Yearly Archives: 2016
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Mister Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham.
First, Rob Thomas brought us Veronica Mars, the clever, driven high school detective. It was clever, intriguing, thought-provoking and funny. We were all sad when it ended too soon.
Then, a million die-hard fans heeded the call of Rob Thomas and funded what would be the biggest Kickstarter to date: Veronica Mars: the movie.
Finally, just for kicks, Rob Thomas collaborated with Jennifer Graham to write Veronica Mars novels. The second of these books, Mister Kiss and Tell, was published last year. If you have ever watched the show, it’s worth the time to pick up the books. The first one is even read by Ms. Mars herself, Kristen Bell. It’s practically like another episode of the show!
A young woman is attacked at The Neptune Grand, the finest hotel in Neptune, California. Veronica is hired to clear the hotel of wrongdoing. But the more she digs, she becomes invested in helping the victim even if she loses money in the process.
Mr. Kiss and Tell is gritty and dark. Peppered with the characteristic Veronica Mars wit, it is like an episode of the show but darker and with “adult” language. The story is not for the faint of heart. The author pulls no punches in reminding us of the darker side of humanity. Happily, the lighter side shines through as well. Lots of witty dialogue and a cute puppy help to balance out the tone of the story. Side plots involving a corrupt sheriff’s office and another about Veronica’s boyfriend Logan don’t add a lot to the story but they do keep the story from being monotonous. If you liked the show, you should definitely read the books; it’s basically bonus episodes of the show!
Post by Tracy Kaler.
Have you ever pretended to live in a castle? Okay, so that might sound silly, but I think feeling like a princess, if even for a day, has been every little girl’s dream at one point or another. Even as adults, we can dare to dream!
Let’s do just that. Here are five gorgeous bedrooms that embody castle life.
Tall ceilings, wide moldings, and a circular turret (doesn’t every castle have a turret?) complete the architecture of this room. Located in Glasgow, Scotland, the red color choice and damask wall covering lend a regal feel. This bedroom is in a real castle.
An arched ceiling, exposed wood, and interior stone details give this Minneapolis bedroom a castle-like feel. Warm and masculine, the room’s architecture is lovely, but the color palette and accessories could use some tweaking.
Maxwell and Company modernized this castle in the UK. Twin beds work perfectly with the sloped ceilings. Upholstered walls and smart built-ins make this space pretty and practical. This home is also a real castle.
This mountain house takes on a medieval feel with its massive wood beams, pitched ceiling, velvet textiles, and bronze chandelier. The sprawling master bedroom’s sleep area and sitting area are separate, providing more than enough space for two people to use the room at once. One could easily be sleeping in bed while the other is relaxing or reading on the sofa.
And for that little girl who can’t get stop dreaming of living in a castle, here’s her very own. This clever castle bunk bed, formal window treatments, and crown cornices give the feeling that this bedroom exists in a castle, if only in that little lady’s imagination.
Post by Tracy Kaler.
Looking to add a dash of greenery to your bedroom? Even if your thumb is closer to black than any shade of green, you can find plants that are low-maintenance and don’t require a lot of TLC. Let’s look at a few easy-to-maintain plant options that will add a breath of fresh air to your bedroom.
Calling first-time gardeners – the spider plant might be for you. Give your plant indirect light and well-drained soil and it should do just fine. Make sure your room isn’t too warm, since spider plants like temps in the 60s. If your spider plant is getting brown tips, try using distilled water or rain water rather than fluoride-filled tap water, and that might take care of the problem. Spider plants can get unruly, so don’t be afraid to prune your plant as needed.
Need good luck? Then you’ve come to the right plant! Jade plants like full sun, so they’ll prosper in bright bedrooms. How do you know if your jade plant is getting enough sun? If it gets bare and leggy, then the plant is not getting enough light. Plant jade in a terra cotta pot, and use a water soluble fertilizer about twice per year.
Brighten up any bedroom with this elegant deep green plant. Drought tolerant, peace lilies need little water and thrive in low to medium light. Check the plant’s soil weekly, and only water as needed. Its large leaves will get dusty, so be sure to give the plant an allover spritz or a wipe down.
If your bedroom gets a healthy dose of sunlight each day, then the Areca palm is a good choice. A NASA study chose this palm as one of the top air-purifying plants. Lend a tropical feel to your room with this graceful, easy-to-grow palm plant.
This lush fern prefers medium to bright light. Although you’ll most often see Boston ferns as large hanging baskets, it’s not uncommon to see this happy plant in a small decorative pot. Hint, hint. I prefer the smaller versions for indoors, and leave the oversized hanging baskets for outdoor spaces.
For more info on these plants and other options for your bedroom, visit http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/.
Post by Tracy Kaler.
The 4th of July is a day for Americans to celebrate our nation’s independence, but it’s also a day of picnics, outdoor parties, and festivities in red, white and blue. In the spirit of our nation’s history and the American flag, let’s take a look at some colorful, patriotic bedrooms.
A subtle tone-on-tone stripe on the wall, layered pillows and shams, and vintage accessories successfully pull this bedroom together. The blinds place even more emphasis on the stripe theme. Notice the small stars in the windows on the bed wall.
This colonial beach bedroom in Santa Barbara boasts mixed patterns and a country feel. The quilts, painted walls, antique-looking bed, watering can lamp base, and the basket of hydrangeas add to the room’s relaxed style.
This charming little bedroom combines rustic with modern, and so well. The room could easily take on a different theme by switching out the pillows and dartboard.
A Boone, North Carolina bedroom celebrates the American flag. With leather, dark wood, and ZACK pillows in red, white and blue, this rustic boy’s room is fit for a king. Dianne Davant and Associates designed the space.
I love the simplicity of this farmhouse bedroom in Maryland. The headboard is tall and stately; the American Flag makes a real statement at the foot of the bed, and the remainder of the furnishings are understated. The antique accent rug adds the perfect amount of pattern.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell.
I’ve never read a book like this before. If it hadn’t come from someone whose recommendations I hold in high regard, I doubt I ever would have approached it. The novel is kind of a piece of make-believe come to life. In Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl book, Gemma T. Leslie writes a series of Harry Potter-esque fan fiction stories about a young man named Simon Snow who attends Watford, an English school of magic. Fangirl introduces us to the stories of Simon Snow and his nemesis/roommate Baz and their years together at Watford. Carry On brings all those stories into conclusion as a standalone novel in which Baz and Simon finish their seventh and final year at Watford.
Upon beginning the book, I felt there was something I was missing because I’d never read Fangirl but Rainbow Rowell does a good job of filling in all the pieces you need to make this novel work on its own. Simon is a child without parents, raised in the nonmagical world (sound familiar? Remember, this is meant to be fan fiction) and is discovered by the head of Watford, where he is taken in. Simon is incredibly powerful but has almost no control over his power. Half the time his wand doesn’t even work. Other times, his spell will affect not only the person in front of him but everyone within a wide range.
Simon’s roommate is Tyrannus Basilton “Baz” Pitch. Simon’s pretty sure Baz is a vampire but can’t quite prove it. Either way, Baz has spent years trying to kill Simon and Simon can’t wait to be done with all that. I can’t say much more about the story without spoiling it but if you or a teen you know wants a book full of magic, monsters, and the occasional makeout session, Carry On is a wonderfully clever and enjoyable story.