Another Type of Morning

Another Type of Morning

We all do it! We wake up in the morning thinking about what we need to accomplish in the hours ahead of us. Or we mull over the details of what happened to us the day before – good and bad. It’s the kids, or an ailing parent, or bills that need to get paid. It’s an inconsiderate manager or coworker, or a nagging headache. Our thoughts become perpetual, transforming from musings to realities, to full-on entities causing worry, anxiety and stress. As, the anxiety and the urgency of a day, that has yet to happen, heighten and we bolt out the door challenged to make something of that new day bringing some of the heaviness of those worries and anxieties with us. (more…)

The Scent of Peace

Scientists who have researched the effect of scents on the the brain and stress would say “yes”. in fact, “designers are beginning to apply research in ways that affect the experience users have within certain interior spaces. Scents have a strong effect on our experiences because they are processed when you breathe in the molecules of the oil or fragrance you are using. Some researchers have found that scents and smells stimulate certain parts of your brain influencing physical, emotional, and mental health.

As importantly, scents have a lower but still significant effect on mood and well-being when absorbed through the skin. Olfactory receptors are found in and around the entire human body, not just in the nose. In fact, “More than 150 olfactory receptors have been identified outside the nose and are currently an active area of study.” One recent study observed the olfactory response in skin. (more…)

Picturing Peace

Picturing Peace

I describe myself as spiritual and not religious. I practice yoga and meditation because it seems to settle and center me. I also tend to eat and sleep better. I like being at peace and relish my quiet times. I am in a job that can become extremely noisy during the day, so I can’t wait to get home to my serenity.

I have often thought that I could enhance my practice and my state of being by creating a visual reminder that beckons me to my practice and that immediately settles my mind and my spirit. But creating an altar seemed to be more than what I wanted to do. Many altars seemed to be more distracting to me than settling, so I avoided them. Then, one day, while shopping for candles, I saw this painting. As soon as I gazed upon it, I took a deep breath and my shoulders relaxed. I knew this was the piece that my empty shelf was waiting for! The peaceful pose, the neutral colors and subtle contrast in line and texture settled my soul, so I brought it home. And now I gaze upon it, become completely relaxed and pull out my yoga mat for my practice, sometimes twice a day.

As a designer, this was a perfect piece because it represents my design aesthetic by complimenting the distressed furniture and the eclectic decor in the room.

7 Ingredients to Simple Design

7 Ingredients to Simple Design

After studying thousands of design photos, taking home decorating tours, and visiting design models, I’ve found that some of the best and most beautiful designs are simple and understated. In fact, because this approach to design can be easy on the budget, your time and your well-being, I recommend it for individuals working with at tight budget or a small space.

There are 7 key ingredients for simple and awesome: (more…)

7 Traits of Highly Sensitive People

Recently I discovered that I am a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), possessing an  “innate sensitiveness” as Carl Jung originally coined it. In 1996, Dr. Elaine Aron’s groundbreaking work confirmed that 15-20% of the population has this trait of high sensory processing. The work of Dr. Ted Zeff explores how the trait of sensitivity, specifically in boys, has been received in cultures around the world. Through these pioneers I have discovered a false belief I carried for a long time; the lens through which I experience life is not “wrong”. The validation that sensitivity is neither an asset nor a flaw has given me the ability to reframe the way I perceive life. (more…)

Daily Dose of Peace


Get out of bed about 10 minutes early. Don’t turn on the TV or the radio. Don’t check emails or voicemails. Go to that quiet space in your home download some relaxing music from and do a couple of simple stretches or yoga poses. Give yourself 10 minutes of peace this morning.