Cooking Vlog: Cooking at the Beach

Bob and I took a lovely trip earlier this month. We hit many destinations, including one of our very favorite places: the “Beach Dream” in North Carolina. This vacation home holds a lot of special memories for us and is always a great place to spend some time unwinding. The cooking opportunities also are great, as you’ll learn in this vlog and the recipes I’ll provide in a soon-to-be-published blog entry.

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How To Downsize: 3 Secrets For A Successful Move From A Larger Home To A Smaller Living Space

Nancy Del SantoToday’s guest post on downsizing comes to us from Nancy Del Santo of

Working with an interior design professional when you’re moving may be the best money you’ll spend. You don’t want to pay to have furniture moved that you won’t be using and it’s hard to know how things will fit and if they’ll look right once you move.

You need someone to think “outside the box” of your old home. If you’ve always had your china buffet in the dining room, you may be blind to new possibilities. Decorators understand scale and proportion and will suggest fresh approaches for your new space.

Through my years as a design professional, I’ve worked with many wonderful clients who have downsized from their larger family home into a townhouse, condo, or smaller house. Usually, the new home has a more open layout and fewer rooms. The question is how to accommodate all the activities of your life and the people in your life in this new, smaller and “all-together” space.

I’ve learned 3 secrets to a successful transition from a larger home to a smaller one. Today, I’d like to share these secrets with you.

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Designing for Special Needs

Today’s wonderful guest post on designing for people with special needs comes to us from Carolyn Von Der Ahe. And how appropriate on Mother’s Day weekend that we are graced with a post from such an awesome woman who thought of all this with her own beloved daughter’s special needs in mind. Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there and enjoy!

Designing for special needs doesn’t mean that your design has to be strictly ADA (American Disability Act Compliant). Some basic accommodations in the home can mean the difference of staying in your home well into retirement, as well as being prepared for potential disabilities. Decorating for those with special needs, which includes basic aging issues, does not include throwing out dynamite décor…make it beautiful, make it fun! Having a daughter with special needs challenged me to prove that! Here are a few things to take into account…furniture design, fabrics, floor plan, and allowing for mobility and safety.

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Guest Post: High Point Highlights

Today’s guest post comes to us from designer Kelly Kole. You can learn more about Kelly and her business at

We were honored when Mitzi asked us to share some of our favorite finds from High Point Market! In case you aren’t familiar with High Point Market it is a 10 day “furniture show” in High Point, North Carolina where all of the furniture manufacturers showcase their newest products for the upcoming season. In layman’s terms, its 10 solid days of furniture and design eye candy. Yes please!

We (like Mitzi) are always excited to share with our readers the latest and greatest trends, and there is no better place to find what’s hot than High Point. We were lucky enough to be chosen this year as 1 of 9 “style spotters” for the show, which gave us a first class pass to every showroom to make a collection of our favorite trends. After 5 long days of scouring the city we came up with our top twenty finds! Here are 5 of our favorites that we think will be seen in a big way in 2013! Don’t worry, you can check out all 20 on our High Point Style Spotter Pinterest Board.

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Cooking Vlog: Cucumber Soup on KSN’s “Baan Appetit”

I was honored to welcome KSN-TV’s Barbara Baan into my kitchen this past week to prepare Cucumber Soup and to preview Junior League of Wichita’s “A Pinch of Hope & a Dash of Design” event, which takes place tomorrow. If you haven’t already registered, make sure to click the link to sign up and tour my kitchen and many other great ones!

The segment aired Thursday on Barbara’s “Baan Appetit” segment, but you can also watch it online here or embedded below. The full recipe for Cucumber Soup can also be seen by clicking here.

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Mitzi’s Designer Blunder

Okay, so it was recovering my wing back chair seat chushions 3 times that had me eating that ole humble pie again.

Now I had my heart set on this fabulous and might I add pricey fabric from Brunschwig and Fil, a document print no less from England, in the perfect blue and white combo to go with my existing B&F (Sister Parish fabric they call it) fabric chairs. Like most colors, blue is really hard to match so this toile was absolutely perfect in scale, pattern scene, and color.

So far, no problem…right?

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Vlog: Boomer Smarts

Newsflash: aging is no longer a four-letter word! For the millions of Baby Boomers with “Boomer Smarts,” we’re embracing the so-called challenge of aging. We’re taking better care of ourselves and our homes — we’re planning ahead to be ready to “age in place.” We WILL be the generation that changes the way America ages. Join me as we begin this journey of “Boomer Smarts.” You won’t wanna miss it!

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Mitzi’s Top 10 Tips for Controlling Those Pounds

1. My number one top tip for my keeping pounds off permanently is living by the 80-20 rule.

There is absolutely no way I could stay away from having ice cream, or pizza, or chip dip or whatever is not on my daily lifestyle. I live to eat not eat to live so I am one of those that savors her food. I really mean that I love good food!

So when I am having my 20% of my whatevers, I enjoy it to the max! No guilt or man this is going to sabatoge my diet or any of those mind games. That is a sure way to fail at whatever lifestyle eating works for you.

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What We Don’t Know Really Can Hurt Us

Reading food labels is essential to achieving and maintaining great health at any age. How can you be healthy, after all, if you don’t know what’s going in your body? A good rule of thumb is if you can’t pronounce it—DON’T EAT IT! Join me as I explore what’s really in some of the most commonly used food products, as well as better alternatives.

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How Much Sugar is Hidden in Our Foods?

How carefully do you read food labels? Even when you read them, do you feel like they make any sense? In this vlog, I explain how to break down what you’re really getting in one of the most important (and most misunderstood) nutrition facts: grams of sugar. You may be surprised just how much sugar is in some of your favorite products once you learn this important formula.

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