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  • Writer's pictureCharlsie Pecoraro

Hanging out with Interior Designer Diane Cashen, Tips for Stress Relief & Scrumptious Cookies!

This week I was lucky enough to spend some time with the talented Diane Cashen. She is an incredible designer for residential and commercial spaces located all along the Gulf Coast. I adore this photo from a recent shoot at her home! I imagine she spends a great deal of time snuggled up in this oversized chair catching up on the latest in home decor.

Diane Cashen

Diane shared that she does an extensive "deep dive" into her client's tastes and goals before embarking on a project. She is a master of using things that are already in your home or office. Sometimes all a room needs is a fresh coat of paint, some rearranging and perhaps a few decor pieces to tie it all together. What a time saver to call in a professional for help!

I particularly liked her fall decor on her dining room table. The florals & candles were arranged on an antique silver tray. Most of us have those special pieces we have inherited from our parents or grandparents that are the perfect accent for seasonal decoration. Why not dust them off and put them to good use during the holidays?

This week I will be updating Diane's page on the website so be sure to check it out at


How to Cope with Stress!

The times that we are living in have elevated stress in even the most chilled out folks I know. I came across a great video on YouTube featuring 26 ways to reduce stress or cortisol in your body. I wanted to share some of the suggests with you. I'll also include the link to the video by Dr. Sten Ekberg if you are interested click here.

These are in no particular order!

Tip #1 Get a dog or other pet! Fur kids reduce stress levels in their owners! Just the act of petting your dog or cat can lower your blood pressure.

Tip #2 Aerobic Exercise! Walking your dog, running, cycling, and swimming interrupts the pattern of sitting all day at your desk or on the couch. Stress will go down!

Tip #3 Yoga! I have been a practicer of yoga for years and it is because of this young lady pictured here with her doggie Benji. Adrienne Mishler is the founder of Yoga with Adrienne. She has over 8 million subscribers on YouTube and provides videos for all levels of practice.

Tip #4 Breathing! Without our breath we no longer live. Taking time to learn some relaxing breathing techniques will definitely lower your daily stress level. I practice the 4-7-8 method. All you do is breath in for 4, hold for 7 & exhale for 8! Try it!

Tip #5 Get a Hobby! I enjoy cooking and gardening. Taking time to develop my skills in both of these areas has been relaxing. Some think I am nuts for loving to weed my flowerbeds or spend hours in the kitchen. Find the things that bring you joy and do them!

Tip #6 Appreciation! Take a few minutes every day and note (write them down) three things that you appreciate. This simple act of putting your thoughts on paper will start your day off right.

Tip #7 Celebrate Everything! When was the last time you celebrated an achievement? It doesn't have to be anything big! I celebrate when I complete work or go for a run! You can find things to revel in daily!

Tip #8 Find Positive People to Hang out With! Your mom might have told you that you are "who" you keep company with. In other words, you are going to act like the people you are around the most. Think about people in your life who make you smile & laugh. Those are the people that you want to spend time with. I joke about having 10 or 12 favorite people on this planet. Identify your dozen this week and make sure you see some of them!

Be sure to click on the link above to listen to Dr. Ekberg's video for more tips on lowering stress.


Oatmeal Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

I promised to share this recipe with you so here it is. This one is not too sweet but packs so much flavor it may become a crowd favorite!


· 1 cup unsalted butter 2 sticks

· 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour sifted

· 1 teaspoon salt

· 1 teaspoon baking soda

· 1 teaspoon cinnamon

· 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

· 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

· 1/2 cup white granulated sugar

· 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

· 2 tablespoons water

· 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

· 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

· 3 cups rolled oats (quick)

Preheat oven to 350, line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Here is the magic to this recipe! You have to brown the butter. I had no idea how to do this until I saw Anne from Red Stick Spice Company do it on one of her videos. It really is easy, just stay with the pan while you are browning the butter and keep whisking.

Take two sticks of butter and put them in a shiny pan on your stovetop. I have some very old Magnalite pots that I love to cook in, so I used one of them. Melt the butter and whisk while it browns. This will take anywhere from 5 -10 minutes depending on how high your heat is. The point is to brown it but not burn it! The butter will foam up while it browns. Once browned, pour into a bowl and set aside.

Next mix all of the dry ingredients together: flour, salt, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg.

Put the browned butter along with the sugars into your mixing bowl and mix on medium for a few minutes, then add your eggs and vanilla. Mix another 3 minutes until smooth.

Next add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. You may need to add the 2 TBP of water at this point if you are using small eggs.

Stir in the chocolate chips, pecans and oats and mix well.

Spoon onto cookie sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes. Outer edge will be firm with a chewy inside!

Let the cookies rest for 3 minutes on the tray then transfer to your cookie rack to set.

Store in an airtight container!


I hope you have a wonderful week and enjoy the cool down we are expecting!

Our thoughts are with our friends in Louisiana & Baldwin County as they clean up from the record number of hurricanes we have faced along the coast this year. ~ Charlsie


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