7 Design Tips For a Chef-Worthy Kitchen

This a great article from Dwell Magazine.

If you have serious culinary chops and take pride in preparing meals that wow your family and friends, keep these tips in mind when designing or renovating your kitchen.

If boiling eggs is not your forte, and you’d much rather eat out than experiment with new recipes, then a basic kitchen may be all you need. But if you’re serious about cooking and love nothing more than spending hours trying out new dishes that’ll impress guests at your next dinner party, then here are some elements to incorporate for a professional-grade kitchen.

1. The Magic Triangle

When planning the layout for your kitchen, refer to the “kitchen work triangle” with the cooking area, sink, and refrigerator at its three points. Though modern kitchens have evolved, and it is sometimes geometrically impossible to abide by this configuration (for example, in a single wall kitchen), the triangle is a good concept to keep in mind when designing to maximize functionality and ease of movement.

What they did not talk about is the new triangle, where the refrigerator is off to the side and a little out of the way.  There needs to be space across from it or beside it to put food when cooking, but it does not absolutely need to be part of the triangle anymore.  I love the cooktop part of my triangle, as I am working there, more than in the refrigerator. (unless I am really hungry)

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2. Two Sinks

Install two sinks so that you can clean fruits and vegetables in one while washing or stacking used pots and pans in the other. Ensure that the sink is deep and the faucets are high, so you don’t have to worry about water splashing onto the countertop as you strain your pasta or wash your dishes.

I have a little different take on this.  My utility room is adjacent to my kitchen, so I added a large stainless sink in there if I need a place for pots and pans.  If I am entertaining, I do not want my guests to see dirty pans in my kitchen, so this works great! 

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3. Plenty of Durable Work Counters

As a home chef, you’ll be engaged in many food preparation tasks, so think about how to maximize counter space. Surface counters made of quartz, laminates, and solid surfaces are good choices for their durability, and antibacterial and anti-staining properties. Such surfaces are ideal for areas where you’ll do the most peeling, chopping, and blending.

Quartz is the new popular countertop and it is great, but if you select a plain one, be prepared to constantly be cleaning it, as it shows every spot.  I love a good granite that hides a little.  

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4. Built-In Appliances

Integrated appliances are your best bet for freeing up space, hiding unsightly electrical cords, and getting a clean, streamlined look. Wherever possible, choose built-in ovens, dishwashers, coffee machines, microwaves, and pullout fridges. This will help free up more counter space and make your kitchen look much more inviting.

I love making my dishwasher and refrigerator look like cabinets.  Now there are drawer refrigerators and freezers.  I hide my microwave and toaster oven in my pantry.  Clean is the new look!  

5. Good Lighting

A bright kitchen is not only healthier for your eyes, it makes preparing food safer and will probably put you in a cheerier mood. Locate your kitchen close to windows or incorporate skylights to increase the amount of natural light it receives. When choosing light fixtures, consider ambient lights, task lights, and accent lights. Use down lights to prevent glare and shadows, strip lighting under cabinets, and wide-rimmed pendant lights above the bar or island counter.

In my last home I had windows under the cabinets that looked out to the garden.  It had a wonderful effect.  We added another window when we remodeled last summer to take full advantage of our water view. 

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6. Ample and Intelligent Storage

Easy and intuitive access to a large pantry, spice racks, pots and pans, utensils, dinnerware, and cutlery can make all the difference when you’re preparing a feast for a large group. Consider storage systems which hold all your kitchen basics neatly and beautifully like a secret armoire.

I personally think that although this is “cool”, there are a lot better use of space, than hanging your utensils and knives.  One knife block on the counter is quite practical. 

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7. Wine Storage Facilities

Good food isn’t complete without great wine, so consider including wine storage facilities.  We love ours and use it every day.  

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7 Design Tips For a Chef-Worthy Kitchen

The Minions Arrived Today

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Okay, so I admit it, I love the Minions!  Last year, my husband tired of the assorted lighted trees we had and tons of lights suggested we do inflatables.  They store easily in a couple boxes.  Overall I have always thought they were extremely tacky.  So I thought if you are going to be extremely tacky, then be funny and tacky.  That is when I found inflatable Minions.

Last year they lined our driveway.  My six year old granddaughter was coming to spend the “Holidaze” and I thought she might like them.  To my surprise, a lot of people driving by our house liked our Minions. This year they are in their classic herd, with one trailing behind. They light up at night and I smile every time I see them.

Last year we had Minions Galore on our tree and I plan to do the same this year if my granddaughter is able to come to Christmas.  I told my son, due to the expense of flying I did not really care “when” Christmas day happened.  I am no longer young enough to care what day it happens as far as a morning and opening gift.

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This year we added two more Minions and a taller Minion and a Minion Home between our house and our garage.  I only they help people smile in a sometimes stressful time of year.

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So here that are, standing strong and herding traffic and waving at those who pass up by.

Hope you will drive by and honk an hello to the guys.

Think I better buy a couple more Minions.  HO HO HO

The Minions Arrived Today

Beached Surprise

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You just never know what might land on your waterfront.  This last week we had a decoration arrive.

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It just floated up and adorns our waterfront. I have seen a lot of things in the last fifteen years, but this is the closest and admittedly the “biggest”.  One year there were two huge diesel engines on an adjacent property, but they were small by comparison to this beauty.

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So when I posted photos on Facebook, friends suggested that I collect it and use as a coffee table.  What they did not grasp is that it would have to be a coffee table in the Land of Giants, as this puppy would not fit in my house.  So here is a photo to give you an idea of it’s immense size!

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Got to love living on the beach!  Should I call the Coast Guard??

Beached Surprise

Almost No-knead Bread with Creamy Mushroom Soup

No Knead Bread

Found this very easy, but not so fast bread from America’s Test Kitchen and have made it a couple of times.  I find if I start it by about 8:00 AM it is good enough for dinner.  Always a hit when warm with a little good sweet butter.  I served it with a Creamy Mushroom Soup from another one of their cookbooks.  If you scroll down, you can see their rendition and mine of the soup.  I think it needs a little punch, as it was pretty, but a little bland.

Almost No-Knead Bread

A no-fuss recipe that is revolutionizing home baking trades flavor and reliability for ease. Could we improve the bread’s bland taste and make it rise high every time?

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS

To avoid lengthy and tiresome kneading, we let our bread dough sit for 8 to 18 hours, during which a process called autolysis develops gluten—the protein that gives baked breads their bubbly, chewy crumb structure. After that, just 15 seconds of kneading does the trick. To give our bread more flavor than standard no-knead recipes, we add vinegar for acidic tang and lager beer for extra yeastiness. We bake the bread in a preheated covered pot to create steam, producing a springy interior, and then finish baking it uncovered for a beautifully browned crust.

INSTRUCTIONS

Makes 1 large round loaf
3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons water, room temperature
6 tablespoons mild-flavored lager
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
Vegetable oil spray

Use a mild-flavored lager, such as Budweiser (mild nonalcoholic lager also works). In step 3, start the 30-minute timer as soon as you put the bread in the cold oven. Do not wait until the oven has preheated to start your timer or the bread will burn. The bread is best eaten the day it is baked, but it can be wrapped in aluminum foil and stored in a cool, dry place for up to two days.

 

1. Whisk flour, salt, and yeast together in large bowl. Add water, lager, and vinegar. Using rubber spatula, fold mixture, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until shaggy ball forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for at least 8 hours or up to 18 hours.

2. Lay 18 by 12-inch sheet of parchment paper on counter and spray with oil spray. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead 10 to 15 times. Shape dough into ball by pulling edges into middle. Transfer dough, seam side down, to center of parchment and spray surface of dough with oil spray. Pick up dough by lifting parchment overhang and lower into heavy-bottomed Dutch oven (let any excess parchment hang over pot edge). Cover loosely with plastic and let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with finger, about 2 hours.

3. Adjust oven rack to middle position. Remove plastic from pot. Lightly flour top of dough and, using razor blade or sharp knife, make one 6-inch-long, 1/2-inch-deep slit along top of dough. Cover pot and place in oven. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Bake bread for 30 minutes.

4. Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown and registers 210 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes longer. Carefully remove bread from pot; transfer to wire rack and let cool completely, about 2 hours.

TEN STEPS TO EASY RUSTIC BREAD

1. HAND-MIX INGREDIENTS: Combine flour, yeast, and salt; then stir in water, beer, and vinegar and fold it all together. No mixer required.

WHY? This bread will form gluten as it sits, so there’s no need for a lot of mixing at the start.

2. LET REST: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit on the counter for at least 8 hours or up to 18 hours.

WHY? Much like kneading, letting the dough sit develops gluten through a process called autolysis.

3. PREPARE PARCHMENT: Spray an 18 by 12-inch sheet of parchment paper lightly with vegetable oil spray.

WHY? You’ll use the parchment to move the dough from the counter to the Dutch oven for its second rise, and to remove the bread from the pot after baking.

4. KNEAD DOUGH: Transfer the dough to a floured counter and knead it just 10 to 15 times.

WHY? During the long rest, the proteins in the dough break down, making it easier to manipulate, and with less than a minute of kneading, the gluten has been sufficiently developed.

5. SHAPE AND LET RISE: Form the dough into a ball, place it on the parchment, and transfer it to a Dutch oven. Then cover it and let it rise for 2 hours.

WHY? Once shaped, the dough undergoes its final rise, during which the yeast produces carbon dioxide to make the dough puff.

6. SLASH DOUGH: Use a sharp knife or razor to cut one 6-inch- long, 1/2-inch-deep slit along the top of the dough.

WHY? Slashing the dough allows steam to escape so the loaf bakes evenly, preventing splits and cracks.

7. COVER UP: Place the cover on the pot.

WHY? The covered pot produces a steamy environment that gives the loaf an open crumb structure.

8. START IT COLD: Place the covered pot in a cold oven. Heat the oven to 425 degrees and bake the bread for 30 minutes.

WHY? Starting the bread in a cold oven ensures against burning the bottom, and the bread rises just as much as in a preheated oven.

9. REMOVE COVER: Uncover the pot and continue to bake the bread until it is deep brown and its center registers 210 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes more.

WHY? After the steamy environment has created the ideal interior texture, uncovering the pot allows the crust to brown and crisp.

10. LET COOL AND SERVE: Remove the bread from the pot and place it on a rack to cool for about 2 hours before slicing.

WHY? There’s still a lot of moisture trapped inside the hot bread. As the bread sits, the steam escapes giving the cooled loaf just the right texture.

Creamy Mushroom Soup

Published March 2001

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS

For a substantial mushroom soup recipe with distinctive, deep mushroom flavor and rich texture, neither too thick or thin, we cooked readily available button mushrooms long and slow, with butter and shallots and then pureed them in a blender, finishing the soup with a splash of Madeira, cream, and lemon juice. A garnish of sautéed wild mushrooms added a hit of earthiness and flavor to our mushroom soup recipe.

This is a photo of their soup.
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Here are two photos of the soup I made from the recipe.  I added a little Mexican Crema to the top of mine and noticed my color is a little darker, which I think looks richer.
Mushroom Soup

INGREDIENTS

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6 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 large shallots, minced (about 3/4 cup)
2 small cloves garlic, minced (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, freshly grated
2 pounds white button mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced 1/4 inch thick
3 ½ cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
4 cups hot water
½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed well
cup dry sherry or Madeira
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons lemon juice from 1 lemon
Salt and ground black pepper

Sauteed Wild Mushroom Garnish (optional)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms or chanterelle, oyster, or cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed and discarded, mushrooms wiped clean and sliced thin

INSTRUCTIONS

MAKES 8 CUPS, SERVING 6 TO 8

To make sure that the soup has a fine, velvety texture, puree it hot off the stove, but do not fill the blender jar more than halfway, as the hot liquid may cause the lid to pop off the jar.

1. Melt butter in large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-low heat; when foaming subsides, add shallots and saute, stirring frequently, until softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and nutmeg; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute longer. Increase heat to medium; add sliced mushrooms and stir to coat with butter. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms release liquid, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and mushrooms have released all liquid, about 20 minutes. Add chicken stock, water, and porcini mushrooms; cover and bring to simmer, then reduce heat to low and simmer until mushrooms are fully tender, about 20 minutes longer.

2. Pour soup into a large bowl. Rinse and dry Dutch oven. Puree soup in batches in blender until smooth, filling blender jar only halfway for each batch. Return soup to Dutch oven; stir in Madeira and cream and bring to simmer over low heat. Add lemon juice, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve with sauteed mushroom garnish, if desired. (Can be cooled to room temperature and refrigerated up to 4 days.) If making ahead, add cream at serving time.

3. For the Sauteed Wild Mushroom Garnish (optional):

Heat butter in medium skillet over low heat; when foam subsides, add mushrooms and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms release their liquid, about 10 minutes for shiitakes and chanterelles, about 5 minutes for oysters, and about 9 minutes for cremini. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid released by mushrooms has evaporated and mushrooms are browned, about 2 minutes for shiitakes, about 3 minutes for chanterelles, and about 2 minutes for oysters and cremini. Sprinkle a portion of mushrooms over individual bowls of soup and serve.

Almost No-knead Bread with Creamy Mushroom Soup

16 Style Mistakes That Age You

This article came up on my Newsfeed on Facebook.  Wonder what you all think?

If you’re not old enough to have watched The Golden Girls when it originally aired, then you shouldn’t be dressing like them.

You’ll have plenty of time for shoulder pads and pant-suits when you’re actually a senior. For now, just avoid these fashion faux-pas that add decades to your look:

1. Long, Long Hair

As we age, we develop the tendency to try to hide our new wrinkles. Ironically, nothing adds years to your look like straggly hair that’s a bit too thin to be as long as it is.

Instead of growing your hair in a vain effort to cover up the visible signs of aging, choose a layered cut that frames your face nicely. There’s no need to go full-on pixie cut, but mature hair has a different texture, so work with it, not against it. Not only will you look younger, you’ll probably save on shampoo costs too.

2. Baggy Bottoms

When you’re ready to give up on dating, start wearing ill-fitting pants. Baggy bottoms are a must when you’re simply over it. If you’re still into attracting dates, though, make sure your pants fit.

They don’t have to be skin-tight, but if there’s enough fabric on your behind to double as a parachute, you’re not going to win any beauty pageants. That’s okay. You don’t have to win a beauty pageant. More power to you. We’re just telling you how it is; what you do with that information is your own business.

3. Dark Lipstick

Unless you were born a goth, stick to a bit of gloss. Natural shades create a supple, youthful look. Darker colors draw attention to lines around the mouth, and though those are usually the product of a life full of laughter, it’s generally a look most women want to avoid.

Even bold shades of ruby red can end up making you look older than you actually are by highlighting wrinkles around the mouth. If your skin is unbelievably smooth, then you can get away with it. For the rest of us, dark lipsticks aren’t the best choice. There’s a reason most older woman usually wear shades of nude.

4. Neutral Pantyhose

Neutral pantyhose make you look like you’re applying for a corporate job in the 1960s, which, come to think of it, is fine if that’s what you’re going for. But when it’s a youthful appearance you seek, skip the hose or stick with black.

If you’re black is a little too dark for your outfit, go for a color. As long as the neutral hose of the mid-century is behind us, we’re good.

5. All-Black Outfits

Black goes with anything, but it can also give you a funereal look, like an Irish mourner from the 1920s. Even a bit of contrast can help prevent the sense that you’re going to start keening at any moment.

Try pairing a black dress with a bright pendant necklace and dangle earrings. Even better, wear break up your outfit with a colorful scarf or cardigan.

6. Boxy Blazers

Contemporary fashion has a thing called a “boyfriend blazer.” The idea is that these jackets could have come from your boyfriend’s closet, but in fact, these items are cut to create a slim, feminine silhouette.

Do not actually wear your boyfriend’s blazer if you don’t want to add a decade or two to your appearance. Big, boxy blazers make you look like David Byrne, circa Stop Making Sense. Just remember: Shoulder pads are the enemy, now and forever (but not in the ’80s).

7. Antique Dresses

Shopping at the thrift store can yield gems. Just be wary of picking up too many floral, lace-lined numbers. First off, you’ll look like a walking doily. Second, you’re not an extra from Little House on the Prairie.

Finally, wearing a grandma’s dress will make people think you’re a grandma. That’s awesome; grandmas are great and we love them all. That doesn’t mean they all look super-youthful, though.

8. Stretched Out Skinny Jeans

This is not exactly the same thing as item No. 2 on our list, which, as you will recall, was labeled “Baggy Bottoms.” It’s sort of the same, but not exactly. We mention the hazard of stretched-out skinny jeans because it’s such a widespread issue, a special subset of the Baggy Bottom debacle.

The problem began when clothes manufacturers stopped using any denim that wasn’t at least 80-percent rubber bands. That stretchy denim looks great for about a week and a half, then it loses its elasticity, just like your skin does when you age. That’s not a good look when you’re going for youthfulness.

9. Herbert Frames

What do we mean by “Herbert frames?” You know, black plastic glasses that are big and thick and might have made you look punk in the early ’90s but now mostly just make you look like someone who was young in the early ’90s, i.e., an aging hipster.

Plastic frames lined with bright colors are all the rage these days. Try them to keep your face looking smooth and youthful.

10. Jersey Fabric Dresses

Jersey fabric is the most comfortable cloth in the world. Wearing a jersey dress is like wrapping your whole body in your favorite old T-shirt. Everything is wonderful about this soft, light fabric, except for the way it treats your figure.

Jersey tends to cling to everything. That can create some unflattering angles, which increases the appearance of age. Plus, the fact that you so clearly dress for comfort suggests that you’ve given up on standing out in the crowd. Try double-knitted jersey for a similar feel on your skin without the unforgiving fit.

11. Thick Black Eyeliner

In general, the trick to emphasizing your youthful features is to avoid drawing attention toward your more autumnal qualities. We’re thinking, specifically, of eye wrinkles.

The area around your eyes is one of the first places that your years of life, laughter, and loss are etched into your face. Thick, dark eyeliner acts as a spotlight on this frequently wrinkled area. Avoid, avoid, avoid.

12. Too Much Tanning

The sun preserves life on the planet, but it also gives us wrinkled old leathery hides when we spend too much time basking in its rays. It’s all about the ultraviolet light, which wages an all-out attack on collagen fibers in the skin.

We’re not saying you should wear a face-kini every time you leave the house, but it’s worth investing in a little high-SPF sunscreen. Your skin will thank you sooner than you think.

13. Shapeless Frocks

This may seem obvious, but the temptation to throw on a muumuu and rush out the door can be overwhelming at times. Resist it.

Also, we just realized that ironic muumuus are probably going to be this summer’s big fashion trend, so maybe ignore everything we said on the subject. All hail the muumuu!

14. A Short Scarf Around the Neck

You’ve probably seen ladies with colorful silk scarves tied around their necks. Do you think any of them get carded at the grocery store? No, they do not, and the simple reason why is that short silk scarves around the neck went out of fashion about 50 years ago.

If you just stocked up on colorful silk scarves and are wondering if Etsy issues refunds, don’t worry. There’s an awesome way to wear them that actually looks pretty youthful. Try tying them around the strap of your purse. You get a pop of color without looking precisely 150 years old.

15. Brooches and Lapel Pins

Even the word “brooch” sounds old. So does the word “lapel,” come to think of it.

Anyway, sticking an old gilded piece of finery on your boxy jacket makes you look a little out of date. Try a few one-inch round buttons instead. That’s what the kids are into these days.

16. Excessive Foundation

Too much makeup fuels the suspicion that you’re hiding something under there. Plus, there’s something unnatural about a face with a ton of foundation. Make sure no one could credibly use the verb “to cake” while describing the way you put on your face.

Keep it light and natural. Otherwise, people might stop carding you, too, which is always a shock the first time it happens. Or so we’ve been told by our elders; we certainly don’t have any first-hand experience with stuff like that.

16 Style Mistakes That Age You

Back to the Studio

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It was a summer that I did not venture into my art studio, and yesterday I realized painting is what makes my heart sing.  That and some great Rhythm and Blues music in the background make for a wonderful day.

Two days ago I picked up a piece from a wonderful Interior Design Studio in Edmonds that sells quite a bit of my work.  The owner took me to house she is redoing and asked if I could do something for the living room to put above the fireplace. The colors were rich grays, taupes, bronze and a little bit of yellow green.  This piece is 30″ x 60″ and painted over a previous piece I had done a long time ago. Purple Abstract 30x48

It was done in a time when everything I did had some purple in it.  In the last couple of years I have finally grown tired of purple. I find painting over a previously painted abstract gives depth and life to a new painting.

In this case, since it was already framed, I just used green guerrilla painters tape to cover the frame, so did not have to remove it and could get right to painting.

Whenever I do a bigger piece, I make it so you can hang it vertically or horizontally. It is one thing I do to make it easier to use in what ever environment you hang the art.  In my own home, I may hang it one way for a while, then change 90 degrees in another place.  That way I don’t grow tired of the piece as quickly.

At the end of the day yesterday I felt this piece was complete and had a great start on a second piece.  I plan to spend a lot more time in my studio in the days to come.  It makes me happy!

Back to the Studio

And now for the closet

Yes, I should be in my Art Studio painting, but for the last several weeks I have been redoing my closet.  I admit it is a big closet, but I have collected stuff for years and years. In this home the closet had a few quick shelves and lots of baskets. Since I really could not afford a California Closet at close to $20,000 (That would be about three or four vacations), so I did a Closet Maid Wire closet and I am happy with the result. It is my personal sanctuary. I have photos of my sons when they were little and a few other things I love that are just not appropriate in the rest of the house.

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So in-between my jewelry collection are photos of my three sons when they were two.  It makes me smile knowing they are happy and successful young men now.

My hat boxes were repaired and added to with labels on each box, so hats and gloves and stuff can easily be found.  It was fun to see what all I had when I had to dismantle and put back together the closet.  I found treasures and I found not so much treasures that went Goodwill.

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My “Angels Fly Because They Take Themselves Lightly” art piece is over one of my doors. A good friend of my late husband said that about him at his funeral and it always make me smile, knowing he is somehow watching over me and my wonderful sons.

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Purses and scarves found a new and organized home, right next to old family portraits. IMG_1394

My shoes are happy and I can see them all at last.  Yes, I do love converse tennis shoes and wear them a lot in Spring and Fall.  They are just happy shoes!

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Years of collecting what I call Junk Jewelry can easily be found and used!  The mirror will be painted white as soon as I get around to it.

Lots of great hanging space to short and long and way too many belts for a waist that was always much smaller than it is now.  One of the joys of growing older and loving to cook and eat.

A lot of these ideas can be incorporated into a smaller closet.  I have lots of extra room now and really don’t buy many new clothes.  If you see the mirror on the right, it is on a sort of secret door that goes into a shelved 5 x 5 room with floor to ceiling shelves for Christmas Decor, luggage and other “stuff”.

What else can I say, but now my closet makes me smile in the morning. Too bad I don’t have to get dressed up that much anymore.  Where do I wear all this stuff?  I am not ready to get rid of everything, so I just go in my closet and smile and know I can wear fun stuff!

And now for the closet

30 Design Mistakes You Should Never Make from Houzz

This article came on my newsfeed this morning and I thought it was very interesting.  While I agree with most, I do not agree with all. There are as many opinions about design as there are people with opinions. 

Drop the paint can, step away from the brick and read this remodeling advice from people who’ve been there

April 21, 2016
There are a million and one things to consider when taking on a remodeling project. Some of those decisions have the potential to significantly impact your home — and in turn your emotional well-being — for years to come. It doesn’t matter how functional your new kitchen is, for example, if you hate the flooring material you chose. It’s going to eat away at you every single day.

In hopes of preventing these situations, we asked readers for design advice on things you should never, ever do during a remodel. Their suggestions are quite revealing, and worth considering. But remember, the thing about advice is that you don’t have to take it. After all, the main takeaway message here should be that no matter what, it’s your home. And you should do whatever you want. Just don’t say we didn’t warn you.

30 Design Mistakes You Should Never Make from Houzz

Today Show: What to wear girls night out

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The Today Show was on in the background as had a cup of coffee. The topic was what to wear on a Girls Night Out.  I haven’t been on a Girls Night Out in about twenty years, but I do love fashion and after watching the “fashion” shown the other day on another news station I was curious to see their version.

I do have to say if I had to any of these I would most likely just stay home in my stylish sweats.

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Their first outfit was not bad, but if were to go out with friends and drinks were going to be involved I would not be wearing a jumpsuit.  I did that when I younger and part of the top fell in the toilet bowl.  I did not stay out late that night and quite honestly never wore a jumpsuit again.  I do occassionally wear a lovely paint smeared pair of overalls when creating big canvases, but not to go out and use public restrooms.

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 2.38.46 PMSeen shot, so not the best photo.  I don’t even know what to say about this combo. I love converse tennis shoes and own about ten pair, but never wear out or out to dinner. I think you should wear clothes that compliment your body type, not cut you half as this one does. Don’t people wear belts anymore.  Dang, I must have about 50, now “out of style” belts.  Of course my waist is no longer my best asset anymore either.

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 2.40.13 PMIf nothing else with this outfit, people will see you coming a mile away. Love the colors separately, but together this one gives me a headache.  Love the shoes, but my feet would not like them very long.

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 2.41.15 PMActually thought this would be pretty (on someone about 20), but is simple and elegant and looks great on the model. My arms need to be covered, so would not show up in my closet.

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 2.43.22 PMHere is their version of LBD or in the real world, the “Little Black Dress” that we should all have in our closets.  I do own a few, but mine fit a tiny bit loser and I think she is a beautiful woman, but a little loser would look better on her too. Clothes should flow softly with your body, not totally cling to it.

The Today show overall was better the Fashion Trends I wrote about the other day. The trend they were showing was how you could dress for not much money and look great. I think either buy less and pay more or shop at vintage shops.

Today Show: What to wear girls night out

Finding Your Personal Style

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People have their own style. Mine is simple and quite plain. If you take a meander through my closet, you will see a lot of black, beige, gray, navy and white. There is not a lot of color in my personal wardrobe. I am not a “fashionista”, but I do like clothes that are made well and fit comfortably and I love to follow current fashion from a distance.

In the summer I wear mostly plain white and beige. I love the look of white for summer and collect pieces every year. I know t-shirts are good for one summer so never spend a lot on each one. Bleach is my good friend as with it white clothing is easier to maintain stainless in the long run.

For winter I wear mostly black, with an occasional navy or gray mixed in. The grayer my hair becomes, the more I like gray. I am short, so a monochromatic look works better than a lot of different patterns or colors.

That being said, I have collected belts, necklaces, bracelets and scarves for years and they do the work of making each outfit have a little different look.

I love simple style, so if you look in my closet you will see little pattern. It may be there, as I collect clothes, but I seldom wear them. This is my take on fashion over sixty.

Helen Mirren is my icon for fashion. She wears her clothes well: they do not wear her. I think that is the most important thing about finding your personal style. Hope to have other people see you first and what you are wearing first.

Finding Your Personal Style