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Sarah from Chicago

You must check out this store the next time you are in Seattle. One of the best curated stores in the country, hands down.

Grant K. Gibson

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Brad in Philadelphia

Watson Kennedy is a preview of heaven.

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Objects from travels as well as things that are gifts from friends are a reminder of your past. Surrounding yourself with them in your home creates a layered feel that becomes a look back into your history as your eye glances over them.

Ted's Tip No. 136

Take a moment, or more, each day to reflect, give thanks, meditate, say a prayer, think, ponder–whichever you chose. Time will slow, savor it.

Ted's Tip No. 156

A place card at a table setting is a lovely way to greet your guests as they first arrive at the table. Think out of the box for clever ways to make a place card. Old game pieces with letters are swell as well as hydrangea leaves with the names written right on them.

Ted's Tip No. 177

The gift of a note or letter is one of the very best things. To make the process easier, put a small stack of cards & envelopes out on your desk at the ready. That way you can reach for one easily and jot off a quick note in a heartbeat. Makes someone’s day!

Ted's Tip No. 198

Take time to dream. At any age, it is good for the soul to set a goal and see where the road to achieving it takes you. It might be right to your intended destination, or not. But the journey will teach you so much all along the way.

Ted's Tip No. 210

Pay homage to the beauty of the leaves of your favorite blooms. Mass them together in a vase just as you would the flowers. For the simplest arrangement of green, green, green.

Ted's Tip No. 224

A collection can really start with a few things–by displaying them together you get a much bigger visual impact than if the grouping is scattered about.

Ted's Tip No. 215

A simple bloom or blooms are always welcome in the bathroom. Lovely to have your eyes land on them in the morning as you get ready for your day. Then again at the end of the day when you are getting yourself ready for bed. The joy of surrounding yourself with beauty during your daily rituals.

Ted's Tip No. 205

Roadside farm stands are a great way to get your hands on some of the very freshest eggs, produce and flowers. It is also a lovely way to show support of those hardworking farmers in your community.

Ted's Tip No. 195

Vintage platters are a swell thing to collect. Utilitarian as all get out, they can be used in a host of ways. They stack neatly as not to take up lots of room, plus they are pleasing to the eye.

Ted's Tip No. 184

Take a moment, or many, each day to give thanks.

Ted's Tip No. 176

A well-stocked fridge and cupboard can produce a quick appetizer board in a pinch. Nuts, crackers, olives, jams, butter, salt–all can be called into action. Just add a piece of your favorite cheese and a bunch of radishes and away you go.

Ted's Tip No. 169

Take time to stop and smell the flowers. I mean this quite literally, take a moment to smell the blooms. It does your soul good and it slows your heart rate down a few beats. The moment becomes still and the scent becomes the focus for a brief moment. But what a grand, glorious moment that is.

Ted's Tip No. 165

Think outside the box when it comes to planters. The hardware store can provide plenty of inspiration, as well as tag sales, flea markets and antique malls. You are only limited by your imagination. Drill or hammer in a few holes for the water to drain, and off you go with a new creative container.

Ted's Tip No. 159

Use the leaves of flowers, in this case hydrangea, as place cards. It is an earthy, natural, use what you have, resourceful way to be creative. Use markers or crayons or watercolors to write the name.

Ted's Tip No. 149

Painting your front door a vivid, eye-catching color is one of the easiest ways to spiff up your home–with low cost and high impact.

Ted's Tip No. 141

During these chilly months, a big platter of citrus out on the table brings the sunshine in.

Ted's Tip No. 137

During this busy time of year, don’t forget to slow down a bit, take a breath, and look around you at all the beauty that can be easily overlooked–the details of a historic building, the pattern on woven fabric, the dance of stems of flowers in a vase.

Ted's Tip No. 126

Live with what you love. Enjoy it. Use it. Take it out of the drawer and display on a table for your visual enjoyment.

Ted's Tip No. 117

Lighting a few, or many, candles is the quickest way to add a bit of mood & ambiance when setting a table.

Ted's Tip No. 98

Nature can often supply a design element to bring the outdoors, inside. A fallen branch or a cool looking grouping of twigs, shells picked up on a beach walk, rocks that have interesting shapes and catch your eye–all sweet reminders that bring a bit of nature to an indoor tableau.

Ted's Tip No. 94

In this month of giving thanks, it is a reminder to give of what we have. If you are baking bread, make an extra loaf to give to a friend. If you have a tree filled with fruit, bring a basket brimming with the bounty to your next dinner or party you are attending. These gestures have so much meaning and will be long remembered after the gift is enjoyed.

Ted's Tip No. 82

Wrapping paper can be as simple as Kraft paper & twine and still be ever so chic.

Ted's Tip No. 71

An ordinary roll of parchment paper picked up at the grocery store can be used for so many simple stylish uses. Line an old silver tray with it slightly askew for a visual app/cheese tray for your next gathering. Plus it makes clean-up a breeze.

Ted's Tip No. 67

Pots of herbs can be picked up for a song at garden centers as well as many grocery stores. They are incredibly handy in the kitchen where you can snip and use the herb as you need it when cooking, plus they give you an energizing hit of green in the space.

Ted's Tip No. 57

Clip and trim back your outside plants before the cold really sets in. Bring those inside and enjoy the heck out of all those clippings, as they harken back to sunny memories and are such a hit of sunshine grouped together in a vase or pitcher.

Ted's Tip No. 48

Vintage plates are a lovely thing to collect and have on hand to pull from to give easy variation to your table settings. Look for sets that have been broken up for best deals. Buy whatever number you like, as sometimes having 1, 2, 3 or 4 of a certain pattern is fun and all you need. The variety is key.

Ted's Tip No. 39

When you get home from the grocery store or farmers market, give your herbs (like basil & parsley) a fresh cut right away and put them in glasses or vases on your counter or dining table so you can enjoy them visually. They become like little arrangements–that are called into action while you cook, doing double duty.

Ted's Tip No. 27

The small stuff matters. So often we get busy during the day and time just flies by. We don’t take the time to notice the small things, like the grain of the beautiful wood floor or the pattern of a chair. Stop. Take a deep breath. Notice the details. They enrich our lives.

Ted's Tip No. 18

Many of one thing makes for a striking visual display. This concept can easily be translated into your home for eye pleasing vignettes. If you have many of one thing, such as silver candlesticks, group them all together on the middle of the dining table instead of having them scattered around a room and you will be treated to one strong & nifty visual display.

Ted's Tip No. 11

Turn soon to be stale bread into delectable croutons. Turn oven to 350 degrees to pre-heat while you cut up the bread into bite sized pieces. Scatter them onto a baking sheet, sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper. A winning trio in so much of my cooking. Put tray in the oven being sure to keep an eye on it and move around the bread often to make sure things cook evenly. Pull out when nice and golden. Then liberally dust with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. You now have tasty, tasty croutons for salads or for snacking. These also make fab hostess gifts if you fill up a cello bag with them and close off with an earthy colored ribbon.

Ted's Tip No. 6

As holiday celebrations approach, stud oranges with cloves to make festive pomanders. Both the scent and the sight will delight.

Ted's Tip No. 227

Often grocery store floral departments can have awesome deals on orchids. They usually last for months and months, breathing a happy hit of flowery life into any corner of your home they grace.

Ted's Tip No. 212

A simple bloom or blooms are always welcome in the bathroom. Lovely to have your eyes land on them in the morning as you get ready for your day. Then again at the end of the day when you are getting yourself ready for bed. The joy of surrounding yourself with beauty during your daily rituals.

Ted's Tip No. 205

Be it a big garden full, pots of, or a windowsill brimming, living with herbs can be a very special thing. Not only are they lovely to gaze upon, but also ever so fab to snip and use in your cooking to add a healthy hit of flavor.

Ted's Tip No. 199

Keep a random assortment of vintage bottles by your sink in the kitchen. That way they are at the ready to hold herbs, blooms, stems. The sight of them will make doing dishes a delight.

Ted's Tip No. 190

This busy, gift giving time of year, bake two of something and give one away. If the recipient is a neighbor or someone you hardly know, even better. ‘Just Because’ gifts this time of year given out of the blue can hold extra special meaning for both the giver and receiver.

Ted's Tip No. 180

Food, particularly vegetables, can be exquisite on the eye. If you know you are cooking them later in the day, leave them out on the counter to enjoy their beauty. They will also feed your soul.

Ted's Tip No. 172

At this abundant time of the season, when beautiful produce is so plentiful, fill up a bowl with it and leave on your counter for you to enjoy visually throughout the day. As the saying goes, we first eat with our eyes.

Ted's Tip No. 166

Zinnias this time of the season are just a riotous profusion of color, a symbol of August in their tones. Mix them with herbs, like rosemary, for a simple arrangement that is a nod to Summer.

Ted's Tip No. 161

Clip stems of herbs from your garden, buy them from farmers market stalls or even the produce aisle at the grocery store, for a little hit of green in your kitchen. Snip off leaves as you cook away to add loads of herbaceous flavor.

Ted's Tip No. 157

A house (which to me means your dwelling, be it a dorm room to a palazzo) filled with the things you love, will always equal a home.

Ted's Tip No. 146

Dried blooms, such as hydrangea, serve as a reminder of the past sunny Summer on the chilly days of January.

Ted's Tip No. 131

For an instant jolt of style the moment guests arrive, paint your front door an eye catching color. You will also make yourself incredibly happy every time you come home.

Ted's Tip No. 122

Leafy plants in your yard can become a quick, simple but oh stylish arrangement in a pinch. Plus they make great gifts too.

Ted's Tip No. 123

Often plants, both indoors and out, get ‘leggy’ where a stem needs to be clipped or breaks off. These can actually end up being little gems. Place in a vase or stylish drinking glass for instant enjoyment from a stem that some would discard. You are treated to an instant hit of color.

Ted's Tip No. 111

For a quick appetizer this Summer smash (either with a fork or food processor) cooked peas along with some mint, EVOO and salt & pepper. Set atop a toasted baguette slice that is slathered with ricotta laced with lemon zest.

Ted's Tip No. 104

Winter is often a time when fresh flowers are less readily available. This is when a quick spin through your yard or neighborhood can produce a welcoming still-life from things that have dried. A quick snip, snip and you are on your way to a little natural visual interest.

Ted's Tip No. 88

Use small vintage plates or bowls that are no longer part of a larger set, as little dishes to hold a variety of things–like cherry tomatoes with sea salt, change from your pocket, or your keys. They can be incredibly beautiful so prolong their life and enjoy these solo gems.

Ted's Tip No. 77

Give old tea cup saucers that have lost their mate, new life. Use them as little dishes the next time you serve cocktails to hold a variety of tasty treats.

Ted's Tip No. 69

The very freshest eggs are not always the easiest to peel when making hard boiled eggs. As we head into deviled egg season, buy your eggs 5 to 7 days before you need to use them for a much easier time peeling.

Ted's Tip No. 59

Jam jars that are no longer holding jam make great glasses for picnic drinks. With the lid on nice and tight, they travel perfectly, so drinks are taken care of the moment you unpack the picnic basket. Be it sparkling water, juice, wine or a martini, they become a clever & stylish libation vessel.

Ted's Tip No. 46

Cooking with fresh herbs is a game changer. No matter whether you grow them or buy them, using fresh herbs whenever possible will infuse herby delightfulness and extra depth of flavor to just about anything you are whipping up.

Ted's Tip No. 34

A great loaf of bread can be a game changer. There are so many fab artisan makers who offer their breads at farm stands, bakeries, even specialty sections at the grocery store. Exceptional bread transforms sandwiches, is excellence sliced and added to a cheese board, or toasted for morning toast. When it becomes a tad stale, cut up into small pieces and make croutons or use it for the base of bread pudding.

Ted's Tip No. 30

One of the easiest collections to start is that of vintage plates. Flea markets, antique malls, tag sales–are all places where you can pick up assortments of plates. They typically are incredibly well priced as the set is not complete and each piece is priced separately. That way you can only buy one or a few. It is such a treat to change up the look of your dinnerware often. It makes setting the table, even for week night simple dinners, a joy.

Ted's Tip No. 22

A small container of truffle butter is a simple luxury to have at the ready in your fridge that does not break the bank. A few dollops tossed with pasta makes for a luxurious meal. A bit put on top of popcorn turns an ordinary treat into a memorable treat.

Ted's Tip No. 14

Savor the moment. If an out of the blue opportunity to have an impromptu picnic with a friend arises, grab it. If a quick trip comes up to see a relative, do it. Then while those moments are happening–enjoy them fully. Breath. Laugh. Savor.

Ted's Tip No. 1

One idea for setting a quick and stylish table, pick a color, and then run with it.

Ted's Tip No. 262

As we move into the season of phenomenally beautiful produce, think about using every bit of what you grow or buy. Here beet greens get massed together in a low drinking glass to be visually enjoyed on the dining table. A beyond simple arrangement of something that could easily have been tossed away.

Ted's Tip No. 257

Set an inviting table for even the simplest of meals. It honors the ritual, making the ordinary extraordinary.

Ted's Tip No. 261

When you are baking something at home, make two. The gift of homemade is always one of the very best ‘just because’ treats you can give.

Ted's Tip No. 256

Enjoy your food visually before you start to cook with it. Set it out on the counter and feast on its beauty while you start to prepare your meal. It becomes a small meditation of thanks as your eyes glance over it when getting things ready.

Ted's Tip No. 260

An herb arrangement can step right in to replace blooms when herbs are plentiful. Do a mix or just stay with one variety for an abundant bouquet. Plus you can snip off herbs along the way and use them while you cook.

Ted's Tip No. 255

A small drinking glass filled with tiny blooms placed on a window sill can bring immense joy. Often the littlest of flourishes can have the most meaningful impact.

Ted's Tip No. 254

During these trying times for restaurants, keep them at the front of your mind for take-out, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. Many are still cooking away creating beautiful meals, with lots also being delivered. Then light a few candles and sit at your table and savor the culinary creativity of hard working folks knowing your dollars have been wisely spent.

Ted's Tip No. 250

Sometimes all it takes is one majestic bloom to do the trick.

Ted's Tip No. 249

Light candles, even for an early morning breakfast. It instantly bumps up the special quotient, with the strike of a match.

Ted's Tip No. 252

With so much baking going on at the moment, now is a perfect time to share in the bounty. Cut half of that cake, wrap it up well, and leave it on a neighbor’s doorstep, give them a quick call and let them know they have a treat. Same goes for loaves of bread. Bake two and give one. It is a no-contact way to show a little neighborly love.

Ted's Tip No. 248

In the early, early morning hours, even before sunrise, if you are up, take a few moments to sit in your favorite chair. Reflect on the day that has passed, and think about the day ahead. The stillness and quiet will provide lots of clarity which can be incredibly comforting.

Ted's Tip No. 247

While the world has slowed a bit, take some of that time to sit in your favorite chair, savor your coffee, snuggle with your pooch, read the paper front to back, say a prayer, or just be.

Ted's Tip No. 244

Those gorgeous vegetables you picked up at the grocery store or farmers market can often be so darn pretty that you should enjoy them throughout the day in a vessel for all to feast their eyes on before the bunch hits the frying pan or oven in the eve.

Ted's Tip No. 246

Use up leftover pasta for an Italian feast, making a frittata. Crack and whisk 6 eggs, add cut up pasta, a handful of shredded cheese, salt & pepper. In an ovenproof skillet add mixture and start on medium low heat on the stovetop to firm up, then add to a 350 degree oven baking until the top is set. About 10 minutes. Heaven.

Ted's Tip No. 245

During these stressful, uncertain times, remember to breathe. Long full breaths in through your nose, hold for a few seconds, then a large breath out through your mouth. During those few seconds of holding, think of something you are grateful for. Repeat as needed throughout the day.

Ted's Tip No. 242

For the quickest appetizer tray, a quick run into the grocery store will do the trick. A few cheeses, a few crackers, a few nuts, a bowl full of olives and you are all set. As simple as can be.

Ted's Tip No. 241

For the simplest quick lunch, whip up a tasty tuna salad. Best canned tuna you can get your hands on, 2 dollops of mayo, a dollop of Dijon, a few grinds of salt & pepper. Mix together. Serve atop greens or on toasted bread.

Ted's Tip No. 238

Simple flowering plants picked up at the local nursery or grocery store slipped into a decorative container gives you instant flower happiness this time of year inside before things start blooming outside.

Ted's Tip No. 240

Flowering branches can bring a bit of visual freshness to a room during the chilly months. Plus it is so fun watching those little buds open up a bit each day.

Ted's Tip No. 237

Place cards at each setting allows you to seat your guests with some thought of who you would like seated where before folks arrive. Get creative and use old Scrabble tiles to spell out names or have a talented friend do drawings. They become a treasured keepsake for your guests to long remember the evening.

Ted's Tip No. 239

For simple, and quite easy, flower arrangements, choose one type & color of bloom. Mass them together. The simplicity of the grouping allows the beauty of each stem to shine.

Ted's Tip No. 235

In a pinch, a napkin can become a placement. They add an extra layer of visual comfort to the table too.

Ted's Tip No. 234

An entry table can be a great spot to entice and welcome your guests for the evening that awaits–be it cocktails, supper or a party. Fill it with things that make you happy.

Ted's Tip No. 232

If you want to spend time with an elderly friend or family member who is housebound, take a meal to enjoy with them. Better yet, prepare it at their home so you can chat while you cook.

Ted's Tip No. 233

Ornaments don’t have to be just for the tree. Scatter them onto a big platter, fill up a bowl or clear vessel to enjoy their beauty.

Ted's Tip No. 231

When that snow falls or the rain drops begin, enjoy it. Let it unleash your sense of wonder.

Ted's Tip No. 230

This busy time of year, remember to make time each day to stop and take in the natural wonders of the world around us.

Ted's Tip No. 229

Many of one type of thing massed together can often be a beautiful visual.

Ted's Tip No. 226

Be on the lookout for vintage utensils with initials or names of your friends. It will bump up the specialness quality to your gift giving considerably to have a piece included as part of the wrap.

Ted's Tip No. 225

Notice the details, big & small. They are swirling all around us. Revel in them.

Ted's Tip No. 223

Travel need not be boring. A little planning ahead can actually make it a bit of a party. Popcorn, pistachios in the shell, oranges, marmalade sandwiches made with big chunks of cheddar, newspapers, a few good books & magazines along with a laptop for movies and the flight just seems to fly by.

Ted's Tip No. 222

A fun way to pay it forward is to pass on a book you have just finished reading to a friend. Sign your name at the top of one of the opening blank pages. Encourage your friend to sign it and pass it on after they have finished reading it. As the list of names added to the book grows, how fun to think of the journey it has been on that started with you.

Ted's Tip No. 220

Often times dish towels can have really beautiful designs or patterns throughout. Think outside the box, making that gorgeous dish towel a placemat. Perfect for a potentially messy meal, such as spaghetti, as the ‘placemat’ can easily go into the wash after.

Ted's Tip No. 219

With tomatoes at their most plentiful and glorious, serve and enjoy them as often as you can. A simple vessel of salt next to a bowl of the beauties and you are all set for a healthy snack or an easy app if serving guests.

Ted's Tip No. 216

For this our official last week of Summer, grab every chance you can to dine alfresco. Be it a table outside at a restaurant, a picnic blanket on the beach, or a napkin folded over your lap on a park bench–take that opportunity to enjoy a meal with the sun or the moon.

Ted's Tip No. 218

As Summer progresses look for amazing deals on flowering plants, like these geraniums, at garden centers and farmers market stalls. The vendors are clearing their stock, always happy to have you take them off their hands to enjoy the heck out of them. They add an instant jolt of happiness as they are flowering and are as sweet as can be.

Ted's Tip No. 214

As glorious dahlia season begins, keep in mind, the simpler the better with these gems. Sometimes one can be so big and beautiful that it is all that is needed and a single stem vase is the way to roll. Or bunch a grouping of one vibrant variety/color together to create a showstopper.

Ted's Tip No. 211

To spice things up when wanting to set a creative table, chose one color and run with it. From the flowers to the dinnerware to the linens, use the hue in many forms. Have fun with playing with it all!

Ted's Tip No. 209

At this abundant flowery time of year, if you have a garden overflowing, sharing is always a great idea. Friends without yards can be the happy recipients. Blooms make the best ‘just because’ gifts.

Ted's Tip No. 207

When you make your next caprese salad, swap out the basil for mint. Just a fun, easy change that adds a bit of minty sweetness to the mix.

Ted's Tip No. 206

Sometimes a limited palate can be soothing to both the eyes and the soul. A mixture of similar toned blooms, candles and object can create a simple table setting where the guests & conversation become the most colorful part of the setting.

Ted's Tip No. 204

Sometimes you just need to unplug, unwind, do nothing but look at the sky.

Ted's Tip No. 202

Say ‘Thank You’ often. Those 2 simple words uttered can make someone’s day. To the person who just made your coffee, to the person who just held the door open for you, to the person who asked you how your day way going. Saying it means you noticed. Saying it means you are acknowledging the thoughtful actions of another.

Ted's Tip No. 2

Eating seasonally means you get the very best food when it is at its very best. It also means getting things at the best price as it is when they are most plentiful. Think asparagus in the Spring, corn in the Summer, apples in Autumn, and root vegetables in Winter.

Ted's Tip No. 3

Find boxed stationery on your travels to use once you have arrived back home. Then when you later reach for a card to write a friend, you will be reminded of your past journey. It is a lovely way to harken back thoughts of an adventure, plus you will be sending a bit of that trip onto your friend who receives your note.

Ted's Tip No. 4

Look for inspiration in your produce section at the grocery store. Often times melons can be little works of art and can be a welcome addition to a table setting. You not only get a hit of color and extra added visual interest to your table for dinner, but you get a tasty melon for breakfast after it is all said and done.

Ted's Tip No. 5

Turn soon to be stale bread into delectable croutons. Turn oven to 350 degrees to pre-heat while you cut up the bread into bite sized pieces. Scatter them onto a baking sheet, sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper. A winning trio in so much of my cooking. Put tray in the oven being sure to keep an eye on it and move around the bread often to make sure things cook evenly. Pull out when nice and golden. Then liberally dust with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. You now have tasty, tasty croutons for salads or for snacking. These also make fab hostess gifts if you fill up a cello bag with them and close off with an earthy colored ribbon.

Ted's Tip No. 6

This abundant produce time of year, think of using it in place of flowers. A big bunch of kale looks swell in the center of a table. Asparagus standing up to be enjoyed visually before cooked for a meal. A handful of parsley in a simple clear glass that you can pull from as you cook but just looks great all along the way. Bunches or pots of basil a nod to the sunny season.

Ted's Tip No. 8

At this hearty time of year when gardens and planters are brimming with bounty, think of using herbs as a solo arrangement. A big bundle of rosemary or a dancing group of flowering dill can make one deliriously divine centerpiece added to a dining or side table.

Ted's Tip No. 9

Fresh herbs make the perfect base when you are baking/roasting a piece of fish or chicken. Simply lay either on top of fresh herbs that you put on the bottom of a baking dish. Add a little white wine or olive oil or both and get set for a seriously infused herbaceous treat when all is said and done.

Ted's Tip No. 10

Be on the look-out for cool napkins on your travels. A beautiful & stylish cotton or linen napkin elevates an everyday meal into something special. If you find them from a memorable trip, that memory is refreshed often when you use them for your daily meals.

Ted's Tip No. 12

Honor even your most simplest of meals by setting the table and taking time to savor your food. Light a candle, use your favorite plates, use a pretty napkin, or do whatever you deem important to make even a week night meal feel special. Even if take-out is on the menu, setting the table bumps up the special quotient immeasurably.

Ted's Tip No. 13

Take time each evening to enjoy the sky. Many minutes or for even a brief moment. It is an instant relaxer.

Ted's Tip No. 265

Simple plastic pots of plants picked up at the grocery store or nursery slipped into a decorative container can give you an instant arrangement in no time at all.

Ted's Tip No. 264

A sprig of mint added to a drink instantly bumps up the flavor and style quotient. The scent and its beauty heading right to your senses.

Ted's Tip No. 263

Revel in the simple–the small every day things. Find joy in all the beauty that surrounds us in many ways. We just have to see it…

Ted's Tip No. 150

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, sprinkling with extra virgin olive oil. Cut small tomatoes in half, lining them all up. Sprinkle salt over the lot as well as more olive oil. Add a few cut cloves of garlic here and there, as well as a few sprigs of thyme. Bake at 400 until the tomatoes begin to release some of their juices. Toss with pasta for an easy meal or top mixture to baguette slices for a quick snack.

Ted's Tip No. 151

The leaves on many flowers can be just as beautiful as the blooms. A bowl full of hydrangea leaves grouped together in a low bowl with water stand tall shining brightly next to the brilliance of the peony.

Ted's Tip No. 152

Much like getting dressed in the morning and setting your clothes out while you are getting ready, think of setting a table much in the same way. Pull things that you think work together and group them on a staging area. Add, subtract. Whatever strikes your fancy. Then set out adding all the things to your dining table.

Ted's Tip No. 153

A collection begins with one thing. Vintage dinner plates found at flea markets and estate sales are an easy thing to collect. You can mix & match designs, or really be a sleuth finding more of a certain pattern.

Ted's Tip No. 154

Beauty abounds and can often be found in unexpected places. The grandness of old architectural elements just needs to be noticed to be appreciated. Think of all the history those buildings have lived through. Looking up, looking down, looking all around.

Ted's Tip No. 155

The easiest, simplest vinaigrette just as it is, which you then can build upon to create all sorts of others. By adding mustard, herbs, shallots, etc. In a measuring cup add 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice. To that add salt & pepper. Then whisk in a half of a cup of the best extra virgin olive oil you can get your hands on.

Ted's Tip No. 145

Fig branches can be pretty magical in their simplicity. Either in a vase or set on a dining table as the centerpiece, the oversized leaves have the most visually special quality to them. If there happens to be some figs still attached, all the better.

Ted's Tip No. 266

Tuck a bloom/blooms here & there. Think a bookshelf, side table, bathroom vanity, kitchen windowsill. It will be such a huge treat when your eyes land on them around your home.

Ted's Tip No. 100

When produce is at its best and most plentiful, fill up two bags instead of one. Give one to a friend out of the blue, for no reason at all other than to show your love. Think of it as a “just because” gift. You, and they, will be happy you did.

Ted's Tip No. 101

Often times flowers are given to the host/hostess of the dinner party. But a fun twist if you have an overflowing garden–give your guests flowers from it as they depart at the end of the evening. It will be a lovely reminder of the gathering and of you.

Ted's Tip No. 102

The simplicity and beauty of the egg. When a recipe calls for an egg or eggs, leave them on the counter to take off the chill from being in the fridge. Plus you get the extra added bonus of being able to visually enjoy them in the process while you cook away.

Ted's Tip No. 103

Often times a vase of hydrangea ends up being a tight grouping of just the blooms, which looks pretty darn awesome. But that means the beautifully verdant green leaves miss out and get tossed. Sort through after they have been pulled off and select the best looking ones as well as mostly the same size. Stack them up, fan them out, and then add to a clear vessel with a bit of water in it. Whether placed next to the flowers or all on their own, they will shine.

Ted's Tip No. 105

Sometimes your body, mind & spirit just need what I like to call a ‘nothing’ day. A day where you do nothing but relax, look at the water, look at the sky, the moon, the stars, the grass, a painting. Whatever puts your mind at ease. A time to have nothing scheduled and let time slip away.

Ted's Tip No. 106

Take a few moments each day to do something creative. Paint a little, write in your journal, put together the new recipe you thought up, arrange a group of flowers you just picked. Creativity comes in many forms. By taking some time each day, you keep your creative mind flowing, creating all sorts of wonder and goodness in your world.

Ted's Tip No. 107

Often, simple is best. When tomatoes are looking great, a few salted slices atop a toasted piece of mayo slathered bread is all you need for a tasty lunch or snack.

Ted's Tip No. 108

Flowers need not be over the top to have a large impact. A few well placed blooms on your dining table can add so much visual enjoyment to your meals.

Ted's Tip No. 109

An easy chunky ‘relish’ if you will, that can be made in advance and sits in your fridge getting better & better–is, pitted olives, small cubed feta both resting in extra virgin olive oil with fresh cracked pepper and a sprinkling of an herb, such as dried oregano. Served over fish, with crackers along with drinks, or just eaten as is for a snack.

Ted's Tip No. 110

When hosting large family gatherings, enlist other’s to help make part of the meal. It eases the work, makes family feel included/helpful, plus it is fun to see/taste what creations they will whip up.

Ted's Tip No. 112

Add a few fresh sprigs of herbs to your next vase of flowers for a little unexpected kick.

Ted's Tip No. 113

Home. Take a deep breathe, give thanks, exhale. Repeat often.

Ted's Tip No. 114

When preparing to set a table, group all the things you want to use together first. This way you can see what works and what does not. Sort of like laying out your clothes in the morning to get dressed. Just with lots more components. Have fun!

Ted's Tip No. 115

Think outside the box (quite literally in this case) when it comes to an arrangement for your dining table. Head outside and choose branches or ferns, whatever catches your eye.

Ted's Tip No. 116

Many of one thing, in this case the finials, is always a strong design element.

Ted's Tip No. 118

Easiest simple supper. Scatter cherry tomatoes in a large baking dish, sprinkle heavily with extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper. Crush and add a few cloves of garlic. Bake in a hot oven until tomatoes just pop open and release juices. Mix all with waiting hot pasta.

Ted's Tip No. 119

Single vintage utensils are a lovely thing to add to a cheese board or serving platter, instantly spiffing it up with their beauty. They are an easy and quite useful collection to begin, that you will find yourself reaching for time and again.

Ted's Tip No. 120

With Autumn in full bloom, if you get a gorgeous sunny day, grab it! Dine outside and soak up every last drop.

Ted's Tip No. 121