Home » Blog » August Mixed Bag

August Mixed Bag

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Waaaah, it’s already August! Daily life in all of its many dimensions is about to ramp back up so it’s time to hurry and squeeze in the last bits of summer fun. I will be boarding my first cruise, learning Spanish, spending time with friends and helping some clients move into their new/newly remodeled homes. In this month’s Mixed Bag I’m dispensing some advice, making a book recommendation and feeling nervous about setting sail. Make Space (in this case 5ish minutes) for the AUgust Mixed Bag!

Preserving Space

When things pile up and there isn’t enough room in the (drawer, cabinet, closet, etc.) to contain them the first thing many folks do is start shopping for potential storage solutions. The prevailing wisdom seems to be ‘if I have enough room for another (bookcase, shelving unit, stack of drawers) then why not?’ I’ll tell you why not, because preserving empty space in your home is important. Too much furniture takes up floor space, wall space and (eventually) head space that is better left clear. When you protect open space in your home you are protecting your peace, I promise! So back to the problem of too many things and not enough places to put them away: instead of crowding your house with more furniture I recommend decluttering. Your house is a home not a storage unit. Make space for what matters, in this case the empty space in your home.

The Good Life

I recently finished ‘The Good Life’ by Robert Waldinger, MD and Marc Schulz, PhD. It shares lessons from the longest running scientific study of happiness, which started at Harvard during The Great Depression. I highly recommend this book, which provides insights into what makes a happy life – spoiler alert, it’s relationships. I came away from it valuing the time I make for my one living parent, my immediate family, my extended family and the friends I’ve collected through all of the seasons of life even more than I did before. These are the people who make life good for me and who will hopefully be big contributors in my quest for a healthy and active old age. Read this book and then make space for the people who matter, this study reveals just how much they do!

Late Life Learning

My middle daughter Charlotte is headed to Barcelona in September to spend a semester abroad and I am going to visit her in November. I took French in high school and college, did my own semester abroad in London, and recently returned from my first trip to Mexico at 53. The only Spanish I ever learned was what I retained from Sesame Street (which was actually more than you might think) so I decided this trip was the perfect motivation to learn. First I did some exhaustive research on which app is better, Duo Lingo or Babble. That research suggests that Babble is slightly superior but I was enticed by Duo Lingo’s family plan since several in my family expressed the desire to improve their Spanish. I am loving Duo Lingo so far and have a 15 day streak going. I spend an average of 10-15 minutes on the app each day. It will be so interesting to see how much I learn before November, likely more than I got from 5 years of French in the traditional setting!  I’ll keep you posted!

Remodeling Your Kitchen?

I have spent a lot of time in kitchens recently and have some design advice if you are planning a remodel and want less friction and more function in your new space. 

  • More drawers are better – your lower cabinetry should have mostly drawers (both shallow and deep) and any cabinets should have pull outs. This will ensure the maximum capacity, flexibility and accessibility

  • Open shelving should house things that are both beautiful and used often. Keeping open shelving clean and dust-free is challenging, housing oft-used glassware, bowls, etc. will help keep dust to a minimum.

  • If you have upper cabinets that extend to high ceilings you should plan for space to keep a step-stool. It’s a pain to go searching for one when you need it, better to plan for a spot (or a slot!) to conveniently house one.

I love well-designed kitchens. The more functional you make your space, the more fun it will be to cook there and the more it will add to re-sell.

Cruising Into The Unknown

On the day this post is published I will be out at sea. Jay and I are not cruise people (at least we think we aren’t) but my in-laws are springing for a big multi-generational vacation and so off-to-sea we go! I am worried about too many people, small cabin spaces and a Love Boat-type feel (The Love Boat being my only exposure to cruise culture.) I am trying my best to meet judgment with curiosity – will report back on how that went! Bon Voyage!

Similar Posts

Method Seattle Comment Policy

We welcome relevant and respectful comments. Off-topic comments may be removed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *