top of page
Kathryn Bechen mug & flower girl.JPG

Latest News & Fun

Goodies to make your life easier and enjoyable!

  • Writer's pictureKathryn Bechen

Kitchen, Dining, & Lifestyle Things I Want My Reader Friends to Know

Kathryn Bechen kitchen

Greetings, my lovely readers!

Steve and I took a staycation recently. We took time off to regroup, rest, and discuss our next life stage and plans since I have now turned 65 and Steve is now 66. We are forward-planning a BIG new life adventure together! I will share it here once it is official.

"We may make our plans, but God has the last word." -- Proverbs 16:11

Yes indeed, I'm officially a "Senior Citizen" and now on Medicare, no less! Medicare sign-up was tons of paperwork, research, and decisions, so huge hugs to my hubby Steve for helping me with that. I loved what a birthday email greeting from a former virtual organizing client who lives in Costa Rica said, "65 is good, Kathryn! Here we call them Golden Citizens." I told Cindy that I much prefer the Costa Rica term Golden Citizen vs. our Senior Citizen. To me, Senior Citizen sounds kind of boring blue plate special whereas Golden Citizen sounds more like charming cafe chic. :) Personally, I will take the term Golden Citizen any day, and while I have never considered myself chic, I have long lived artfully and I love cute little cafes like this!

"They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing." -- Psalm 92:14

Fun side note: Cindy, mentioned above, was one of the most fun organizing clients I ever worked with years ago when I lived in California and she lived, and still lives, in Costa Rica. She was motivated, appreciative, hardworking, and kind. We worked exclusively on the phone and by email photo attachments, at a time when that was not really being done, but that didn't deter us; we just did it! Cindy has kept in touch with me all these years later, and I've enjoyed hearing from her and seeing her cute kids grow up via photos she sends me across so many miles.

"God is within her; she will not fail." -- Deuteronomy 31:6

Okay, back to the kitchen and other goodies. I wrote about our recent kitchen spruce-up last post so I thought I'd share some new products I've bought recently that will help keep your kitchen and life efficient, organized, healthier, and a little bit stylish too.


  • Even my hubby loves our new dish drainer! Oh my, me too. It avoids those ugly plastic mats or constantly buying new foam drain mats. It was worth every penny. Win!

  • I am doing my best not to use plastic containers any more than necessary so I bought these stainless containers. To keep the top on tight in the freezer, I put a rubber band around them and I label them with these great labels. These containers are an investment up front, but I think they will last a long time.

  • We bought a new set of mugs recently that we both enjoy and we also bought an individual large mug for me and a large mug for Steve too when we want a big gulp of coffee. (Often.) I bring mine to my cozy bed and watch gorgeous tea/coffee/mug scenes like this to relax. Bliss!

  • One of the easiest ways to remove stuck-on food from pans or dishes is to put baking soda and dish soap in hot water and soak for an hour or so. This baking soda is amazing! Costs much more than the usual brand but you need much less.

  • I saw these water bottles mentioned in a travel newsletter I subscribe to and they were not kidding that these are great! Wide mouth if you want to use it more like a glass, and if you want to sip, the opening is really drinkable and not like those kid-sippy-cup style water bottles that make you feel like a toddler sucking a baby bottle. Ugh! I bought the 18 oz size so it fits in our car cup holders.

  • Permit me a bit of a rant now please. I bought these bottles because when I travel I put various homeopathics in my water for motion sensitivity, possible cigarette smoke exposure, and possible petrochemical and fragrance exposure, all of which I usually encounter during travels, and all of which make me very ill, and have done so pretty much my whole life. I was diagnosed highly chemically sensitive at an allergy clinic in the U.S. Midwest when I was just 24 years old, and I have been diagnosed repeatedly since, seeing allergy doctors and practitioners in several states. (As have others I've known.) Anyway, I can't use metal water containers with homeopathic remedies, so I found these acrylic bottles and they work like a dream. I just drop my homeopathic pellets in before I go and then I drink off and on in small sips throughout my trip. It helps more than anything else has. Some of how to do this I learned in this course. I am not giving you medical advice nor being paid to mention her course here, by the way. But I thought you might like to know as so many people have challenges with this these days. My hubby loves homeopathy too and is recovering from hernia surgery right now with little pain, swelling, and bruising due to the remedies I have him on post-op. Even the nurse who followed up can't believe he didn't need even one of her pharmaceutical pain pills. But we knew that would be the case in all likelihood with homeopathy due to my years of study. Thank you, Dr. Hahnemann!

  • Back to home thing-ys ... These coasters for our dining table are really nice. More "Golden Citizen" style than "Senior Citizen" style. :)

  • I am seriously liking these cloth napkins lately. The blue would be really cute for your coral seashells and natural-fabrics and driftwood beach house. :)

  • And these linen-like tablecloths are just a dream. I bought two for our dining area and one for my desk in the bedroom. A nice weight and no wrinkles. Inexpensive but they look and feel high-quality expensive. Win!

  • This lavender hand sanitizer spray works great and replaces the now-absurdly-expensive name brands just fine. I realize everyone needs to make a living, but I am putting my foot down about some of the ridiculous price gouging these days on products and seeking alternatives that won't rob our retirement nest egg that we have worked long and hard to save and invest. I prefer to leave some of that to Christian charity when I pass on, not to give it now to corporate greed.

"She watches for bargains." -- Proverbs 31:18

  • These kitchen trash bags don't have any stinky perfume smell on them, unlike others I have bought online or in stores. You might want to watch the documentary movie Stink. And please look up your personal care products here before using and buying them. EWG has lots of resources to educate yourself. I agree with them that enough is enough!

  • These turntables work great for supplements in my kitchen cabinet and would work in the bathroom too. I also use them for my spices. The high side keeps things from falling off/over. If you want a high-quality life, you've gotta consider these little things, ya know?!

Steve Bechen at home in Arizona

  • Here we go again ... Recent kitchen towels I bought on Amazon were really attractive and a nice weight, but my pack came stinking of fragrance. Steve either returns these items now or sometimes I wash them double times with Charlie's Soap, Charlie's Booster, baking soda, vinegar, and then a double rinse cycle. We even keep two washers and dryers in our home as we do so much laundry trying to get rid of chemicals and fragrances that are on most everything you buy now. Yes, two washers and dryers for just two people! Charlie? He changed my life too, my friends, in a good way! Don't get me started on laundry soaps that are supposedly fragrance free. And I think we now own stock in baking soda and vinegar. Sometimes, I have to wash newly-bought items multiple times, as I said, and if that does not work I hang them in the HOT Arizona sun which usually does the final trick in what's called a "bake out." Yes, really. If the fragrance and/or chemical odor still does not come out, they are then tossed even though new and I am out the money for the goods as well as laundry supplies used. And they go where? In our landfills? Lord, help us all! I am also out my time and energy doing all this "laundry lunacy." Sometimes, after the chemical or fragrance smell makes me literally vomit, (which I also use homeopathy for), then I sit and cry about all of the chemicals and synthetic fragrance crap now going into our waterways too. I don't just cry for me, I cry for all of us. The book I read, Silent Spring, suggested by the Dr. who diagnosed me with chemical and fragrance sensitivity in the 1980s has, sadly, come true. It was written in 1964, just a few years after I was born in 1958. I ask: What world will our future great grandchildren inherit? Or worse, will there even be a planet that is inhabitable given all humans have done, and are still doing, to our once-green precious earth? I personally think that we would do well to remember ...

"For the earth is the Lord's, and all it contains." -- 1 Corinthians 10:26

All it contains includes us too.

"She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue." -- Proverbs 31:26

Me, Kathryn Bechen, around the time the book Silent Spring was published.

So, how have I lived as well as I have for 65 years? My faith, a wonderful husband of 43 years, and a very carefully orchestrated lifestyle as I had no idea in the innocent photo of me at just age seven what chemicals run amok would do to my life, and to those others I have met.

Okay, rant over and back to kitchens, 'cuz at age 65, I'm still here on this planet, I want to help others, and I do that through my writing.

  • If a drain strainer can change your life, this silicone one has! Looks great with a stainless sink and is easy to keep clean.

  • I keep my new vitamin/supps organizers in my kitchen cabinet and load them for two weeks so it's easy to take them. Great for travel! Yes, these are plastic containers, but some things you just do for efficiency, and at least they will last for the rest of my lifetime.

  • Our ice machine went on the fritz so we bought this one and it's like a fun toy to Steve!

  • And my bonus kitchen tip is we bought one of these air purifiers recently to help specifically with cooking odors. I like the sensor light on it and I plan to buy another one for our bedroom down the road as we have desert dust here too. We also have two of these IQ excellent air purifiers which worked especially great during the CA wildfires that we made it through back in 2007. Let's just say I like air purifiers because I am a big fan of breathing!

Wishing you, my reader friends, a kitchen filled with good natural smells, an attractive dining table, and as healthy-as-you-know-how living strategies.

"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." --Philippians 4:13.

Kathryn :)

P.S. For more of my home tips, please go here.











bottom of page