Top Ten Tips From My Favorite Magazines - June 2024

 I am so very happy to see home design magazines start to use color again. Seems like everything has been cream, white, tan and grey for a long time. 

1.  The June issue of Real Simple asked its readers what the brightest, most colorful thing in their home was. The answers were great. They included a quilt made out of Indian saris, a small turquoise bathroom, book shelf, a mug collection, a retro mini fridge and someone's 6 year old granddaughter.  Most colorful things in my home are my yellow walls and my paintings. What about you? What's the most colorful thing in your home?

2.  In the Summer Escapes issue of Sunset Magazine (June 2024), I read about a small Mexican town that I have never heard of. It's called Todos Santos. They called the Todos Santos Boutique Hotel the crown jewel of this surf pueblo. Looks like a fabulous place to hang out on the beach. Here is the town's website. Here is the link for the Todos Santos Boutique Hotel.

3.  I always find good tips and tricks in the AARP magazine. This month they said you can get red wine out of fabric with white wine. As soon as possible blot white wine on the fabric to dilute the stain. Then use a wet cloth to get out the rest. Don't rub. 

4.  I love cocktail umbrellas. I love them so much that when I first moved to Mexico I put them all over my Christmas tree. This month's Better Homes and Gardens likes them too. They have a list of several cute ones in their article Summer Party Playbook. There are lots of fun options on Amazon. I especially like the cocktail umbrella straws.

5.  I saw this photo in the summer issue of Magnolia. It wasn't an article but an advertisement for Target's Hearth and Hand dishes. However what caught my eye was the color of the outdoor table and chair. I remember years ago when my friend painted her backyard fence that shade of green. It works so well in a garden, blending with plants and flowers. I think it works well with outdoor furniture as well. I see some furniture painting in my future.

6.  For many many years, every Christmas I would order chocolate dipped cherries from a little candy store in Los Gatos, CA. Cherries are readily available in Mexico where I live now. The Magnolia magazine has a couple of cherry recipes, including one that is cherries double dipped and frozen. First you dip the pitted cherries in melted white chocolate. You freeze them and then dip them in dark chocolate. Yumm.

7.  Zoomer magazine features little rechargeable lamps and said they are "popping up at all our favorite restaurants." Two friends gave me one for my birthday a couple of years ago. And boy do I love it. Where I live the electricity frequently goes out when it is windy or rains. I leave my little lamp plugged into the USB connection on my computer. When the lights go out I just unplug them it and carry it room to room with me. Amazon has a bunch of them to choose from.

8.  The June 24th  First For Women Magazine has an article called "10 Brilliant Uses for Paper Bags." I don't have stacks of paper bags any more as I tend to bring my recyclable tote bags. However there are some clever ideas. My favorite was to cut them to the size of picture frames, hang bag cutouts on the wall. When you have your photo wall arrangement decided, tap nails through each bag. Perfect placement. Since I don't have paper bags, I think any kind of paper or newspaper would work. Just cut to size for each photo, piece of art.

9.  Anyone who has a dog probably knows this. Good Housekeeping features "Summer Feel Good Secrets" in their latest issue. They report on how a study published in the journal Psychogeriatrics found that "holding, stroking, walking, talking to and playing with dogs" improves depression by a whopping 50%. It even helps those with dementia. My life would be a lot less joyful without Micky and Benny.

10.  Oh I adore this tiled fireplace. I saw it also in the latest issue of Good Housekeeping. The tiles are zellige tiles from Emery and Cie.

Top Ten Tips From My Favorite Magazines - April/May 2024

#1   I saw this stacked planter in the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens Container Gardening. I thought it would make a fabulous divider to hide the hose, tools and other garden junk.

#2   I always love High/Low articles in magazines, where this list an item that they liked that was one the expensive side and then list a similar item they found that's much cheaper. I thought this mid-century retro birdhouse was cute buy out of my budget at $249. (pleasant The $21 version is out of stock on But I found it for $40.86 Canadian dollars (about $30 U.S.) on

#3   I loved the white ceramic face vase on this month's cover of Prevention magazine. I did not find that exact one but there are dozens to choose from on Amazon

#4  I found this article about dahlias the Modern Gardens Small Gardens Special. I have had a love affair with dahlias ever since I moved to Mexico. Did you know they are Mexico's National Flower?

#5  The First For Women magazine always has so many good tips and tricks. My favorite in the May 20th issue is to rub silverware with the inside of a banana peel to lift tarnish. Who knew?

#6   I am so happy to see color returning to interior design. Seems like everything has been white, gray, tan for a very long time. I have had a a completely new relationship with color since moving to Mexico. The May issue of Better Homes and Gardens combines peach and a wine red in a bedroom. Loved it. Peach Fuzz was names Pantone's color of the year for 2024. I never thought of pairing it with a deep red.

#7  Also recommended by BH&G is to skip social media one day a week. I really like that idea. I am thinking of skipping it on Saturday or Sunday.

#8  Real Simple magazine has a special issue about dogs. In it they have a list of human food that are healthy for dogs including... apples, bananas, carrots, green beans, sweet potatoes, peanut butter and plain green yogurt.

#9  Psychologies Magazine mentions that May is National Walking month. They say walking is one of the best ways to keep not only your body, but also your mind in shape.

#10  And of course HGTV magazine always has some of my favorite ideas. I love how they painted the inside of these shelves a different color.

Note... I usually buy my magazines online. I find the easiest way to have access to lots of magazines is with the Apple News+ app or with the Zinio app. Your subscription to Apple News+ includes a huge number of magazines for you to read. Zinio was the first magazine app I ever read and I still like it. You pay for each magazine, so I usually only buy the magazines I cannot find on Apple News+

Play Back Your Favorite Memories

Just came across this article in Psychology Today about the benefits of playing back your favorite memories. According to the author...

"Being able to call up positive and detailed memories helps us to deepen our inner sense of well-being and joy."

She also gives you a trick to enhance your ability to bring back good memories— a technique called the "method-of-loci" strategy.

Sun Rooms

I love sun rooms. There is something about them that just lifts you up.

My Office on My Patio

It is a dream to someday have one. Really I am pretty close to having one as I have a covered patio and live where the weather is pretty perfect all year round. 

Chocolate Makes Me Happy

I have discovered three chocolate shops in the small village of Ajijic Mexico. The picture above is my latest stash. I highly recommend Margarita Chocolates.

I am in the land where chocolate began - in Mesoameria around 1900 BC. The Mayans and Aztecs believed that the seeds were divine, a gift from the gods. They made a bitter, fermented drink called xocoatl. Cacao beans were so valuable that they were used as currency.

It wasn't until the cacao seeds were imported to Europe by the Spanish that sugar and honey were added. Chocolate was primarily a delicacy for the wealthy until the late 1700s. The invention of the steam engine made the chocolate process faster and available to the masses.

I have yet to discover a chocolate that I don't like. It's still possible but I would say unlikely. Below are a few favorite chocolate recipes.

Rice Krispy Peanut Butter Balls have been a Christmas tradition since I was a kid. My grandmother would send them to us in a coffee can. My mom would put them into the freezer so they would last until Christmas day. Then we discovered that they were quite yummy frozen as well. 

I found my "go to" chocolate cheesecake recipe years ago in Maida Haetter's Book of Great Chocolate Desserts.  

My favorite ice cream is Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia (with dark chocolate chunks of course.) You can get Ben and Jerry's recipe for home made ice cream in their book 
Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book

Chocolate Dipped Cherries were always another holiday favorite at our house. Mom used to order them from a local candy store that is long gone. I found a recipe however, in Epicurius.

Beatles With a Cuban Twist

The other day I was out to breakfast with my friends here in Mexico. My friend Bonnie suddenly said... "Is that Hey Jude with a Calypso beat they're playing?" The music was pretty soft so I took my iPhone over the the speaker, reached up and said "Hey Siri who is this playing?"

Sure enough it was a Cuban version of Hey Jude. The album is Here Comes...El Sol! with a variety of artists. Kind of a kick.

Ten Ted Talks to Lift Us Up

Ten of the Most Beautiful Gardens In the World

It was hard to limit my list to ten. I easily could have made it 50. But here are 10 that are on my "must see" garden list.

1.  Keukenhoff Gardens, Lisse Netherlands - Virtual tours available 

4. Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew England - Has a virtual tour.

6. Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, New York - Virtual Tour Available.

7. Longwood Gardens Kennett Square, PA - Virtual Tours Available.

9. Chicago Botanic Gardens - Phone Apps Available

I have been to a few of these but would love to visit the ones I have not seen and go again to the ones I have. Let me just mention that I attended a classical music concert at night in the Versailles Gardens when I was 17 and a student studying French in Paris. It still is a memory I treasure. 

I also want to mention Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. For me, this is home. The park has many gardens including a botanical garden, Japanese garden and Conservatory of Flowers.

Ten Things I Will Never Do Again

As we age we often think of the things we still want to do... what we want on our "bucket lists." I think one of the benefits of aging is knowing what you never want to do again.

Tattoos For Older Women

In all the blogs and websites I have done in the past 15 years, this post was my most popular. 

I love bird tattoos and I think this little group flying over the shoulder would be great.

If you are a musician, this is another tattoo for the shoulder that I like.

This "free" tattoo with the bird is a serious contender, once the pandemic lockdown is over.

I actually saw this online as a print. I meditate every day and thought this might be a good tattoo to remind me to go meditate.

I don't think I would go wrong with a tree of life. 

I like the idea of a tattoo on the side of my hand. Maybe the word free with the flying bird? It sure feels perfect for surviving COVID 19.

I do like this delicate bracelet tattoo. I almost always wear silver bracelets. I wonder if it could be done in silver ink. Wouldn't that be cool?

I also thought about having my zodiac sign as a tattoo. I am an Aquarius so two waves would be perfect. Google your sign and the words "tattoos" and you will get lots and lots of suggestions. 

I like the idea of a finger tattoo. Maybe one with a flower or the word "create."

And then of course there is always the name of a loved one... a child, significant other, someone who has died.

Okay... if this doesn't hurt too much I just might have to get several.