Tag Archives: bedroom
Post by Alison Hein.
Sometimes it’s the simplest things in life that bring the greatest pleasure. With no more than one egg, a slice of bread, and a dab of butter, you can make a breakfast that satisfies salt, fat and carb cravings in one fell swoop. Start by dipping the crisp, butter-soaked toast center neatly into the warm, golden yolk for a perfect first bite, or save it – for the last joyful crunch.
I first learned about this wonderful dish when I was just knee-high. My mother, a big movie buff, learned to make Egg in a Nest by watching Claudette Colbert in the 1947 comedy film The Egg and I. We watched that funny film together countless times, and afterward, Mom would always make some for us. (You can see the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8z_kOuAG0w.)
You may know Egg in a Nest by another name. The list is quite long: Toad in a Hole; Egg in a Basket; One Eye; Birdie’s Nests; One-Eyed Egyptian Mummies; Rocky Mountain Squattled Eggs; Gas House Eggs; Cowboy Pancakes… who knows? Perhaps you call it something else?
Such an uncomplicated dish easily lends itself to all sorts of variations – serve it over a bed of wilted greens, or top with a slice of Canadian bacon. Melt some Swiss cheese on top of the egg near the end of cooking, or sprinkle with a dash of parmesan. Or just keep it plain ala Claudette Colbert for a simple breakfast in bed.
1 – 2 tablespoons butter
1 slice bread (I like sourdough)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Melt about 1 tablespoon of butter in a large, heavy pan over medium heat. In the meantime, cut a round hole in the center of the bread using a knife, cookie cutter or the rim of a glass. Place bread and cut-out center in pan and toast to a light golden color, about 1 minute. Flip bread and round center, adding more butter as needed. Crack egg into center of bread slice and reduce heat to medium low. Continue to cook, another 1 to 2 minutes. When egg white is almost set, cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid to finish, about 1 minute longer. If you prefer, you may choose to carefully flip the bread / egg combo for an over-easy egg. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Makes 1 serving.
Post by Kyle St. Romain.
Choosing the right pillow can be a timely and expensive endeavor, roiled with many restless nights’ sleep. That is, until you find the right one. I personally have a closet of pillows that don’t quite work for me; a constant reminder of the work I’ve done (and money I’ve spent) in pursuit of bedtime nirvana.
To help expedite your search for the best pillow, I’ve gone over some of the basics of choosing the right pillow in a previous post right here on the Charles P Rogers blog. That post details some of the basics of pillow construction, and the general types of pillows that are best suited to your sleep style. Once armed with that knowledge, the only thing left is to go to test out a bunch of different pillows in person. This can be a tiresome task, especially if your current pillow hasn’t been giving you the best night’s sleep. However, there may be a shortcut to your pillow hunt if you find yourself staying at New York City’s Benjamin Hotel.
A quick review of their website, and you’ll find that The Benjamin holds sleep paramount. So much that they offer a sleep guarantee, which promises, “you’ll sleep just as well at The Benjamin as you do at home, or we’ll give you a free night’s stay.” This is a pretty bold statement for a hotel in the middle of the city that never sleeps, though you may discover that you’ll sleep better at The Benjamin than you ever have at home thanks to their robust sleep program.
The sleep guarantee, however, is merely a backstop to The Benjamin’s full sleep program. At the forefront is the pillow menu: a selection of 12 pillows ranging from a 5-foot body cushion, to buckwheat and hypoallergenic pillows, all the way to water-filled pillows. I’ve never tried a water pillow before, but am intrigued by the idea. You can view the complete pillow menu here.
And if you’re having trouble making a selection from the pillow menu, there is even a dedicated sleep concierge to help. The sleep concierge will assess your sleep habits, recommend one of the pillows from the menu, and even send up bedtime snacks or schedule you for specific spa services that can help you achieve the best night’s rest you’ve ever had. Wow!
In any case, I think the idea of a pillow menu is a pretty cool, especially if you have yet to find the perfect bridge between your head and the mattress. Throw in snacks and customized sleep programs, and you’ve got all the ingredients for a great night’s sleep. I also wonder if there are companies that provide personalized sleep assessments in your home – a sleep consultant? I know I’d be game to give them a try, especially if the service came with a guarantee!
Post by Kyle St. Romain.
This week I’ll introduce you to a sleep tip that many of you are probably aware of, but do not practice: keeping the phone (and other electronics) away from the bed.
I often think, as do a lot of people I meet, that sleeping with the cell phone, tablet, or other electronic device by the bed is bad for sleep. Why? Because, with your phone at an arm’s length away, we are constantly tempted to check our email or read an excessive amount of news before bed—electronics enable the insomniac in all of us. To help reduce the negative consequences of sleeping in an ever-connected, 24/7 world, I’ve put together three steps to help you get the good night’s sleep you’ve been craving.
Step One: Turn The Screen Off
The first way that electronics affect sleep is by exposing us to unnaturally bright light after. Light inhibits the body’s release of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep. This is a natural reaction, and is what helps our bodies stay awake during the daytime; however, when you introduce artificial light after the sun has gone down, your body is tricked into thinking it should still be awake. We all have different light sensitivities, and I didn’t notice the effect until I started reading under a full-spectrum light. While it helped with Seasonal Affective Disorder (the winter blues), it kept me wide-awake and alert far past my bedtime—more than any amount of coffee ever could.
I touched on this idea a while back in an article about color shifting your computer screen for better sleep. This little trick not only helps alleviate eyestrain, but it also helps your body prepare for sleep.
To further resolve this problem, try setting an electronics curfew for yourself. All you need to do is have the discipline to cut out your use of electronics 60 to 90 minutes before you go to sleep. Easier said than done, I know.
Step Two: Eliminate Distractions
Even if our bodies didn’t respond to bright lights, electronics affect us psychologically with the media they display. Have you ever found yourself unable to sleep after a scary movie? It’s likely due to the adrenaline your body produces in its natural fight-or-flight reaction.
Eliminating stress and anxiety triggers before sleep should help your mind stay calm and collected—an essential ingredient for a good night’s rest. So even if you can’t pry yourself away from watching another episode of your favorite show or reading that last-minute email, save the stressful stuff for the morning.
Step Three: Move Your Electronics Away From The Bed
If you’ve been unable to get that restorative sleep you’ve been aiming for, the problem might be sitting right next to you. And even if you aren’t actively using electronics before bed, they can still disrupt your sleep. Anything electronic produces electromagnetic radiation (EMR), which affects your body’s production of melatonin and serotonin. EMR is also thought to make us more sensitive to the fight-or-flight state, which is otherwise caused by psychological triggers like a scary movie or an upsetting email. This is known as the “wired-and-tired” effect, and is one of the reasons we find ourselves awakening from a long sleep, but still feeling exhausted.
To reduce your exposure to EMR, try moving your electronics as far away from the bed as possible. While it may take a few weeks, or even months to see results, the long-term benefits will be well worth it. After all, there is nothing natural about sleeping next to a cell phone.
Post by Kyle St. Romain.
As you can probably tell, I get a bit of wanderlust during the summer. After all, we are ingrained from childhood to expect three fun-filled months of vacation every year. In our adult years, we can’t let little details like work, bills, and other responsibilities get in the way. Am I Right? In any case, it never hurts to daydream a little bit.
My daydreams recently led me to a novel place heralded as “world’s deepest hotel room.” Located in the depths of Sweden’s Sala Silver mine, the aptly named “Mine Suite” (not to be confused with the Hotel Mine Suite in Istanbul) offers a truly unique sleeping experience.
Mining first began in the Sala Silver Mine in the 1400s and continued until 1908. Operations resumed briefly in the mid 1900s, and the mine is open now only as a museum/tourist attraction with sleeping accommodations to boot. The mine is said to be one of the best preserved of its kind in the world. Enough about history though, let’s get back to the underground room…
The Mine Suite is about 500 feet underground (155 meters) and will set you back somewhere in the neighborhood of 3890 Krona/night ($575 USD). It’s depth and location makes it one of my ideal sleeping environments: cold (be sure to bundle up, temperatures have been known to get down to a brisk 35°F), damp, dark, and downright awesome. Reading through travelers’ reviews, you’ll find that some of the drawbacks are that the bathroom is located outside of the suite itself, and showers are only available on the surface. Better plan accordingly.
If the Mine Suite is as much of a budget breaker for you as it is me, there are also more affordable rooms available on the surface, starting at 460 Krona/night ($68 USD). I’m sure either accommodation provides an exciting experience.
As a guest at the Sala Silver mine, you’ll also gain access to guided tours through the labyrinths of underground tunnels dug over the years. Guest reviews unanimously agree.
So what are you waiting for? The summer’s about half way over, and it’s fine time you started planning your next adventure. And if your travels take you to Sweden don’t miss the chance to see this man made wonder.
Post by Felix and Mark Locker.
Happy holiday weekend! In honor of big explosions and things overtly American, my son has brought you the following review for an explosion-riddled explosionfest, starring Captain America! Ladies and gentlemen, a brief and meandering recap of the Avengers, now showing on Netflix and Amazon Prime!
The Avengers are Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Captain America. (He totally forgot Captain America.)
The propellor got broken and Iron Man fixed it. I guess so!
Thor and Hulk got in a fight. And Thor took Loki. Loki is a bad guy. He puts people under his control.
Black Widow was with Hulk when Hulk was just a human.
My favorite Avenger is Iron Man because he has an iron suit. But my really favorite is Captain America because he can throw a shield and it comes back to his hand. The same thing with Thor, but with a hammer. (It’s remarkable that Captain America is his “favorite” (he totally isn’t) when he couldn’t even remember him earlier!)
That’s pretty much the movie in a nutshell! I like it because it’s written by Joss Whedon, who could make a phonebook sound funny and ironic.
Go watch it!