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. 


Easter Lily Warnings and Tips


Two warnings and a tip...

1.   Warning #1 - All parts of the Easter Lily are very poisonous to pets.

2.   Warning #2 - Be sure to cut of the dark pollen parts off the pistil. They can stain your tablecloth or clothing. I always hold a kleenex below the blossom and cut them off with scissors. Be sure to throw them away where your pets cannot get them. 

3.   The tip - Another reason to cut off the pollen tips is the flowers will last longer.

Spring Songs to Get You Dancing and "Feeling Good"


Ten songs about Spring to get you up and dancing...

1.   At the top of everyone's Spring music list is Here Comes The Sun by the Beatles

2.   A favorite of mine is Put Your Records On by Corinne Bailey Rae

5.   I don't remember Elvis Presley doing a song about Spring, but he did - Spring Fever

10.  And it just doesn't get any better than Nina Simone's Feeling Good

Steam Instead of Hard Boil Those Easter Eggs

When I was a creative trainer at Apple, one of my students and I got into a conversation about chickens. (No I do not remember how that subject came up when I was helping her with the Numbers Application.) I mentioned that I love having fresh eggs, but find them hard to peel. She said she steams them instead of hard boiling them. So I decided to give it a try.

I put them in my little vegetable steamer, then put steamer and eggs into a pot of water. (I kept the water below the steamer.) I put the lid on the pan and steamed them for 12 minutes. Then let them sit another 10 minutes. They were perfect. So easy to peel and super yummy. I get to meet the nicest people when I teach. Thanks Anne.


The Louvre Just Released It's Entire Collection Online


The Louvre has been closed because of the pandemic. However  the entire collection of over 480,000 pieces from the Musée du Louvre and the Musée National Eugène-Delacroix can be viewed online - for free.

You can browse the collection by paintings, sculptures, furniture, textiles, jewelry and finery, writing and inscriptions or objects. You also can search by themes such as Masterpieces of the Louvre, Acquisitions Made in 2020, The Art of Portraiture and more.

Or if you prefer to just wander through museums and galleries (like I always do) there is an interactive map. 

Click here to access the online collection.

So until we can get back to Paris in person - enjoy. There is a lovely French Bakery down the street from me so I am going to pick up a chocolate croissant before I return to explore more. A nice French wine would work too.


Top Ten Tips From My Favorite Magazines - April

I found lots of fun Spring and Easter tips this month and even found a new favorite magazine.

1.   Tired of the same old colored eggs? I found this tip in April's Better Homes and Gardens. Use temporary tattoo transfers! How cool is that? There are lots of temporary tattoos on both Amason and Etsy. Here are a few to check out.

2.   You have probably opened lots of traditional Christmas crackers at holiday dinners. Here are instructions from Real Simple Magazine for making Easter Crackers.

3.   I thought this was a brilliant idea from Good Housekeeping for when a clan full of grandkids come to visit. They divided two sets of bunk beds with a set of stairs instead of a ladder. You also can use double beds facing out in the lower level. If you want to see more ideas of stairs with bunkbeds just google it. There are lots of fabulous ideas.

4.  Remember I told you about a new magazine I just discovered? It's a British publication and is called Platinum.  I saw this turquoise wicker chair in it. I am definitely thinking of painting my balcony wicker this color.

5.   I have been looking for a rattan room divider to hide my washer/dryer from the rest of the kitchen. This is just what I have been looking for. I found it in another British magazine Woman's Home. You can buy it at Habitat. I also found it at Anthropologie in the U.S.

6.   The Canadian issue of Chatelaine magazine features an article about Buffy Sainte-Marie. I hadn't thought about her songs since the 1960s and 70s. She just released a new children's book and song called Hey Little Rockabye. It's about adopting a rescue puppy.

7.   I can never have too many drawers. I saw this antique piece in Sunset Magazine. I love how they pulled out a few of the drawers and put a plant in them.

8.   I couldn't resist one more Easter Egg idea. This one is from the April issue of Woman's Day. They cut little straw flowers and glued them onto the shell as hair. The facial features were cut from stickers.

9.   I ran across the idea of mini fire pits in the April 5th issue of People Magazine. Who knew? I want this for my small balcony. You can get this one from Amazon.

10. I just read about a radio station especially for Baby Boomers in the UK magazine Prima. You can listen to it on their website or can get an app from both the Apple Store and Google Play. When you read their schedule don't forget that there is a time difference.