DIY Vanilla Orange Sugar Scrub

Create your own DIY sugar scrub for a perfect Mother's Day gift for the women in your life.

Parting Thoughts

Most children take after one parent more than the other. Such was the case with my family. I am the spitting image of my father: the nose, the opinions, the gregarious nature. My sister is equally like my mother: quiet, stubborn, and extremely shy.

Be Bold

Art becomes the shared property of all who experience it. The impressions that a piece inspires, which can span the range of human emotions, can uplift or drive to introspection, entertain and embolden, and represent a moment shared between artist and observer

Research and Deliciousness

Few companies are able to achieve success through the preeminence of a single product. Even in the case of a company like Coca-Cola, whose namesake beverage literally provides shorthand for a world of “cokes”, the range of products and onslaught of the new seems endless. No company embodies this necessity with greater zest and grace than Renfro’s Foods. For decades,…

Confessions of an Almost Skinny Girl

As I write this, I am eating a brown sugar cinnamon Pop Tart. What an idiot, considering it’s the month we’re all focused on health and fitness. It’s a JANUARY ritual. This is the month we all strategize. We frown at ourselves in the full-length mirror, which is really the rearview mirror of what we did in December.

Home Real Home

I’m a creative. I pretend to be a designer. My entire job is to encourage women that they can create a beautiful, meaningful home. I’ve done it all wrong but I’m learning that it’s really not about the stuff at all, even when making a home.

November 2016 Parting Thoughts

We have come a long way since the year 1621, when Pilgrims celebrated their first harvest in the New World. Writings recount a three-day feast and sharing the table with Native Americans who populated the area. They were all bringing their various crops, and the recordings describe tables of wild fowl and venison served with a corn mush and stewed…

Rules to Live by with Wine and Friendship

Whether meandering the fertile valleys of the Napa and Sonoma regions of California, or scaling the craggy mountains of uncertain or changing friendships, there are interesting parallels to be drawn between wine and friendships. No matter your expertise in either area, it’s always about making good choices and trusting your taste. Oh, and I’d add quality cheese to any wine…

Mulling Over the Wine Reviews

I was a weary shopper looking for a simple Riesling when my innocent eyes fell upon this: “Opens with a gorgeous bouquet of yellow flowers, stone fruit and musk against a backdrop of chalk and minerals. It’s richly fruity, with a sharp, honed acidity that’s shocking and penetrating. Finishes long, with an elegant honeyed touch.”

The Sweet Smell of School

Every time I step into a school cafeteria (which is easily 100 times a year) the acrid smells of sour milk, baked mystery meat, and bleachy cleansers swirl into an unpleasant olfactory gumbo that assaults my brain’s limbic system, somewhere near the hippocampus. That’s the spot where smells trigger memories.

Summer Games

“Olly olly oxen free!” Do kids play “Kick the Can” any more? Or “Flashlight Tag”? Or “Ghost in the Graveyard”? Or “Red Rover”? Do they even play outside in the evenings? When I was a kid, all the moms on the block would start calling us home when the street lights came on. And whoever happened to be “it” would…

STUFF HAPPENS ON DAD’S WATCH

Call me either sexist or a keen observer, but I have a notion to blurt: When men are solo supervisors of kids, dust is more likely fly off the first aid kit.

WHEN WHAT WAS LOST IS FOUND

Over a dozen years ago, for a milestone birthday, my best friend gave me an exceedingly special gift. It was a sterling silver bracelet with links of my family members' birthstones and my late-in-life baby's name spelled out in silver baby blocks. I adored it. It was my all occasion accessory which I wore with great pride.

SKIPPING AWAY FROM ADULT COLORING BOOKS?

While hunting down a birthday gift for a creative friend, an enthusiastic boutique clerk introduced me to coloring books for grown-ups. “People love these,” he told me. “We’ve sold out quite a few versions!” I thumbed through what was left and thought: no. I wondered. How did this happen? Adult coloring books? Did the late Georgia O’Keefe once have a…

Gardening Success Is A Fluid Situation

All along I considered Hosta the lazy gardener’s hero. These attractive, leafy plants thrive in the shade where many other pretty things will not. They sprout flowers now and then, and best of all, they come back every year. Plant once, kick back forever, I thought. I was so buzzed by the idea this elegant ground cover would reappear every…

Food Ruts Can Happen Anywhere

Imagine an early evening in the 1970’s, somewhere in Provence, France. The late Julia Child is at her vacation home, taking inventory in her kitchen. Fresh, hand-picked ingredients, ever so abundant in the local markets, are heaped on her counters. Culinary confidence emanates from her heart and mind, straight to her fingertips. Alas, it’s close to dinner time. But Julia…

Join the Great Purge & Clean of 2016

Happy New Year! Now that you’ve got your fitness and wellness goals firmly in place, it’s time to look closely at the space around you and ask yourself, “Are things looking a little cluttered?” or “Are my closets bursting at the seams?” Why not set a goal to de-clutter and, more importantly, to simplify this year?

The Gift That Defined A Career

The ancient Greeks were the driving force behind the development of western astronomy and science, their philosophers learning from the work of others and adding their own interpretations and observations.

Affirming Our Thankfulness

We have come a long way since the year 1621, when pilgrims celebrated their first harvest in the New World. Writings recount a three-day feast and sharing the table with Native Americans who populated the area. They were all bringing their various crops, and the recordings describe tables of wild fowl and venison served with a corn mush and stewed…

October 2015 Parting Thoughts

I was a weary shopper looking for a simple Riesling when my innocent eyes fell upon this: “Opens with a gorgeous bouquet of yellow flowers, stone fruit and musk against a backdrop of chalk and minerals. It’s richly fruity, with a sharp, honed acidity that’s shocking and penetrating. Finishes long, with an elegant honeyed touch.” Wuuut?

The Sweet Smell of Back to School

Every time I step into a school cafeteria (which is easily 100 times a year) the acrid smells of sour milk, baked mystery meat, and bleachy cleansers swirl into an unpleasant olfactory gumbo that assaults my brain’s limbic system, somewhere near the hippocampus. That’s the spot where smells trigger memories.

Birds on a Wire

One of my dear friends is a painter who sees the world through her amazing artist eyes. When she was the newbie in our neighborhood, her heart was sensitive to how to integrate her family into the community. Driving one day she noticed how birds perched on a telephone wire seemed to choose when to gather, and who to pause…

Summer Games

“Olly olly oxen free!” Do kids play “Kick the Can” any more? Or “Flashlight Tag”? Or “Ghost in the Graveyard”? Or “Red Rover”? Do they even play outside in the evenings? When I was a kid, all the moms on the block would start calling us home when the street lights came on. And whoever happened to be “it” would…

Lessons from Dad Learned Off the Beaten Path

My dad gunned the engine and we held our breaths as the truck barely scraped through the aspen trees. We were “off the beaten path” yet again. We knew it was coming when we heard Dad say, “Hmm, wonder where this road goes?”

The Silent Teacher

Most children take after one parent more than the other. Such was the case with my family. I am the spitting image of my father: the nose, the opinions, the gregarious nature. My sister is equally like my mother: quiet, stubborn and extremely shy.