My handsome 80-something-year-old dad, who's known for almost anything but his
interior design expertise and anything related, called me the other day to give me a tip on dimmer switches.
Just say "no" to these energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs if you're using dimmer switches.
You see, my parents recently swapped out their smallish, shiny brass chandelier for a larger bronze brown number. When we talked, I suggested they might want to install dimmer switches, especially since the lights face downward. "It shouldn't be a big deal," I said. And my mother quipped in return, "We have them!" Well, alrighty. Who knew? They're already ahead of me (...no surprise there really).
So, I get this call a day or so later from my dad who says he placed energy-efficient bulbs in their new chandelier. Then, they began hearing a low humming noise, and the light itself was flickering. Naturally, he investigated. And, I'm glad he did. It benefits me and perhaps you, too!
As it turns out, dimmer switches need incandescent bulbs -- not florescent ones!
Use these bulbs with lights operated by dimmer switches.
If you want to know the "why" part of this, click this link and you'll get your answer.
And if you knew this, then you probably also know what to do with tombstones . . .Or do you?
Looking for A Halloween Decorating Idea?
(I ran across a "how-to" for Gravestone Rubs in Galveston Monthly magazine. And, I thought there might be more than one application for such an exercise . . . .)
(Actually, my daughter, Kate, thinks this would be a great late afternoon or early evening event for a group on or before Halloween. So get how of the house, take a cemetery tour and see what interesting tombstones you find!)
How to Do a Gravestone Rubs:
First, find an interesting gravestone. Perhaps one dating back to the Spanish-American War.
Look for interesting sentiments, icons and images.
You may need to clean the gravestone before you being your artistic rub.
Use a soft brush to clean it with water or diluted pool shock. You want
to remove the dirt.
(photos from Galveston Monthly)
You can use rice paper, butcher paper and perhaps just plain-Jane white.
Tape the paper to the gravestone, after it's been gently cleaned.
Then begin to rub with a piece of charcoal, rubbing wax or crayon. Begin at the edges and work inward. Spray it with hairspray to ensure its hold. Gently remove the paper.
Since graveyards, ghosts and such often characterize the eeriness associated with Halloween, these rubbings might inspire some fun decoratations.What do you think? Have some ideas to share?
OR, if you run across some interesting, albeit cryptic symbols, they might be interesting transfers for pillows, placemats, family records or original artwork. Or what else? Any ideas out there?
I haven't met a recipe that I didn't want to change -- even a little bit. This one is no exception. My aim is to make it healthier, using less sugar, for example . . . . So, to begin, let me tell you how I altered the recipe below with good results.
First off, I used fat-free organic milk. I also opted to go a bit lighter by using 4 egg whites and 1 whole egg -- not the 4 whole eggs, as dictated in the recipe below. Additionally, I used 1/2 cup real organic maple syrup rather than 3/4. I didn't have the crystallized ginger, so I chopped up some pecans and added a small dollop of yogurt. I love this dessert.
1 1/2 cups 1% milk
4 large eggs
3/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup canned unseasoned pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons whipped cream
1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Put a kettle of water on to heat for the water bath. Line a roasting pan with a folded kitchen towel.
2. Heat milk over low heat in a small saucepan until barely steaming but not boiling.
3. Whisk eggs and syrup in a large bowl until smooth. Gently whisk in the warm milk (a little bit at a time so the eggs don't cook). Add pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; whisk until blended.
4. Divide the mixture among six 6-ounce (3/4-cup) custard cups. Skim foam from the surface. Place custard cups in the prepared roasting pan. Pour enough boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the custard cups. Place the pan in the oven and bake, uncovered, until custards are just set but still quiver in the center when shaken, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer custards to a wire rack and let cool for 45 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until chilled.
5. To serve, top each custard with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of crystallized ginger. (Again, since I didn't have the cystallized ginger, I topped it with chopped pecans -- that I did have. Plus a little yogurt.)
HERE'S ANOTHER RECIPE -- WITH MY HEALTHIER TIP! It's a Scarlet Quinoa Salad. YUM!
This quinoa (keen-wah) salad is a favorite! Everytime I prepare it, someone asks for the recipe. If you're interested in reading about the nutritional benefits of this grain-like crop, go here.
I plan to share all the ingredients of this recipe, which I found on a bag of Eden Red Quinoa. However, *instead of the plum vinegar, I use apple-cider vinegar. Why? Well, the plum vinegar has a whopping 1,050 grams of sodium per teaspoon!! (yikes.) The apple-cider vinegar contains zero (0)!
Ingredients: 1 medium beet, peeled and diced (2 small)** 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp. plum vinegar (*I use apple-cider vinegar) 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice 6 red radishes (optional) 2 tbsp. finely minced red onion 1/4 cup chopped scallions or chives (optional) 1/4 cup dried cranberries (or cranraisins) 1 cup red quinoa
Preparation: Rinse quinoa in cold water. Add 1 cup quinoa to 1 1/4 cup boiling water. Add chopped beet(s).Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes and fluff. When cool, toss with remaining ingredients and serve. Or place in fridge, as it works as a cold salad. Serves 4.
**Cut off the beet leaves, rinse to add to a green salad or in cut up into small pieces for a pasta salad.
The Scarlet Quinoa Salad, is a pretty red dish, as you might imagine. Think holidays? or anytime, like I do . . . .
Water ensures skin health and weight management/loss.
So, drink up. Consider adding to your daily diet the veggies above and the following foods that contain at least 75 percent water by weight: apples, limes, lemons, cantaloupes, watermelons, strawberries, plums, pears, kiwis and grapes.
Foods that Keep Your Skin Healthy and Young.
Click the bowl of tomatoes for the article and recommendations.
Newly Posted Interior Design, and Homes & Gardens: Click photo below:
Home in San Miguel de Allende
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Love Where You Live
To know me is to know something about my experiences.
It seems important that I first thank the many photographers and editors I've met while working with such publications as Traditional Home, Better Homes and Garden, Remodel, Renovation Style, Decor, Tuscan Style, French County, Beautiful Homes and others. Each project that I worked on helped hone my own design eye. And in each home that I scouted -- and then shared with editors -- I also met some very welcoming homeowners and talented professionals. Again, through those experiences, I remodeled and decorated my own homes with a greater level of confidence. As a result, I do indeed love where I live. And I wish the same for all those who visit this blog. By sharing ideas, techniques and inspirational photos, I hope you will always find happiness at home. And your own individual style. Recently, it occurred to me that Love Where You Live embodies so much more than interior design. That's when I established sections that share recipes, favorite gifts, travel ideas and more. I hope you enjoy your visit here. I love hearing from you. And do hope you'll return again and again. My very best, -susan