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Life 406 Stories

We’ve all had holidays like these: The dog eats the turkey drippings before you can make the gravy; your husband cuts his hand with a knife while chopping onions and has to go to the emergency room just before the big meal; you ordered the entire holiday dinner from a fancy store and the turkey was so salty, it was inedible...
4 Obstacles to Decluttering — and How to Beat Them
My husband and I began dating when we were still children. He was 16 and I was 15, back in the olden days when people still talked on the phone and wrote letters. By the time we got married and had three kids, we had almost 20 years of correspondence....
14 Things You Need to Start Doing Now for Your Spouse’s Sake
OK, nobody’s perfect. But seriously, you really need to start putting a new roll of toilet paper on the spindle when it’s out. And you definitely need to start closing the toilet lid, like, 10 years ago. Oh, and I’m pretty sure someone has...
Chore Time: How to Work Better as a Family
Years and years ago, one Saturday morning in spring, my husband, Paul, and I had an impromptu discussion. In truth it was an argument, but since we were in the front yard, in the sight of God, our neighbors and anyone who happened...
9 Ways to Appreciate Your House Just as It Is
Whether you've been letting your home improvement to-do list get the best of you, or are finding yourself comparing your real-world home to professionally styled and photographed ones, it's natural to get a little down on your home from time to time....
How to Keep Your Pets Safe During the Holidays
If you’re a pet owner, you’re probably aware of the things you need to do to keep your pets safe around your home. But as the holidays approach,...
Simple Pleasures: The Joy of Fresh Sheets
When you’ve had an especially trying day, there’s nothing quite so restorative as slipping into a freshly made bed. Sinking into crisp sheets, cozy blankets and fluffed-up pillows soothes the spirit and encourages a restful night’s sleep. Here are...
You Said It: ‘Let It Go’ and More Tips From the Week
Last week we talked about how clearing out clutter can help you clear the clutter in your brain. This week, it’s time for the next step, creating surroundings that inspire us. Buying original art, setting up a stimulating workspace or simply switching...
10 Steps for Saying Goodbye to Sentimental Objects
Old photographs, hand-me-down tea sets, sweaters, school art projects — we all have some variations of these items, just sitting in boxes, waiting for … er, what is it they are waiting for, exactly? A day when you will suddenly wake up and feel a...
You Said It: Imagine It Empty and More Tips of the Week
Houzzers, have you ever felt your creative mojo completely drain from your brain? It happened to me this week, and it’s panic-inducing. So I stared at the screen for a few days, adding a sentence here or there, barely able to finish a story. Then I...
You Said It: ‘We Get the House a Present’ and Other Quotes of the Week
Highlights from Houzz this week were quirky and fun. I enjoyed looking through your fall photos so much that I have gone back three times to gaze and daydream, and I’m sure I will again. Elsewhere around Houzz I saw a steampunk kitty structure and learned...
Making a Home Away From Home
If you’ve ever made a big move, whether to a different state or a different country, you are probably familiar with that uprooted feeling that comes along with leaving everything known for something different and new. It can be exciting but also...
Simple Pleasures: Your Home Is Your Château
Savoring a good life should start at home, but it’s easy to get stuck in the trap of thinking our homes are not grand enough, clean enough or beautiful enough to celebrate them as they are. In her recently published book, At...
Pet-Friendly Design: Making Room for the Dog Dish
When I say there is nothing quite so unpleasant as stepping in a dog’s water dish, I speak from experience (no thanks, Augie). Like a good pet owner, I keep my pup’s water bowl filled with fresh water. It’s located in the kitchen, where I inevitably...
You Said It: ‘Every Centimeter Counts’ and Other Houzz Quotables
Houzzers, Halloween is a week away — have you bought the candy yet? I haven’t, because in spite of the fact that I make the tiniest hole in the bag, before the big night it all seems to fall out, unwrap itself and land in my belly somehow, and then...