Happy New Year!

Walk Into 2018 With a Clean Slate!

Happy New Year!  What I love about a new year is that it is a marker for leaving anything that no longer serves you as you go into a new year, a new time, new beginnings.  If chaos seems to follow you around, check what you may be doing (or not doing) that is encouraging this and allow yourself to change that. Where do your loyalties lie?  Do your current relationships serve you or serve to ruin you?  Do they cause more joy or upset?  Do you feel more or less in balance within them?   If you routinely fall into the victim role, feel like you just cannot get it all together, self-sabotage opportunities or you are around or supporting people who are like this, causing you more stress than peace; Leave all this behind in 2017! The mind likes to create stories and habits but BOTH are adaptable, changeable. You cannot change the way anyone around you thinks feels or acts, but you can control yourself and who you allow to remain in your life.  Each day you breathe air, you have an opportunity for growth, to remove blinders (we all have them) and go and do better.  Some folks are stuck in making things harder than they need to be. They want to blame, argue, delay and create what I call High Queen.  My mother used to say ‘This is just how I am’ No, this is just how you programmed yourself.  Begin taking ownership, stop deliberately going off the rails emotionally, self-control is underrated. Life is far too short to start pointless arguments, deliberately cause chaos, or be with anyone that behaves this way.  IF you are used to living with someone that is High Queen, you may struggle at first embracing the quite. Trust, the brain gets used to all this noise and it can take a bit for quiet to sink in, to feel normal. Counting your blessings rather than stirring up drama is far more healthy. Reward those good to you, rather than complain.  See what happens then.   Life is short. Stress causes disease.  Embrace Joy!

2 Things Wrong Theory – Minimizing Chaos Maximizing Joy

An ordered life brings calm.  Our body is our temple and our mind the seat.  Whatever your religious beliefs, big bang theory etc, you can look around you at all the beauty of this world and all the atrocious acts too and conclude two things:  Firstly  – there is good and evil sparring it out here and Secondly  – this planet and everything within it and upon it didn’t just happen.  There is way too much order, beauty and workmanship in everything and how it fits together, from fish to butterflies, to Jaguars to trees.  Nothing had to be this well orchestrated, this beautiful and yet it is.

Part of honoring ourselves, our temple, our seat, is taking care of ourselves by taking care of things around us in such a way that we create calm rather than calamity for both us, our family members and those within our scope.  But because being OCD can also bring chaos, there is value in things being imperfect.  There is, in fact, perfection in the imperfection, if you will.

Now, as one of my dear friends always says when discussing finding a lover or choosing friends, is that you have got to pick your flavor of crazy, because we all are.  And another dear friend used to tell me she was looking for someone who had fewer problems than she had.  These two principles can be applied to all areas of life, really.  It boils down to respecting of ones self, ones divinity.  All of us being devine in nature, when we get in touch with that grace, then we begin to recognize that we no longer need the fluff of drama injected into everything that we touch.

This doesn’t mean that sometimes negative stuff doesn’t simply happen, but rather, it means we are engaged to actively minimize it on a daily basis and we do this out of honor for ourselves and our fellow companions because  we deserve it, we deserve peace and life is stressful enough without adding negative drama on the top of it all.

That stated, here are ways that I actively work to reduce chaos and create peace.

Two Things Wrong Theory –  For anything in my life, whether it’s a car or house, a usable item like a sofa, electronics etc, I strive for not more than 2 things wrong.  In this way, I maintain a 0-2 defect ratio in all things.  If I hit a third thing on the car or house, then I know I am out of balance and promptly get at least one thing that’s wrong, fixed. Honestly, I am rather anal about my cars and home so things get fixed quickly.  This can be tailored to the individual, perhaps you can adopt five things for example or make other adjustments which suit you.  Make it something that is comfortable for you and your lifestyle as well as tailored to what you care most about. For example, you may care more about your home than your car and want 2 or fewer things wrong with your casa but if your car is dirty, you have 3 door dings but it runs, you’re good with that.

Pick your number. For me, nothing in my life has more than two things wrong with it at any given time.  In this way, I don’t feel snowed under with to do lists that I feel I’ll never crawl out from under.  I minimize the heavy expense of fixing a bunch of things at once too.

Love Your Home & Create Peace In It-  Home should be a safe haven, a place where you seek and find comfort, joy and beauty.  You can tell a lot about a person and their psyche by their home.  Conversely, you can mind your brain and heal your nervous system by keeping things tidy.  De-cluttering what is around you orders and calms the brain.  Having things around that give you joy bolster you up with every passing glance just as seeing piles of what needs taking care of can weigh you down.  Even if your home is temporary, it affects you each time you are there.  I’m a big fan of adding even a hint of personality to a temporary space or cubicle and ordering it in such a  way that it provides you clear thinking and peace.  I highly recommend Sacred Space by Denise Linn, it’s one of my reference books on everything from space clearing to meditation. I also have her Feng Shui For The Soul and keep that as a great reference too.

Expect & Buy Quality – To minimize chaos for myself, I strive for things made well.  I don’t mind paying more for this because I generally keep things a long time.  My amplifier is over 2 decades old.  The amp before it was also over 20 years old.  It met its’ demise over a hairball my kitty hawked onto it.  It never stood a chance. One entire channel went toast and in the US, there were no matching parts.  I didn’t think it would ever sound right with mismatched channel components so I shopped for a replacement.    So I buy quality,  take very good care of stuff and my expectation is that they take care of me.

Let Go Of Crap Products –  My Lexus LS600HL is pictured above.  At over 120k MSRP, I thought I had purchased a reliable and solid vehicle and one that would last me decades.  But the thing was a Debbie Downer with a failed water pump, brake actuator and upper control arms all at less than 60k miles.  On top of this, the ‘luxury’ of it suffered with poor workmanship.  The leather wrapping the dashboard came totally unglued in a week’s timespan parked not in a garage as was typical, but in the June sunshine. In that same week, the Bezel surrounding the console mysteriously cracked as well. The thing ate money.  Now, I was completely fine paying all that cash up front, but completely pissed off paying months of salary every quarter!  I’m in a Jaguar now.  I got everything fixed on the misbegotten Lexsucks except the bloody dashboard and sold it to Carmax for 7k higher than the dealership offered to buy it back!  In the most respectful way I can say it right now, Lexus? Piss directly off! Never again will I purchase a new Lexus or Toyota product.  You will note that I created signs and added letter to the back end around the ‘L’ to spell Awful Lousy and I had fun for a few months discussing the car, parking in prominent places all over town sharing my story.  But at the end of the day, the vehicle was not bringing me the peace I bought it for.  I had named it Zen and it wasn’t happiness anymore when I never knew when the next break would happen.  So, whatever you personally expected or paid for something, let it go if it’s crap.   Just get it out of your life. In this situation, karmically, I repaired the car and to the best of my abilities assured (Per Sewell Lexus in Dallas) that nothing else was, at that moment, wrong with the car.  I turned it over to Carmax still owing repair bills, with a fresh oil change, ready for the new owner who will hopefully avail themselves of the Carmax extended warranty.

Take Care Of Your Stuff – I try to apply the minimum pressure to things such as buttons and dials, keep it clean, polished, lubed, whatever to keep it humming smoothly.  When you buy with care and take pride and care in what you have, it is amazing how long stuff can last.  This is why we have appliances from the 60’s still working in kitchens today.  Also, the recent shift has clearly been to make crap.  I don’t suffer crap very well.  So when we expect quality and choose to no longer put up with junk, that is when companies will be incited to create better merchandise.

A Throw-Away Society Is Ruinous To The Entire Planet – When we create throw away items or when we as consumers buy things that we don’t take care of, causing them to wear out faster, we affect the ecosystem of our planet.   There’s a girl who writes a blog about how her life has been creating zero trash.  https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-16168/i-havent-made-any-trash-in-2-years-heres-what-my-life-is-like.html
I am nowhere close to that level of recycling and green, but the post has inspired me to do better since the day I first read it.  It has made me far more aware of all the things I purchase, whether it is something which can be reused and if not, what else I might buy or use instead that will not trash the planet.

Downcycle By Giving Away (or selling) What You No Longer Use or Need – Recently, a neighbor put out a box to the sidewalk area (code for take it if you want, it’s free) with a nice note stating it was a Dell Monitor and that it worked very well, they had just upgraded and didn’t need any longer.  Well, it just so happened I needed a monitor for my contract job.  I didn’t open the box until I got to my cubicle the following Monday. Let me tell you, I was impressed with the care and level of attention paid to re-wrapping all the cables, cords and whatnots.  The monitor was clean and looked like new.  I wrote a thank you card introducing myself and how much I appreciated that monitor!    I love paying it forward and what a thrill it was to actually get something so fabulous.

Expect Quality in Yourself – While I am far from perfect, I do try to eat right, no meat, dairy, lots of raw veggies and I use organic skincare routines and work out.  I invest in and take ownership of my own well being.  In short, I minimize what can go wrong by being aware of where I am at healthwise and managing my resilience.  Some folks eat like they don’t give two f*cks and people, this is going to show up downstream.  It is never selfish to take care of you.  When you come from a position of strength, you are in the best shape to go help others.

Unhook From Drama – Our mind is a computer that literally programs itself to think in such a way that we tend towards.  In other words, if you tend to be happy and positive, your brain will tend to think positively and if you tend to think oh why me, and life sucks, then your brain will condition that way as well.  If you want change, the trick is being patient for the next 30 days which create the new habit and way of being.  I know people who are continuously in one negative drama after another. They do this simply because this is how they have taught themselves that life is for them.  They don’t know and accept for themselves another path, a new way.  Believe me there is!   Try a daily meditation such as Rolf Gates, Meditations From The Mat or Meditations on Intentions and Being.  IF you are stuck in a co-dependent relationship, I will say that Melody Beattie The Language Of Letting Go and Co-Dependent No More, HEALED ME!!!  Denise Linn’s books came next into my life and pushed me onwards from there!  I had no idea that I was co-creating drama nor did I know what co-dependent behavior was but oh boy was this toxic!  And I got out.  You can too!

Take love, patience and more calm into each day, each week by breathing before you react and finding small ways to create space and quiet. With time it gets easier as your new habits are formed which will add quality and resilience to your life!

Be Blessed. ♥

Ligne Roset – Great Design Is Always In Season!

ligne roset

Is it too early to think spring and outdoor furniture?  At least in the Dallas Ft Worth area, spring weather (or full-on heat) is never far away.  My favourite are the light blue chairs, they are so airy!  Below are some links, kindly mention you discovered through mcmhomeanddecor.com.

Grillage (left), designed by François Azambourg, was inspired by origami. The chair is made from perforated metal that is stretched, folded, and creased. Elizabeth Teck (center), by Nathan Yong and made from teak, is an organic, modern approach to the wing chair. Available in armchair, loveseat, and tables. ISO (left), designed by Marie Christine Dorner, is linear and elegant with a comfortably padded seat and back.


Ligne Roset Console

The Entrèves collection, designed by Marie Christine Dorner, includes a nightstand and dresser. The dresser features push-catch drawers while the nightstand features open shelves. The design allows for great flexibility in terms of positioning. Multiple pieces can be arranged to create a number of configurations to best fit any space.

Security For Your Middy – ARLO, The Ring Doorbell & Other Items Reviewed

Pictured above is the Ring Doorbell.  Security should be synonymous with home. Pretty much gone are the days when folks could leave their homes and cars unlocked and feel fine about that.  Yes, it’s sad, but as things change, we must also come up with the ways and the means that make us comfortable.

Working from home, I felt a certain level of safety between being here and being here with my 115 lb Doberman. We also had bees that would come up on our porch to drink out of our fountain, by the hundreds on a hot day.  I joked that I had great security but I really truly did.  Most folks are not going to mess with a Doberman or bees and especially a combo of both.

When I began working outside the house more, security became a flag in my mind.  People had mentioned the Ring doorbell and looking into it I was very impressed.  Now that I own one, I will never ever be without it!  It’s wifi enabled and videotapes everything.  But it also acts as an intercom, whereby you can answer the ring (even if someone is loitering on your doorstep but hasn’t actually rung the bell) and talk to them as if you were home.  It creeps some folks out in a good way!  I WANT folks on my doorstep to wonder what I can see an do!  I want them to wonder am I home.  The device syncs with your smartphone so you get a door chime on your phone when someone is there.  Ring also offers video cameras and a door chime so that you don’t need to rely on always having your phone, such as when you are away but someone is still home, so they can hear the bell.

Arlo Pro by NETGEAR 

These little cameras hide anyplace and securely magnetize to the base. The batteries last a good amount of time.  We’ve had ours for 2 years now and have gone through 2 sets of batteries.  Video is retained for 30 days and you can receive alerts and view online and save or delete video as needed.


SimpliSafe is a wireless system with no long-term contracts. So you’ll never pay for something you’re not using.  As SimpliSafe is wireless, it’s an easy,  DIY installation, nothing hardwired, no drilling required.

The kit featured above is $399.99 and comes with  pre-programed sensors that start working instantly—right out of the box.  All packages are fully customizable, so you can start with the sensor listed in this package and add more sensors whenever you want by logging into your account.  The 24/7 security monitoring is just $14.95/mo.

The esthetics on all of these products is slick and goes well with an MCM home and vibe.   Call it groovy security!

Dangerous Bedding – Detox Your Sleep!

Hello.  This morning I got into a mattress discussion and some of the folks were aware of off-gassing that many of these synthetic materials create.  A few folks suggested airing the mattress out for a specified time period.  But I said why not go 100% organic and get a nice comfy latex that lasts forever, no airing necessary?  Just because you air something out, doesn’t mean all the harmful contaminants have gone away.  They’re still there, off-gassing as your sleep, slowly eroding your health.

Here’s a great alternative with a link you just click on for further details.

My Green Mattress, Simple Sleep 7″ 100% Natural GOLS Certified Organic Latex Mattress with GOTS Organic Cotton and Natural Eco-Wool Cover (Queen)

Part of enjoying the great architecture of your Mid-Century Modern home is having great sleep and a quality of life that supports many years of staring at this eye candy we are lucky enough to walk around in every day!

The body is naturally detoxing between about 9pm until around 11am.  A great mattress will lessen aches, pains, pressure points and encourage restful sleep.  So whether you are shopping for family, for yourself or simply dream of sleeping through this holiday season, here’s to the glorious holidays and the coming new year, in peace, health and prosperity.  🙂

Plant Based Lifestyle & Detoxing Plant-Based Skincare

Today for Black Friday, get 20% off!


Hello.  As I also write a Plant-Based Lifestyle blog (puretemple.org/) there tends to be some crossover focus in this design blog too, where I post healthy cleaning supplies, gadgets and non-toxic, eco-friendly furniture.
With the holidays upon us, many folks are getting extra spa treatments and giving them too!  Who doesn’t need to unwind a bit during these hectic days? 
Consider going toxin free with Plant-Based Skincare!  Go clean & gift clean and today only save 20%.
From our lip balm to our hand lotion, it is important to be mindful of what we apply topically to reduce exposure to chemicals that shorten life, cause disease and disrupt our hormones. With Body firming coconut based lotion, a keratin-based mascara that improves and grows out your eyelashes, Reverse 20 at home spa treatments to beneficial supplements, what’s not to love! I am available for any questions you have. Happy Holidays!
Visit my blog for health tips & great plant-based lifestyle information http://puretemple.org/

The Sofa In The Room – Finding A Smart Comfy Non-Toxic Eco Friendly Seat


Knowing what I know now from my Hippocrates training and years devoted to all things organic and planet saving, it was time to retire my current high end sofa and look specifically at eco friendly and non toxic choices.  This was hard!  My search led to companies no longer in business, or they stopped making what I wanted.  Being of particular taste, I found the task daunting at best.  Most of us spend a ton of time on the sofa.  Most are filled with fire retardants, toxic glues, stain resistant chemical treatments and foam that out-gas into our environment.  As the chemicals break down, it doesn’t get any better.  Being the couch sloth that I sometimes am, I wanted to avoid all this.

Some sofas use natural latex rather than foam, and this is brilliant.  The seat is super comfy (my bed is made of natural latex) and the stuff lasts forever.  Other manufacturers use eco foam, a better choice than the regular high density off gassing variety and then there is the fill, perhaps eco feather and the fabric itself along with any stain inhibiting chemical stew du jour.  Below are my findings on a few places you can go to find a more eco friendly choice and with style.  I will leave it to you just how far down the rabbit hole you choose to go.

This sofa, the Kardiel Woodrow Mid-Century Modern Box, is both reasonably priced and gorgeous, while doing some things right, such as the hardwoods and mostly natural fabric choice.  Did I mention it is drop dead gorgeous and made entirely by hand?  Less than half price, truly a bargain.  For those with kitties, I LOVE that there is nothing to scratch on the back and arms of this thing!  We currently have claw marks all over the back of our leather sectional I paid $6500.00 for.

If you are more into cashmere wool, this Kardiel option, the Jackie,  comes in a sofa or sectional

Or perhaps you like it real funky?  Check out the Kardiel Cubix Modern

Another place to go shopping is Stem Goods,  where they make everything with the reduction of toxins at the forefront.  You can get latex cushions here as well as a good choice of natural fabrics. https://www.stemgoods.com/our-story

Yet another cool spot to shop is Eco First Art, where you can find artists who have designed pieces ranging in price and materials as well as styles.  There are numerous nods to the MCM designers of the day. http://ecofirstart.com/

West Elm has one eco focused sofa, The Harmony, where the eco-weave fabric, is made from spent plastic bottles.  It’s got non-eco foam, but it is super comfy, we sat in it at the store.

We finally ended up at Mitchel Gold  + Bob Williams where the company, since inception, has held a focus on sustainable, planet healthy practices with an eye on high design. Oh and the products are made in America. (proudly waving my flag)http://www.mgbwhome.com/

My husband insisted we sit on whatever we were going to buy so rather than taking this online which was my plan, we went local.  I wanted latex but I…this is very hard to say… compromised with eco foam and feather.  We sat in every sofa and sectional at MGBW and finally chose the Hunter. It will look lovely floating over our terrazzo floor and hopefully be a sink in comfortable as our old sofa.

Good luck in your choices and happy shopping!


Filled Up, Fed Up! Embracing the Zen of MCM



Part of what attracted me to Mid-Century Modern design is the simplicity and openness of the architecture, the wedding of outdoor and indoor spaces, thus creating a delightful blur between us and the rest of nature with window walls and sliding glass doors that invite us to explore beyond the four walls.  While you can still fill it all up, this type of architecture begs for simplicity and looks its’ very best sparse. Sparing in both landscape and furnishings works to showcase the design and create expansiveness. Most MCM homes were not large sprawls but under 2500 sq feet. Mine is 2105 and I had to significantly pare down and squeeze into it.  2 years in, I have given up a leather lounge set and other furnishings too substantial, too heavy and large to fit comfortably.  Our home looks fairly spacious and I am continuing to reduce things.

To get you into the vibe, check out William Krisel’s Palm Springs: The Language of Modernism.  And you don’t have to live in an MCM home to appreciate a lot of the aesthetics and apply them where you are right now.


A few years ago, my husband and I agreed to let go of anything we either didn’t really love or didn’t use at least annually.  Being fully mindful of what is used and what continues to sit year after year is eye opening.  Sure, the thing may be nice or be a lovely gift but if you are not actively using it or it is not a delight to the eye, such as a piece of art, then let it go to a new home where it can live out the life intended for it and thereby create space for something you truly want or need in its place.


I have a neighbor who collects stuff.  He wants it all for free, anything anyone doesn’t want, stuff left over at a garage sale or left curbside.  He will admit it weighs him down, he has boxes and boxes of stuff and has even built a new garage and rented a storage unit to contain it all.  Things don’t always store well.  Fabric, rubber,  materials get dry rot. Hoses, seals and belts dry out, wiring can get ruined as well.   I had an opportunity to buy someone’s 1 year used high-end washer dryer set but they had been in storage for a few years.  I just pictured the potential hot mess I was buying and said no.  Things are made to be used and few things remain pristine and perfect for long periods unused.  Buy and hold onto what you need and let the rest go.


We tend to think in terms of great deals and opportunities that come only once, sales and getting stocked up.  The truth is that the universe is infinite.  When we act with right action, with good intentions, the universe conspires to provide us what we need and want in our lives.  There is no need for jealousy or clawing at what we want, it will happen when it’s time, when we are ready, as we plan in faith.


I will share just two.  Story 1) I spent 3 years searching for a Mid-Century Modern house, they are suddenly all the rage and I completely get why, however, it made finding mine a bit of a living hell.  I had notebooks filled with zip codes, prices, addresses and comments. It was a second job for me, finding our Middy.  I looked so long and hard that the same houses came back on the market.  You know you’ve been looking a while when that happens.  As it turns out, a home I lost the first time around, came back 1.5 years later when the couple that bought it realised they would never ever move back to Dallas and sold it to me.  I lucked into a pocket listing where this house had not yet gone officially back on the market, back on MLS, but the current owner called my realtor who said ‘I have your buyer’.  Planning, patience, preparedness and a little kismet!  Sometimes I wanted to give up, perhaps it was not meant to be.  A year into the search, some friends asked me how long I was going to pursue it but my realtor said looking this length of time was not unheard of and to stay the course.  So I did.

Story 2) I was laid off at work and had several deaths in the family.  Coming out of a time famine where I worked exceedingly long hours most of the time at no additional compensation, which had left me losing out on a lot of personal time with family, I created a wishlist of what I wanted next.  My focus was on what I wanted not what I did not want.  I believe you have to think in terms of positives, of affirmations and make it so.  My wishlist was 1) Not to work so hard to earn.  I wanted to apply myself, but not to the point of health affecting overwork. So my goal was hourly employment if possible or a contract that limited my exposure. 2) I wanted to work from home because I get a tax write off with my office and have been working from home for 20 years.  I wanted to maintain this environment if possible. 3) I wanted to better or at least maintain my current salary.

I meditated on my wishlist but was also open to the possibility that I would not get everything I wanted as I was re-inventing my work self.  In the end and amazingly, an ex-coworker set me up in an amazing opportunity that provided me exactly everything on my wishlist.  I was laid off a full year.  During this time, I did not actively pursue employment.  Instead, I focused on myself, my health and wholeness.  I spent the entire year studying with Hippocrates Health Institute, which has nothing to do with Project Management or Telecommunications, but everything to do with my life and creating balance and longevity, both key to both my happiness and my future employer.  I worked at being a leaf upon the wind, letting my inner voice guide me to the right decisions as I ended up with several offers.


When we stop, breath, listen to what brings us closer to peace or farther away from it, we get clear on what makes us happiest.  Life is not meant to be a drudge but overall, a joy.  Work should be, while at times we all get a bad day, something that brings you fulfilment.  Someone job searching posted on LinkedIn all her struggles to locate work.  She was making a full-time job of it and for months on end.  I could hear the stress in the spaces between her words.  My comment back was a suggestion she perhaps just stop.  Just stop.  Just relax.  What brings you peace?  Would you like to learn a new language or take a psychology course or go on a working trip abroad or any such something you normally would not do in a typical time famine between work and home requirements?  Go, do those things and let the answers and the opportunities come to you.  When we are not bruising our shins on too much dross in our lives, even grand, luxurious, nice dross, we find the space we need to co-create change in our lives.  Stuff weighs down our mind.  Everything we own is catalogued there, something to track and care for.  Too much stuff can be overstimulating to the eye and nervous system.  Less to dust is not a bad thing.  Find your own comfort level with stuff, with space and here’s to co-creating your best life!

Another book to help you get there: Making Midcentury Modern  by Christopher Kennedy or Deborah Burke House Rules to provide mood.

MCM – Art Is Life


Some folks just want a box to protect them from the elements.  Their needs are simple and they don’t invest a lot into their abode.  As you are here, my assumption is that you have higher aspirations for your dwelling.

Each home lives differently and brings with it a vibe that you can accentuate to your liking.  Just like us, though, it is important to honor the vibe by tuning into it, into what the house speaks to you about, so you get any tweaks and changes right for that particular house.

I’m blond.  As a child I was quite upset I was not born dark skinned with straight hair as my best friend was.  But I had to eventually come to terms with my Scandinavian/German heritage and flat accept who I am.  I am not black, Hispanic or any other person of colour.  I am, in fact, just a notch below albino.  In this life I am a white paper girl.  And that is ok.  And while my hair isn’t straight or black,  I love that it’s texture and curl is  identical to my lovely dark skinned Hungarian mother in law.

So we all must work with what it is that we’ve got.  Actually, we need to honor what we have because this is the only way that we are truly going to bring peace to it and bring out the best that we and our dwelling can be.

Homes are a shelter, firstly, but they are also spirit.  Our house affects our mood even before we hit the driveway as we come home daily to it.  Unfinished this and that’s, a remudle that messed things up, or just plain dirty (see other posts on cleaning tips!).

My mother once exclaimed ‘I feel so sorry for you, Suzi! All those dog toys every place!  That dog is just ruining your life!’  She had it wrong.  Now, if you have children’s toys all over the house, you may want to pick things up but a few toys is joy in the evidence.  I went to a friends home and her children were all playing with toys in the living room.  She immediately apologized and began picking them up.  I said, no, let the kids play.  A home should be joyful.  A teacup sitting at the ledge of an otherwise clean and polished coffee table suggests joyful use.  My husband left his cup in our sitting room the other day and I imagined him there, reading and sipping his tea, wondering upon all his thoughts as he reposed.  Rather than immediately pick the cup up, as I typically do, I left it all day.  Each time I passed, I smiled at the fact he enjoyed this room.

Most of us spend so much time at home.  Those of us who don’t, are still tethered to it as a sanctuary away and apart from the outside world.  Therefore, I believe the home should convey who you are on a personal level.  I like to walk in a room and see how a person lives and learn more about them in this manner.   I went to an estate sale in our neighborhood recently.  There was a lot of stuff, most of it trash.  They had crammed the house up with detritus of little to no value and filled, floor to ceiling, 3 additional sheds on property with similar worthless junk. On a conscious level, perhaps they had ceased thinking about it, decades ago, but I promise you, on a subconscious level, it wore them down.

We recently removed 2 10×6 metal storage containers the prior owner had installed.  We have one more shed to remove so that the landscape can take further shape.  But I wonder what is so important that 2100 square feet cannot contain it?  Why have so much that your architecture and landscape take a back seat?  Why be in danger of jamming a knee just trying to navigate to the bathroom?

Like a wall in an art museum, I have honed our living space, significantly paring down furniture and furnishings.  What we have pops more, is easier to clean and keep up with.  What we own, also owns us.  Sometimes that is a very cool and groovy feeling.  I loved my Porsche and I love my MR2.  I love many things in my home and the home itself.  To a point, I am cool with them owning me too, but also, I try to be cognizant of not acquiring too much, making things over the top where there is too much labor and maintenance as that sucks the joy out.

It is good to periodically examine how we live and if how we are doing that today still serves us.  What do we want to bring into our life and what can we let go of to feel lighter, brighter and create space for something we will truly treasure?

Need some great advice to begin?  I love this book by Karen Kingston, Creating Sacred Space With Feng Shui



The Yoga of Mid Century Modern Living


Welcome to a new year!  I have always been interested in seeing peoples’ homes, how they live, what they fill it with, as well as the design of the home itself.  From a modest to quite expansive exterior, sometimes the interiors can surprise and delight.  There is also some shock and horror too, but we’ll take the high road here.  Let’s just say that your home choice, it’s style, its upkeep, and what you surround it with (exterior landscaping and tchotchkes) to what you fill it with inside, not only says a lot about who you are and where you want to go and be but can also be self-limiting or self-expanding.

With a new year, many people are focused on new beginnings and 2017 is a perfect time for this.  Large or small, each of us, every day, has the opportunity to wind our way toward enlightenment, toward becoming more accepting of ourselves and others, more expansive, more magnanimous as well as more fun to be around.

Many delights come first from a place of need; I need to work out, get into better shape and eliminate some stress or I need a place to live that accommodates my needs well.

Yoga is a daily practice that is one of the few practices which involves the mind, the spirit, the breath and body.  All are one, all are made better by doing yoga.  Coming from the East, it helps us remain in the present, learn breathwork, learn to stay in the moment, while accepting what is as well as what can be. Many MCMs have alot of Asian influence in their design from the roof treatments to the pagodas and zen style window walls.

I have been in my Middy now for almost 2 years after a nearly 3 year (painful) search to find the terrazzo floors, the window walls, the fireplace, and the funk that I was (passionately) seeking.   I found it interesting that there were a lot of eastern ways wrapped into Mid-Century Modern design, which is really a mash-up of many styles, including Craftsman, Edwardian, Mission, Asian, with the point of the mix to be simpler in design, in care, with ease of entertainment, centered around a garden, to bring the present, what is going on with nature, inside.  These homes typically center around living area expanses where everyone can mingle with quality workmanship designed for ease of clean up and maintenance.

I have always lived in an artfully designed home.  I am very thankful for that because I realise now that not everybody has that in their life.  Whether it’s a trailer, yurt, cabin or house, quality and style matter (as well as quality of furnishings, comfort and clutter) because these are going to be what you see, and are therefore affected by,  every day.

Some folks are bent upon collecting as much MCM period stuff as they can.  While collecting is fun, think about the yoga of it.   What do you currently have in your life right now that no longer serves you, that perhaps is just a dust collector?  What do you have in your life that each time you sit on it, you are not comfortable?  Yoga teaches us that we are empowered to re-shape ourselves, inside and out.  Our middy homes, with their expansive window walls of sun and sky, encourage us to re-shape, re-tune our mindset too.  Our entertainment areas, teach us that every day is a gift to be embraced, enjoyed, savoured, with others.

For the new year, I have a few recommendations for watching and reading. Just click on the coloured ink for the link that takes you to Amazon for a closer look or to purchase.  The first is Baron Baptiste 40 Days to Personal Revolution.  There are books I read and pass on and those I keep.  After 15 years of yoga practice, this is one I keep and find always relevant.  Not only are their poses with detailed explanations but I love the spiritual study all the way through.

Barbara Benagh Yoga For Beginners & Beyond, is a 3 DVD set, amazing value for $22.29.  I am a big fan of going to a formal class, at least once a week.  This is critical for beginners if there are any local classes offered in your area because it will help to have an instructor there to both guide you, teach you and put hands on you to adjust you as needed, while helping you learn how to self-adjust.  It is important to stack the bones properly.  This 3 CD set is terrific for folks who need to gain mobility due to inflexibility, injury, need to de-stress as well as folks who want to expand their ongoing practice and dive deeper safely.  And my very last recommendation is the movie Minimalism,  by two guys; Ryan Nicodemus & Joshua Fields Millburn (The Minimalists) who make create a blog ( http://www.theminimalists.com/)

Our Mid-Century Modern homes are made to be elegant, simple and comfortable, to create ease of movement while allowing us to take in our landscapes, our natural surroundings.  Yoga is made to make you move with ease, with elegance, with comfort, while helping you embrace the landscape of the moment.  The yoga of living Mid Century style!   I stumbled upon the above Minimalism, movie (which is also on Netflix, or you can follow the above link and rent the movie too) and was immediately drawn to it.  My brother Carl led a very austere life and did not want for things.  My mother had a hole of need never filled up in this life with all that she purchased.  My father taught me the honour of money and my other brother lived with his family in a smaller home filled with love, music, great food and a firm rule that anything not used within 6 months was out that door to minimise ‘stuff’.   My brothers were 12 years older than me. I was a kid, but I remember going to John’s house in Seattle, with his classy new bride Judy and admiring the simplicity, the elegance of his home in Laurel Heights, walking distance from the University.  All this diversity is great to look back on as a guide.  Both my husband and I tend to ‘collect’.  I am still working on decluttering. Our MCM home is designed to be simple, to allow the architecture to be seen and naturally lends itself to a minimal amount of ‘stuff’.  Recently, I gave away a 2 sofa and chair leather set, 2 bedroom suites of furniture, amongst other things to downsize into our Middy.  The space clearing continues as I arrange and sort our gorgeous new pad.  Ok, speaking of space clearing, I have one other book recommendation for you.  Denise Linn Sacred Space is another ‘go to’ book that I adore and actually have 2 copies of, never wanting to be without it (as I have loaned one out on a few occasions).  I will warn you it is a tad woo woo, embracing Indian, Asian and mystic ways of clearing your space, to include numerology, Feng Shui, bells, incense, sage, prayers and chants; believing not much is not covered here.  I used this book when selecting places to rent and both of our house purchases, as well as in shaping the landscapes, the decor and colours and so I hope that you find the book as useful and engaging as I do.

Finally, know that we are all connected and the world infinite.  When you walk into your home, that is your personal space, where you leave the cares of work and whatever is going on outside, outside.  When you step inside your door, you should be surrounded by what you love and feel comfort and joy.  All else can go.