Bedroom Design: Solar System Mobiles

Lately, I’ve been looking at solar system mobiles. Here are some of my favorites.

This one was created by Alanna George @ the Craft Nest from the Creatology Solar System Kit from Michaels. I love the fact that they painted the pieces themselves. It is one of those pieces I could see a kid holding onto long after they’ve outgrown the interest because it’s his/her work of art.

Here’s another do it yourself solar system by lady poppins. I like the stylized representation with the mixture of patterns bringing a lot interest to this piece.

Less personal, but more realistic for a non-crafty mom like myself is this motorized solar system that rotates the planets around a sun that you install as an overhead light color. It also comes with a 15-minute audio tour of the solar system.

Finally, for those who want scientific precision in their solar system mobile, this one from Edmund Scientifics has planets that follow their actual orbit paths as they spin independently of one another.

Don’t forget that the Lyrid Meteor Shower peaks the night on April 22, 2013. Get outside and watch Nature’s own mobile show.

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Bedtime Stories: The Mouse and the Motorcycle

Post by Mark T. Locker.

The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.

Keith is an only child on a road trip with his parents. His prized belonging, which he has carried with him all over the place, is his collection of toy cars and, especially, his toy motorcycle.

Ralph is a young mouse living in a knothole at a hotel with his family. When Keith moves in to Ralph’s room, Ralph cannot help but admire the shiny chrome motorcycle which is just the right size for a mouse. Unfortunately, during a surreptitious test drive, Ralph gets startled and tumbles, cycle and all, into the garbage can. When the boy discovers Ralph, he is sure that’s the end of him but what do you know? Keith is actually super nice! He even shows Ralph how to make the motorcycle drive! Thus begins the friendship and adventures in Beverly Cleary’s classic story.

I began reading this to my son a week ago, partly because he will be attending the Beverly Cleary elementary school next year. It’s a great book to read out loud to kids: nice short chapters and nothing too complex going on. I love coming to the end of a chapter and hearing: “Can we read just one more chapter, please??” Music to a librarian’s/father’s ears.

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Things We Like: Allergy-Proofing Your Bedroom

Post by Kyle St. Romain.

As many seasonal allergy sufferers already know, spring is well underway. While I welcome the warm sunshine and longer days, I’ve had my fair share of allergies to contend with (and expect a few more bouts before summer is here). To help you make it through this year’s wave of pollen, I’ve put together four tips to help you transform your bedroom into an allergy-free haven.

1.    If you like flowers, get a printed comforter cover.

Flowers are a wonderful way to show your friends and love ones that you’re thinking about them; however, they can be a real bother on your allergies. If you have a bouquet of fresh flowers, keep them where everyone can enjoy them (not your bedroom). You should also avoid certain types of flowers such as daisies and sunflowers, as these are two of the worst types of flowers for allergy sufferers.

2.    Keep up with your pets’ hygiene, and keep them out of the bedroom.

If you keep a pet in your home and are allergic to him/her, then you absolutely must keep your pet out of the bedroom. Bedding has an uncanny way of trapping allergens that can be especially difficult to get rid of once they’re lodged in there. To help cut down on allergens throughout the house, you should also give your pet a bath regularly, wash its bedding, and consider using a HEPA filter on your vacuum to be sure you’re trapping as much of your pet’s allergens as possible during regular household cleaning.

3.    Give your mattress a deep clean.

While you probably wash your sheets regularly, when is the last time you cleaned your mattress? Mattresses collect more dust, dirt and debris than you’d care to think about, and a dirty mattress can aggravate your allergies or cause other respiratory problems. A quick and easy way you can clean your mattress is by sprinkling baking powder (which helps trap moisture and smells) over the top and then sucking it back up with a vacuum cleaner attachment. In addition to cleaning your mattress, you should also flip it or rotate it regularly to ensure even wear (and give yourself another reason to clean it). For dirtier mattresses, you can use a handheld steamer. Finally, don’t forget to clean under the bed—it’s one of the dust bunnies’ favorite places to hide.

4.     Invest in an air purifier.

I’m a big advocate of air purifiers, and for good reason: they are an effective way to circulate clean air throughout your home. They trap allergens, dust, and can even kill viruses and bacteria. I wrote an article a couple months back explaining the differences between the types of air purifiers for the bedroom. Just a quick reminder: an easy way to compare air purifiers is by their CADR rating, and cost of replacement filters.

By reducing allergens in the bedroom, you can create a much more enjoyable environment for your body to restore itself every night. Do you have any tips for allergy sufferers this season? Let us know in the comments below.

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Breakfast in Bed: Bacon Biscuit Pie

Post by Alison Hein

My greatest inheritance from my maternal grandmother Emily is a pile of frayed newspaper clippings, notebooks, and handwritten, yellowed recipes. I take them out occasionally for inspiration, or for a good chuckle over popular recipes from the 1940s. But sometimes I find them frustrating – Grandma, is this page permanently marked for Glazed Baked Apples or Peach Cobbler? Who were you writing to in your handwritten Starlight Double-Delight Cake recipe when you wrote “Good luck, Little Mother”? Or were YOU the Little Mother?

Well, this time I hit paydirt when leafing through Heckers’ Household Hints. In addition to loads of great tips (e.g. – to take the place of a paper clip, go to the sewing cabinet for a dress-snap), I found many inspiring recipe ideas. Heckers’ suggests making a “Home Prepared Flour” to store in the fridge. Then, when time avails, use it to create a variety of yummy choices such as Pineapple Pom-Poms, Orange Fluff Cake, or Aunt Hattie’s Sugar Cookies. It was the Cheese Bacon Shortcake, though, that won me over. Modified, modernized and renamed for my fellow blogger friend, Bacon Biscuit (take a look at her great blog, coolcookstyle.com, I’m pretty sure the layers of crumbly, cheesy, buttery bacon-topped biscuit will grab you too. Thanks Grandma, for an inspirational breakfast in bed.

Ingredients
2 cups unbleached white flour
2 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 ¼ cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 uncooked bacon strips, cut in half

Preparation
Preheat oven to 450°. Lightly grease pie pan and set aside. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. Cut butter into small pieces and mix with flour, using a pastry cutter if you like, until mixture resembles coarse sand. Stir vinegar into milk. Pour all at once into flour mixture, and stir until just mixed.


Roll out and press a little more than half the dough into a pie dish. Brush with melted butter and cover evenly with cheese. Pat or roll out the remaining dough into a circle slightly large enough to cover the bottom layer. Place on top of cheese. Place bacon strips on top, radiating out from the center in a star-like pattern. Bake at 450° until bacon is crisp and brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Serve immediately.

Makes one pie, about 8 servings.

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Bedroom Design: The White Room

Post by Erin Sears.

I love stuff. Accessories, accoutrement and adornment are some of my favorite words. More, more, more, pretty, pretty, pretty. No store left unshopped is my motto and you’d think I was part raven with my attraction to shiny things. Lately however, something has shifted for me and I want to feel unburdened by possessions. I think it may be the spring air. With the change in season, it’s time to throw open the windows, clean out the nooks and crannies and make everything new again. Gone are the layers of blankets on the bed. Fresh, crisp, clean and bright are my current adjectives.

There is something so simple, so beautiful about a white room. Bright yet calm, a white bedroom could be just the thing for spring. Here are some white rooms to get you started:


Source: http://www.johnmorrisarchitects.com/projects/larger-homes/174/new-england-farm

This room embodies the idea of fresh and clean. White walls, white bed, white duvet. Throw open the windows and you’re all set. Dreamy.


Source: http://http://bohodecochic.blogspot.ch/2012/02/un-loft-doble-altura.html

Now for something a little more Scandinavian. If you’ve got a modern heart, this is the white room for you. Adding small touches of color in the form of a throw, some decorative pillows or even your favorite outfit will really pop on a canvas of white. Faux fur rugs can be a year round fixture in any room. Your feet will thank you.


Source: http://thecrossdesign.com/blog/news/stephanies-home-in-style-at-home-magazine/attachment/vogler_1579/

I love the textural juxtaposition of the crisp white tufted headboard and this elegant wallpaper. Don’t be afraid to mix and match white and off-white tones until you get a rich and pleasing combination.

Your bedroom should be a haven for rest and relaxation. This season, try toning things down with white and limiting your accessories to the things you love most. May you have sweet dreamy dreams!

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