I try to get my wife to clean up her messes. Does that make me controlling? – Washington Post



Ben Claassen III (For Express)

Don’t miss the next live chat: Dr. Andrea Bonior, a licensed clinical psychologist who has been helping readers with Baggage Check since 2005, hosts a weekly live chat at washingtonpost.com on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. She discusses her recent columns and answers any questions you may have about relationships, work, family, mental health and more. Join or read Dr. Andrea’s latest live chat here.

Q. You’ve written a lot about controlling behavior and I wonder how neatnik-vs.-slob issues fit in. I am minimalist-ish and like things organized, which my wife has known since we met. I work mainly from home and need an environment that keeps me mentally clear (and I do most of the cleaning). When my wife comes home, it’s a tornado. I am trying so hard to help her build habits of putting her stuff away when she comes home, because it will save us both so much time, and that is the type of home I want to live in. She has started to resent this and has even labeled me “controlling” because I tell her how much I need to have an uncluttered environment and how I need her help.

It’s unclear what has changed over time — your standards, her resentment or her clutter habits — but in any case, communication and understanding are at issue here. It may seem like overkill to have a few sessions with a marriage therapist for this, but once resentment and “controlling” accusations enter the equation, it needs to be taken seriously. The path forward involves finding a middle ground that has the least sacrifice for the biggest positive effect in terms of both partners’ comfort and happiness. It may involve an agreed-upon two-minute ritual once she walks in the door, a nightly joint cleanup or one room of the house being embargoed from clutter — whatever it is, you need help generating solutions together rather than accusations.

Will she ever feel any better?

Q. I don’t know how to help my teenage daughter, who, while not depressed in the classic sense, constantly worries about her health. She has had several “scares” (in her own mind, at least) where she is certain she has a serious illness, and when my husband and I tried to be supportive by getting her fullychecked out, that only made her anxiety worse (and the tests checked out fine). Her peers are starting to call her a hypochondriac, so she has stopped talking to them about her feelings, which I think is making her feel worse because her peers were her reality check and now she keeps everything bottled up until she unleashes on us. I know she probably needs help but I almost feel that will make her anxiety even worse.

Yes, it may feel like her anxiety gets a little worse initially. (For some, it is more comfortable to blame a physical diagnosis than reckon with how debilitating anxiety itself can be.) But help helps, eventually. There’s no advantage in waiting. At the very least, she could use some better coping mechanisms and anxiety-reduction techniques. Or this could be full-fledged illness anxiety disorder that needs more intensive treatment. Or it could be anything in between. Help her understand that she deserves to feel better, and that there are solid tools for managing anxiety that will have noticeable effects on her mental and physical well-being. Your best bet? A cognitive behavioral specialist who works with mindfulness and physical symptomology.

Send your questions for Baggage Check to Dr. Andrea Bonior at baggage@wpost.com. She may answer them in an upcoming column in Express or in a live chat on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. at washingtonpost.com.

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Embrace Your Inner Minimalist in Long Island’s East Lake House – The Manual


In the Northeast, the coastal vacation home has long had a distinct style defined by the country’s most prominent families (think the Kennedy Compound in Cape Cod). Cedar shingle clad mansions, sprawling out along expansive grounds, carefully positioned to frame stunning ocean views are all typical of the style. Inside, these homes are decked out in coastal decor with bright whites balanced by navy blues and accented with wicker and driftwood to create an upscale, shabby-chic look. That look, however, has become a dated style indicative of behind-the-times stuffiness. Robert Young Architects designed a new summertime retreat to be a minimalist escape that feels at one with its natural surroundings while acting as a model for a new wave of coastal vacation homes. The result is East Lake House.

Comprised of two structures, East Lake House at first may seem out of place in Montauk, New York, but the coastal touches are all still there. Rather than a sprawling summer home, the simple gabled form of the buildings speaks to the classic barn shape found scattered throughout the Northeast. This basic form is visually pleasing without detracting from the beauty of the home’s surroundings. Cedar shingles have been swapped out for untreated cedar planks which patina over time and eventually take on a driftwood-like look. Exterior hardware is bronze, reminiscent of the high-end finishes typically found on yachts and steamships and the buildings are capped by raw zinc panels, designed to age along with the cedar planks.

A unique property, East Lake House sits on two lots that were combined into one, allowing the main house to be situated away from the guest house (which also acts as the garage and boathouse). In between the two buildings, there is a plunge pool and a covered patio situated to take in views of Lake Montauk (which is really a small bay connected to the Atlantic).

Stepping inside, East Lake House is a showpiece for modern, minimalist style. Gone are the classic coastal navy blues, replaced by trendy black accents set against bright white walls and ceilings. Refreshingly simple, the interior of both houses features vaulted ceilings clad in white painted wood planks supported by white wood trusses. The white wood planks continue down the walls. Flooring is a combination of tile and European white oak, the light hues complimenting the bright white walls and ceilings. The black steel support structure and black frames of the windows and doors add a contemporary look to the rooms.

In the main house, the public space is an open-plan family room which includes an all-white kitchen, a live-edge dining table, and a spacious sitting area. The black brick fireplace offers a masculine focal point for the sitting area. To cap off the minimalist look, the sitting area includes a white sofa and mid-century modern revival furnishings. Sliding glass doors all around turn the space into an indoor-outdoor room.

Upstairs, the master suite is defined by a massive wooden structure that acts as a room divider between the bedroom and bathroom. This unique installation becomes the headboard for the bed and the ceiling for the closet and bathroom sinks. While it does not rise all the way up to the vaulted ceiling, it does create a unique visual divide that allows for privacy in the bedroom without making the space feel closed in.

Every detail of East Lake House speaks to the desire of the architects to get away from the coastal mansions of the past and create a new kind of beachside retreat. It is a reflection of the past, with its barn-like shape, while looking to the future with unique finishes, nature-inspired materials, and a minimalist style that allows nature to be the star of the show.

For an altogether different type of waterside retreat, check out Lochside House, located in Scotland’s West Highlands.

Editors’ Recommendations

This Minimalist Swimsuit Looks So Expensive, But It Only Costs $18 – InStyle

The apex of minimalist style is, arguably, the turtleneck. And it’s not just Elizabeth Holmes’ tribute to Steve Jobs we’re referring to. Countless fashion icons from Victoria Beckham to Celine Dion have adopted the sleek style as a staple in their ever-evolving wardrobes.

And so it makes sense that 2019’s most high-style swimsuit mirrors that same, well, high style. The high-neck swimsuit does justice to the modest silhouette with extra coverage that accentuates as it covers up. The length of fabric draws the eye up, elongating your torso, and the inward-cut openings will make you look like you have #MichelleObamaArms.

The right swimsuit can be hard to find, so we’re willing to spend money when necessary. Today, though, we’ve found the absolute unicorn of swimsuits: for just $18. This gorgeous maillot features a full coverage bottom and an extremely cute tie back that adds a kick of character.

RELATED: Heads Up: That Viral Amazon Swimsuit Is Now Available as a Bikini

Found at usually sells for $45, but for today only you can get it in Bluest Violet and Multi Stripe for $18 (60 percent off!), or in Blackjack and Rainbow for $40. What’s more, this elegant, minimalist suit is available in sizes XS to XXL — but if you want to shop it, you have to act fast because some colors are already selling out in size XS.

before it jumps back to full price at midnight tonight.

To buy: $18 (Originally $45);

Minimalism: Tattoos by Berlin-Based Artist Mono – Scene 360

Previously working in a private art gallery in Prague, Mono (David Kejr) moved on to focus on his art-making and managing/touring with music bands for four years where he traveled and opened his horizons about life.

His real start in tattooing only happened in 2013, when he inked his friends (i.e. exploring styles and techniques) and simply enjoying tattooing like any other creative outlet. With time his passion for this medium grew and that led him to serious, elaborate projects. His current technique is marked by dots or lines, highly abstract and minimalist concepts that depict his artistic expression, life philosophy and the city where he chooses to live in: Berlin.

Above: Mono creates an intense gradient effect on his client’s neck.

On client Scott’s shoulders, Mono explores “heavily dotted patterns on large areas of the skin.”

You are based in Berlin; does the city inspire your minimalist work?

That’s a good question. My visual language has always been minimalistic and Berlin certainly fits into that aesthetic—but rather than Berlin being source of inspiration or influence I think it’s a mutual inclusiveness that stands behind my visual expression.

Were you always a tattooer, or did you work in another field?

I come from arts background and used to work in private art gallery in Prague as assistant of director. I learned a lot about the business side of art and subsequently grew disillusioned and frustrated by that which resulted in me leaving and starting to travel and tour extensively. Up until recently for the past 6 years I was living kind of bi-modal life oscillating between creating art on one hand and touring with bands as freelance tour-manager on the other. I’m extremely thankful for that period of my life, it was inspiring intense and wild chapter of my life—I got to see most of the western world and meet some pretty interesting people. That period is over, however, and I’m now fully concentrated on my art.

The “Ignacio trapezius” tattoo represents change and development.

Explain a little bit about each tattoo you’ve shared with us, here.

“Ignacio trapezius” [shown above] is an adaptation of one of my drawings. I like using a triangle as a symbol, signifying a variety of trinities it tears down our simplistic view of the world in dualistic terms. My use of gradient in this piece symbolises ever progressing change and development.

“Chris neck” [ref: cover photo] – This piece comes from series of tattoos in which I was exploring dark heavily dotted patterns, often stretching over vast areas of skin. I wanted to create something bold and expressive for my client who comes from body-mod background. The dotted pattern blends in with his hair and gives majestic look to his sharp appearance – while it might appear rather heavy on first impression in reality the tattoo fells very natural and essentially decorative.

The movement and legs of a dancer. Photo by Louis Fernandez.

“Liam’s legs” [above]—these tattoos are from series (of perhaps more organically looking works) through which I was exploring aesthetics of curves, lines and their dynamics. Liam is a dancer. An amazing one. When I saw his movements I knew instantly I wanted to express that kinetical energy. Dance is a beautiful form of art and I’m fascinated by it. You can’t capture it—the spirit of dance is in it’s flowing movement —if you freeze it, it’s not a dance anymore. Different energy and quality of lines in this work represents delightful dynamics of Liam’s dance … flowing, charmingly unpredictable, playful, sometimes tense and other times loose. Dance.

Photo of “Ina’s lipoma,” a tattoo to match and flow on her client’s body.

“Ina lipoma”–The initial impulse for my work, my designs comes from my model, her personality, body shape, energy … I like to be inspired by differences in individual bodies and to use existing aesthetics of body to highlight or emphasize some parts I find interesting or aesthetic. Neither me nor my client knew what we were going to tattoo that day, my ideas are not premeditated and the piece usually comes into being right on place. When I saw Ina’s perfectly shaped lipoma on the left side of her back I was inspired by that. What a beautiful bodily oddity! So I accompanied it with it’s new shadow twin and brought symmetry to Ina’s lovely figure.

Titled “Sophie’s circle” is about the ending and beginning of one’s life.

“Sophie’s circle”–I’d like to believe my visual language is simple and clear. When communicating ideas, I like to break them down to elemental level where shapes speak for themselves. This [circular] piece is highly symbolic. Everything comes together in circle, it’s a symbol of completion and perfection. By using gradient I wanted to further highlight transformation and thus perfect the assignment—completion of one’s life cycle and beginning of another.

A tattoo design symbolizing a pillar, i.e. “towering into heights, lost in clouds.”

“Uwe’s chest detail”–with the idea that the body is a temple housing spiritual self; I wanted to create some strong grounding design, an element that would support the majestic structure (that human body is). I thought of Gothic cathedrals, rib vault ceilings and arches that support them and found stark resemblance between them and human collar bones—slender and elegant yet powerful enough to support the crushing weight of our physical being.

“Florencia’s legs”—another tattoo produced spontaneously in studio.

Florencia has long slender legs. While I was navigating through landscapes of my creative mind and thinking of a design that would fit her figure, and had her half-naked pacing around my studio, I saw reflection of her legs in a large mirror that hangs in my studio and that has cracks in it. The reflection was scattered and I saw the long line of her legs interrupted by these violent yet beautiful cracks that caused the image to be deformed and shuffled. I got inspired by that, hence the interruption in one of the lines on back of her legs.

Mono’s more recent work, (on client Marcela), is inspired by nature. Photo by Louis Fernandez.

Your newest work has a more organic, dynamic flow. Tell us about your new direction and its connection with nature.

It’s true that my latest tattoo work feels more organic but shouldn’t be viewed as departure from my previous approach. I became incrementally caught up by things I was not interested in previously, but there is a line, path through which I arrived to where I am now and ultimately my individual projects have tendency to collide in some at least theoretical synthesis.

Nature is beautiful by itself and I’d say it’s often more difficult to resist the urge of portraying obvious beauty of nature than doing so. That said, I’m generally more interested in representation of abstract concepts coming from philosophy or social science. Psychology is definitely great source of inspiration as well and recently I became interested in employing transcendental mediation as a creative tool.

Photos © David Kejr / Mono

How To Dress Like A Millionare For Less – Harper’s Bazaar Singapore

Photo: Getty

If you have luxury fashion taste, but not the budget to go with it, there a number of tricks to learn that offer the illusion of wealth. You don’t have to be a millionaire to look like one. Here, we list pearls of wisdom that will give every outfit a polished air.

1. You can buy non-descript little black dresses, cream-coloured knits and dark-wash jeans from anywhere. Having a handful of classic pieces in your closet allows for an array of looks that seem far more expensive.

2. Looking scruffy will never equal ‘wealthy’ at first glance, so keep things polished with clean lines, polished accessories, and neat hair and make-up.

3. If nothing else, invest in your shoes and bag. If you can’t afford to, carry a minimalist leather tote and wear simple ballet flats or loafers.

4. Avoid putting brands on display. Branded everything might be a trend now, but a purse covered in logos can never be refined.

5. Drape your cardigan or coat over your shoulders like every one of our favourite Eighties stars. It might not be practical, but forget about that for now.

Related article: Handbags Are Getting So Small They Can Barely Fit Airpods

Photo: Getty

6. If you’re going to wear something, make sure it’s still in good condition. Nicks and scratches on shoes, bags or anything else are a no-no.

7. Embrace sunglasses: wear tortoiseshell eyewear à la Jackie Kennedy.

8. Cinching an oversize coat or classic button-down cardigan with a belt adds instant chic to any outfit.

9. Keep eccentric nails to a minimum – just say no to neon polish and anything acrylic. But a neat manicure is a must.

10. Opt for darker denim. The darker the wash, the more sleek your denim looks.

Related article: Red And Pink In One Outfit? We Show You How

Lee Radziwill and sister Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis in London in 1970.  Photo: Getty

11. Ladylike dresses that make you look like you just stepped out of a Kennedy family portrait give off an old-money, new-clothes feel.

12. Your scent can be just as expensive as your look.

13. Don’t be afraid to put your jewels front and centre. From simple diamond studs to that borderline-gaudy statement necklace, this kind of jewellery ups the ante.

14. Own a navy blazer. Own a turtleneck. Wear them together.

15. Embrace conservative status symbols like Belgian Shoes and Gucci loafers. Think of timelessness over trends.

Related article: The Best Shoes From Fall 2019 Runways (So Far) 

Photo: Getty

16. If you don’t know, now you know. Two words: Camel. Coat.

17. Make sure it fits. Clothing is instantly downgraded when it doesn’t fit correctly. Stay away from items that swallow you whole, cut off circulation or create imprints in your skin.

18. It’s okay to be square. Gentlemen, always wear a pocket square. It’s a simple way to completely change the look of an ensemble.

19. Wear your pearls, girls. When in doubt, a classic strand of pearls adds elegance (and dollar signs) to your style. Style with jeans for a modern appeal.

20. Monochrome (read: all-black everything) is the perfect way to give off that “everything I’m wearing is chic and cost a fortune” vibe.

21. Timing is everything. A nice watch is the ultimate power-play accessory.

22. Tread carefully when it comes to animal print. There’s a fine line between a leopard-print heel and a zebra-print jumpsuit.

This article was originally taken from Town And Country.