefit at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, New York.  Thank you Kim – I am honored to have my pink pumpkins represented at your event!

pink velvet pumpkin pleasure in simple things blog

As a gift to you, my friends, I am including a pink pumpkin bookmark printable that you can download by clicking here.  It includes my favorite ‘pink’ quote!   Use landscape and print it in color on a piece of white card stock – save one for yourself and give the others to friends!  Enjoy!

Thank you for stopping by!

I hope I have inspired you to display some pink pumpkins this month for breast cancer awareness!  It is a wonderful way to honor breast cancer survivors and, also, those who are currently battling breast cancer.

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing at the Inspiration Gallery at Craftberry Bush.

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velvet and cashmere pumpkins

October 6, 2017

gray with gold dot pumpkin

Making velvet pumpkins is an annual activity for me. Each year, I save pumpkin stems (the stems are everything!) and use them the following year on my newest pumpkin creations.

gray cashmere pumpkins

Finding new fabrics keeps my pumpkin making interesting each year.

velvet pumpkin on books

This year, I added some gray cashmeres to the mix!

cashmere pumpkin

If you follow the blog, you may remember I shared instructions to make these pumpkins some years back. If you want to try your hand at making some, click here for the post with the tutorial on how to create them.

velvet and cashmere pumpkins

velvet pumpkin under cloche

 

Thank you for sharing my newest pumpkin creations on this week’s Friday field trip. My first few are as a gift to celebrate a friend’s new home. I hope I have inspired you to try making some yourself!

 

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

Sharing at Craftberry Bush.

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more 2017 country living fair

October 3, 2017

fall at country living fair

As promised, today I am sharing a few more glimpses of the 2017 Country Living Fair in Columbus, Ohio! (Part 2 from September 26th!)

placesetting at country living fairEnjoy!

succulents at country living fair

neutral vignette country living fair

xmas stockings at country living

white pumpkin still life

treasures at country living fair

plant pockets country living fair

quilting supplies at country living fair

quilt close up

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

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