Same Blog, New Location… (Revised)

Sorry! Just sent that last post out with some confusing links. Let’s try that again….

Dish On Design Gal has moved! Our new permanent home is over at!

Come visit… we love it when you do!

A few things…

If you subscribe by e-mail you’ll get a notification to confirm your subscription via Feedburner in the next few days.

If you subscribe via RSS feed, please make sure to join again over at the new location

Haven’t subscribed yet to get new updates? What are you waiting for? Visit the new site and sign on up! We’ve lots of things to dish about!

Thanks for your patience! xo Amy

PS. Like the luggage? It’s my all time favorite. Click here for details!

The Amazing Benefits of Oil Pulling: Part I

It’s always an interesting week or two of blogging when I’m down here in Florida working with Gigi. Today I’m brimming with stories ranging from a weekend at Epcot with Chef Art Smith to Oil Pulling. It’s going to take some time to go through my Disney photos, so let’s start with Oil Pulling.

Here’s the back story…

Gigi has a neighbor named Nina. I’ve heard stories of her for over three years, yet never met her. Over the last few years we’ve called her, knocked on her door and called her again. While I was in town, she never once answered her door or phone. I was beginning to doubt her existence.

Nina was a police officer for over eleven years until injured in the line of duty several years back. Fourteen surgeries later she still has numerous complications stemming from that single event which resulted in removal of her bladder and an irreversible colostomy. Gigi saw her over a month or two ago and told me Nina looked like she was dying – she looked that bad. With zero energy, lethargy, chronic fatigue, depression and constant infections – she rarely went out. It seemed she was always on antibiotics for UTI’s among other things.

Gigi’s Daughter, Lisa, of Pick Me Yard is studying to become a Master Herbalist. When Lisa saw Nina she  immediately handed over her book called Herbal Antibiotics Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug-Resistant Bacteria which I’m reading now (thank you Lisa!) and Nina is currently exploring. While conversing about the book, Gigi  mentioned she should try Oil Pulling. Nina has been doing Oil Pulling every day now for  4 weeks.

I finally met Nina the other day for the first time and never in a million years would I have guessed she has been so sick. Not only does she look great, but she’s quite possibly the most energetic person I have ever met. After a recent visit to the dentist, he expressed shock at how well her gums and teeth looked and asked what she had been doing. When she said Oil Pulling, he rolled his eyes and called it Gypsy Medicine, but said “keep it up – whatever it is, it’s working!”. It’s impossible to see her and believe she was so sick less than a month ago. She says she feels amazing.

So what the heck is Oil Pulling?

Oil pulling, Oil Swishing or as I called it last week, Oil Swooshing – is a traditional Indian remedy that involves swishing oil in the mouth. It’s mentioned in the Ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita, where it is called Kavala Gandoosha or Kavala Graha.

Do a search on the topic and you’ll find people who practice Oil Pulling and swear by it. Although I found doubters on-line, I could not find anyone who claimed any negative side effects. Dr. Dr. Karach, a Ukranian Physician presented a paper in 1992 on the process and said this…

Pulling Oil (sunflower oil) heals head-aches, bronchitis, tooth pain, thrombosis, eczema, ulcers and diseases of stomach, intestines, heart, blood, kidney, liver, lungs and woman’s diseases. It heals diseases of nerves, paralysis, encephalitis and chronic sleeplessness. It prevents the growth of malignant tumors, cuts and heals them.

The basic premise behind it is that as you swoosh, harmful toxins attach themselves to the oil and you get rid of those toxins when you spit out the oil.

I figured there was nothing lose, so why not try it? It’s only been a week, but the biggest thing I have noticed is my teeth are significantly whiter. That in itself is pretty amazing. I’m going to keep it up for at least a month so I can report back to you, but would especially love it if you joined in with me and tried it too! Make sure to let me know how it goes for you! Here’s how to do it…

How to Oil Pull:


  • TBSP of Oil – Your pick of melted coconut oil (expeller, coldpressed – preferrably organic, sesame, vegetable oil, sunflower or olive oil
  • Glass full of water mixed with a tsp of unrefined salt such as Himalayan salt.


On an empty stomach and before brushing your teeth…

  • Grab a tablespoon of oil – I use coconut oil.
  • Gently swoosh it around in your mouth for twenty minutes.
  • Spit into toilet when time is up.
  • Gargle and rinse several times with a glass of salt water.
  • Brush your teeth.

Tips and FAQs:

  • Do NOT gargle or swallow the oil as it will be full of toxins from your body.
  • If it’s difficult in the beginning, spit into toilet after 10 minutes and repeat for another 10 minutes. After two or three days it will be much easier. Keeping busy while swooshing makes it easier. I put on make up, shower, check e-mails, etc.
  • Your saliva will mix with it as you swoosh and when you spit it out it will be milky white.
  • If your coconut oil is in solid form (it will be liquid on a warm day and solid if it’s cool in your house) run the jar under hot water for a few seconds until you have enough melted to fill a TBSP.

My friend Lori has been drinking a TBSP of Coconut Oil every day since I wrote about it – she’s a believer. She puts it into her coffee every morning… I’m hoping she’ll try Oil Pulling as well. I’ll update my personal experiment with a follow-up post called Oil Pulling Part II in 30 days. I will include an update from Nina as well!

Try it! You have everything to gain! Amy xo

31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 30: Rules of Thumb

There are no rules to decorating, just rules of thumb and although some rules are made to be broken, these rules are good to fall back on when decorating your home…

If something doesn’t “feel” right along the way, try these tips…

Alternating hard and soft items just makes a room feel better. Chances are, if an area is bugging you, you probably have too many hard items such as furniture, next to each other. Breaking them up with an upholstered piece, a plant or something soft will help immensely.

For some reason groupings of odd numbers work well together If a grouping or vignette isn’t working well, try it with an odd number of items with varying heights and shapes.

Less is almost always better than more. Too many items in a room get lost and create chaos rather than interest. Clear everything out and only add in what you love.

Angled items in a room create interest and gently guide you around the room. Try an angled piece in a corner or an angled accessory or two on a shelf.

Trust your instincts – if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Don’t push something that isn’t working, try something new!

Assignment: Apply these Rules of Thumb to a room in your home that just doesn’t feel right and when decorating your new space make sure to reference these along the way!

Amy xo

Click here to begin at the beginning of the series!

31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 29: Decorating on a Budget

Decorating is something everyone can do, regardless of your budget…

Decorating and creating a beautiful home is something anyone can do on any budget. Here are some tips for decorating on a budget…

Use what you have. Use the principles you have learned to rearrange your furniture. Look at each room and see what may look better or could serve a better purpose in another area. De-clutter. Add a new wall color and for under $100 your space will feel fresh and new!

Explore DIY options for painting furniture you own or find at a thrift shop. Try no-sew draperies, adding trim to lamps or inexpensive drapes. The ideas are endless. It’s amazing what you can do to freshen up a room with very little money.

Shop at discount stores such as TJ Maxx, Homegoods, Ross, Marshalls and more. When shopping department stores clip coupons and keep your eye out for sales.

Decorate in Layers and do what you can when you can. Beautiful rooms are not created overnight. Wait till you can afford the picture you want… make do with what you have until you can add your dream furniture. As long as you have a plan, it will end up beautiful!

Establish a budget and track expenses as you go. Here’s a link to a free budget form that will automatically calculate your expenses and tell you what you have left to spend.

Assignment: Try to avoid paying full price, without compromising the look you are trying to achieve.

To start at the beginning of the series, click here!

31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 28: A Project File

So now that you’ve explored all the possibilities for your room, what’s next? It’s time to put everything together…

Make a project file with everything you have accumulated for the space you will be decorating…

Include: Inspiration photos for the project, your floor plan, shopping lists, paint colors, etc.

Store items such as business cards, samples, receipts and more.

Keep an ongoing list of what you need, what you already have and tasks that need to be done. Check it off as you go. Lists keep you from becoming overwhelmed by a project.

Establish a budget and track expenses as you go. Here’s a link to a free budget form that will automatically calculate your expenses and tell you what you have left to spend.

Assignment: Put together a project file for you space. Make sure to carry it with you and keep it in the car for unexpected quick stops at the store. Use your floor plan to show sales people your room and pull out your paint chips as a resource when selecting items to ensure that they will match.

Want to start at the beginning of the series? Click here!

31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 27: Arranging Bookshelves

Shelves full of books are awesome, but add some accessories and you have something special…

Bookshelves can be fun and a point of interest within a room…

Make sure to mix it up by adding items such as sculptures, small lamps, decorative plates and more. Stack books horizontally or vertical. Old books are especially fun without their paper covers.

As always, remember balance and scale – make sure there are vignettes within the bookshelves, but that neither of them are more important than the other.

Avoid a cluttered look by keeping groupings simple. Too many items will confuse the eye and create chaos rather than interest.

Assignment: Find a book shelf in your home and remove everything on it. Then start adding items back in. Look for things around you home that you can use and only use things that you love or that have meaning!

To start at the beginning of the series, click here!

31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 25: Tips for Accessorizing

Not sure how to accessorize your room? Here are some tips…

A vignette is a group of items placed together to tell a story. A vignette defines a relationship among objects and creates interest. Rather than placing one item by itself, group it with several.

Pay attention to balance and scale and how they work together within a room. For example, a small picture hung by itself will look out of proportion on a large wall… a large sofa next to a tiny lamp will look out of balance.

Step outside your comfort zone and explore both symmetrical (equally balanced groups) and asymmetrical (non-balanced groups) arrangements.

Make it special by grouping similar objects, adding personal details or using items you adore.

Create some fun by adding something full of personality, a unique item or with an unexpected twist.

Assignment: Pick a room in your home and completely clear out the accessories. Keep what you love, search your home for anything else you could use in the room and re-accessorize it according to the tips above!

Enjoy! Amy xo

To start at the beginning of the series, click here!

31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 24: Accessories

Accessories are what makes your house a home…

A room without accessories is a room that lacks personality. Accessories transform your house into a home.

When choosing accessories, ask yourself the following questions… Do I find this to be beautiful? Do I love it? Does it serve a purpose? Does it have meaning?

Everything you place in your home should be on purpose. If you asked yourself the above questions about an item and the answers are all no, then don’t include it in your room – it just becomes clutter.

Assignment: Review the accessories in your home and make sure they pass the criteria above. If they don’t pass, pack them up and give them away.

Amy xo

To start at the beginning of the series, click here!

31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 23: Three Levels of Lighting

There are 3 levels of light that should be used within every room. Lighting is the quickest way to set the mood for a space….

General or Ambient Lighting fills a space and provides overall lighting to a room. Sources include natural light (sunshine), overhead fixtures, large pendants, floods and chandeliers.

Task Lighting is light directed to a specific area for a particular activity such as reading or cooking within a space.

Accent lighting adds beauty, warmth and character to a space and is often used to highlight a specific item or area.

Assignment: Look at the lighting within your home and make sure that within each room you have all 3 layers. Search magazines and the internet for light fixtures to add to your inspiration file.

Have fun!

Want to start at the beginning of the series? Click here

31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 22: The Golden Means Rule

One rule you need to know…

The Golden Means Rule specifically deals with aesthetically pleasing proportions and ratios between two elements.

Apply it to everything from placing drapery tie backs to hanging photos and more.

In a nutshell you should never visually cut anything in half, but try to maintain a ration of 1/3 to 2/3 rds.

Assignment: Become aware of how this rule is used within spaces that you love and apply it to how you place items within your home.

To start at the beginning of the series, click here!

31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 21: Window Coverings

Decorating is all about beauty and function… window coverings are no exception!

Successful window treatments are ones that are both beautiful and functional – they work with your lifestyle. Here are some things to consider…

Beauty of course is important when it comes to window treatments, not only for the design aspects of shape and color, but because of the feeling of warmth it can bring to a space.

Function is equally important. Do you want to keep cold air out and warm air in? Do you want to black out a room at night? Do you want privacy, yet still be able to see out? Consider what you expect a window treat to do for you.

Examine your space and decide what are the best window treatments for the room and your decor.

Explore different styles and find one that you love and that fills your requirements for your windows.

Assignment: Look through your inspiration file and magazines for ideas for window coverings. Visit a retail store with assorted window treatments and store an ask a window covering specialist about different options available for your room.

To start at the beginning of the series, click here!

31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 20: Exploring Fabric

Now that you have your color scheme, it’s time to think about fabric…

When selecting fabric make sure to consider these points…

Patterns are important design elements to any space. Stripes, florals, checks and more can work together – experiment by mixing different patterns, both large and small.

Textures are everywhere…look for woven items, satin finishes, trim and more to create interest and dimension to a space.

Consider how patterns and textures work together and refer to the squint test to make sure they work together

Take time to understand the attributes of your fabric, making sure it’s suitable for your lifestyle. Ask how it can be cleaned, what’s the life expectancy, if it’s appropriate for how you intend to use it and how it will hold up over time.

Assignment: Go to a local fabric store and explore. Often fabrics are grouped by color – note how many different patterns and textures there are and how they work together. Keep an eye out for fabrics that could be used in your space and ask for a sample of any you love.

Want to start at the beginning? Click here! 

31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 19: The Squint Test

Yesterday we talked about selecting a color scheme, but how do you know everything matches? It’s easy when you use the squint test…

To ensure that color selections work together start by laying out paint chips and other samples or items that you have accumulated to use in your room.

Stand back and squint as you look at the colors and materials you’ve laid out. If they all blend when squinting – perfect! If one (or more) stands out above the rest, consider something else… it’s not the best choice! The goal is for everything to blend when squinting.

Create a color board with paint chips and samples of you final selections by gluing them to a board or inside of a file. Take this with you when shopping for your project for reference.

Assignment: Make a color board for the room your are decorating.

Have fun! Amy xo

Want to start at the beginning of the series? Click here!

31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 18: Developing a Color Scheme

Now that you understand color, the next step is developing a color scheme…

Follow these steps and you’ll find that developing a color scheme is easy!

Pull out your inspiration object or photo and use as a starting point for selecting your colors. Take into consideration any objects that you will be incorporating into the space.

Select paint chips that work well with your items and that appeal to you. Make sure to look at the paint chip under the light in your space. The lighting at the store may be very different then your lighting at home. Also make sure to tape it on the wall and look at it in the morning, afternoon and evening as a color will look different throughout the course of a day depending on the light source.

Choose one color for your walls  and keep the others for reference when choosing accessories, draperies, fabric, etc.

Assignment: Pick out the colors for your space and staple the color chips to an index card. Store in your purse for reference when shopping.

Worried about if you chose the right color? We’ll talk about that tomorrow! Amy xo

To start at the beginning of the series, click here!


31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 17: Color Psychology Part 2

Color Psychology is used almost everywhere you go, you just probably haven’t noticed…

Have you ever noticed that restaurants almost always use warm colors such as orange, yellow and red? It’s because they are known to make you hungry!

Think about typical room decor in warm or cool climates… You’ll see lots of cool colors such as soft blues and greens at the beach, yet warm toasty colors at a ski lodge.

Large Corporations may use paint to mentally warm a space or cool it down so thermostats can be lowered in the winter and raised in the summer, ultimately saving on energy costs. They may also use bright colors to stimulate workers or soothing ones to calm clients.

Some places try to influence your mood… Pink is perceived to make you feel relaxed and even weaker. Former Iowa Football coach Hayden Fry made the visting team’s locker room entirely pink – toilets and all. After a remodel by Coach Ferentz, there’s even more pink including the walls, toilets, sinks, lockers, floors and more!

Assignment: Take time to observe the spaces you are in and become aware of how color affects you!

To start at the beginning of the series, click here!

31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 16: Color Psychology

I mentioned yesterday that when choosing colors for your project, you should consider how the color makes you feel.  That’s what we’re exploring today…

Color can affect how you feel in a room and how the room feels to you…

Colors are split in to two categories – warm and cold.

Warm Colors are welcoming, they make a room feel warmer, they are energizing, stimulating and can make a room appear to be smaller.

Cool Colors have a cooler feel in warm climates, are relaxing, peaceful and may cause a room to appear larger.

Assignment: Think about how you want your space to “feel” and keep this in mind as you explore colors for your space. Examine your home and see how this applies.

Enjoy! Amy xo

To start at the beginning of the series, click here!

31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 15: Choosing Color

Today we’re going to explore color! Forget the fear… color is fun!

Color should be selected for a space only after considering the following…

Consider existing items that you will keep in the room, making sure that any color selection works well with the items.

Look to your Inspiration photo for color ideas for your space.

Examine how a color will make you feel. Will it be relaxing or stimulating? Will it warm up the room or cool it down? We’ll explore this in more detail later this week.

Evaluate how a color will affect your space – will it make the room feel larger or more intimate? We’ll cover this later this week, too.

Assignment: Look through your inspiration file for some preliminary color choices.

Have fun! xo Amy

To start at the beginning of the series, click here!

31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 14: Taking Inventory

I hope you had fun exploring walls, floors and ceilings! Today we’re going to make some lists…

Taking time to sit down and make some lists will help clear your mind and make a project so much easier…

An Inventory list consists of items you have in the space that you want to keep or need to keep for now.

A Short List is what you need to keep for now, but eventually need to replace.

A Wish List is what you need to buy or want to purchase down the line.

A Shopping List is what you need to be on the lookout for when shopping for your project. Carry it with you always.

Assignment: Take some time to create the above lists and make sure to update them along the way.

Have fun! xo

To start at the beginning, Click here!

31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 13: Considerations

Now that we’ve looks at walls, floors and ceilings, here are some things to consider when working on a project…

When working on a project… Search for materials that are available for use and evaluate your options. Look in stores, on-line and in catalogs before you make a final decision.

Add texture for interest. A mix of items that are smooth, nubby, woven, etc… can be as powerful as punch of color.

Add interesting patterns. Mix it up a bit and experiment… don’t be afraid to combine florals, stripes and plaids.

Lines and Shapes are found in furniture, accessories, area rugs, etc… They provide flow and balance in a room and should always be considered.

Assignment: Look back through your inspiration file and look for texture, patterns, lines and shapes. Become more aware of your surroundings and these elements within spaces that you love.

Enjoy! Amy xo

To start at the beginning of the series, click here!

31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 12: Exploring Ceilings

Often the forgotten surface, ceilings are an opportunity to introduce interesting design elements and add extra dimension to a room…

Think outside the box and explore the unlimited possibilities for your Ceilings.

Options for ceilings include faux paint, texture, medallions, beams, wallpaper, wood and so much more!

Consider the interest that it will add to the room. Design elements added to the ceiling add interest to any space.

Assignment: Like yesterday, explore magazines and internet sites such as pinterest, houzz, decorating blogs and other internet sites for ideas you may never have considered. Add any ideas you love to your inspiration folder.

Enjoy! Amy xo

Want to start at the beginning? Click here!