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pumpkin tower in columbus

September 22, 2017

closeup pumpkin tower

Even though the temperatures here in Connecticut this weekend will feel more like summer, it is now officially fall!

pumpkins and squash

Because it seems so appropriate, for today’s Friday field trip, I am sharing some photos of the pumpkin ‘tower’ at this year’s Country Living Fair in Columbus.

pumpkin tower in ohio

Don’t worry…that’s not it on the fair…I will be sharing some fun finds from the Country Living Fair next week!

pumpkins at country living fair

Thanks for stopping by!  Enjoy your first weekend of fall!  I have already bought plenty of white pumpkins and I am working on some neutral velvet and cashmere handmade pumpkins!

close up pumpkins

I hope you are inspired to put out some fall décor!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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katalina’s in columbus

September 19, 2017

Table at Katalinas in Columbus

I have some fun things to share with you from a recent trip to Ohio…my first ever!

Part of visiting someplace new is checking out the food scene and my visit to Columbus was nothing unusual in this respect!  My first Ohio share is one of my eating adventures.

The best way to find the best eating in town?  Talk to a local, of course!  After receiving a glowing endorsement from an Ohio State student, my friend and I decided Katalina’s was a must-see and we headed over to try it out on a bright Sunday morning.

pancake bites at Katalinas in Columbus

Located in an adorable Columbus neighborhood, this fun and colorful, tiny café is located in a renovated 100-year-old gas station and on this particular morning (like every morning?) had a line of regulars out the door!  Not to be discouraged by the line, we reviewed the menu to make the tough decision of what to order.  The choices were very innovative and seemed to have a Latin flavor – all made from scratch.

pancake bite specialty in Columbus

Since Katalina’s boasts of creating pancake balls, I was intrigued and ordered them.  But then, I saw their version of avocado toast with toasted pepitas listed as a special.  I just had to have some!  So, I added that as well as a cup of bottomless coffee to finished out my order.

We were able to snag an outdoor table when our food was ready.  The pancake balls – over a million have already been made – were very yummy!  Made with stone ground flour, they were filled with organic pumpkin apple butter and served with bourbon barrel aged maple syrup.

water at Katalinas

Of course, I ordered way too much food by getting both the pancake balls and the toast, but I was glad I tried both…they were each super tasty!

avacado toast at Katalinas in Columbus

I am so happy we listened to the recommendation of our new friend from OSU and I would do the same for anyone visiting Columbus!

katalina columbus ohio

I hope my brunch adventure has inspired you to try a new eating spot! :)

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

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picking asian pears

September 15, 2017

asian pears close up on tree

What is better than getting fresh fruit at a Farmer’s Market?  Getting fresh fruit from a farm, of course!  Today, for Friday field trip you are joining me as I pick some Asian pears!

asian pears on the tree

Have you tasted an Asian pear?  They are delicious!  With a texture similar to apples, the light sweetness and crispy texture (maintained long after they are picked) of this pear make it a really great addition to salads.

asian pear taking a bite

Asian pears are native to Japan and China where they have been grown for over 3000 years.  The most common grown in the U.S. are Japanese varieties which have a shape similar to an apple.

asian pear close up

The first documented appearance of an Asian pear in the United States was recorded in 1820 when a Chinese sand pear was imported to Flushing, New York.

asian pear top of tree

Today Asian pears are grown not only throughout Asia but in Italy, Spain, Australia, France, Chile and New Zealand as well. In the United States, the bulk of commercial production comes from California and Oregon with a smaller supply coming out of Washington State, Kentucky and Alabama.

asian pear bunch on tree

We are so lucky to have some Asian pears growing here in Connecticut and people come from far away to pick them!

If you haven’t ever tried an Asian pear, I hope I have inspired you to do so!  Sliced on a green salad and garnished with a fig vinaigrette…yum!

asian pear field

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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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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