Bedtime Stories: Mythical Beasts

Children’s Book of Mythical Beasts and Magical Monsters by DK Publishing.

What better image to carry off with you into your dreams than that of a witch’s house running around on chicken legs? Or the picture of human skin falling to the floor as the werewolf emerges? Maybe not everyone prefers these as their parting shots from consciousness, but I know one kid who is more than happy to.

To be fair, not every story in here is scary or creepy. There are stories about Ananzi the spider, of African lore, or Native American tales of the Thunderbird which was, incidentally, my high school mascot.

There are stories about tricksters from all corners of the globe, tales of the underworld, heaven, and everything in between. If you dig the Greeks, you’ll find them here as well. Aztecs more your thing? Look no further! Full of original illustrations as well as historic art from around the world, this is a great introduction to mythical creatures as well as stories of quests and battles.

Now some of this book is rather creepy, so if you are not into spooky stuff, you may want to put this away until you are a little bit older. But if you like a little shiver, then by all means pick this one up!

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Bedroom Design: Invite Nature Into Your Room

Post by Stephanie Noble.

Five weekends in a row have been taken by blizzard winds and piles of snow. I know my state is not alone in this pattern. And I know I am not the only person waiting for the world to defrost so my family and I can get outside. I swear, next year we are taking up a winter sport just to keep cabin fever at bay.

Until it’s safe to head outside for a hike that doesn’t require ice crimps, I’m determined to bring some nature into our bedroom.

Some ideas.

Place a few of the rocks my son gathers for me into one of the corners of the tub. That way I can place them under the water and pretend that I am in my kayak.

Instead of a regular houseplant, I think a Tabletop garden could be fun. To learn more about indoor gardening check out Michelle Slatalla’s blog.

I lived in Sweden for a couple of years. Not only did I pick up the habit of turning my face to the sun and basking in its warmth every chance I get, but, I also fell in love with Easter Branches. Not to be confused with Easter Brunches. You gather branches, glue feathers on them and then hang wooden eggs, small birds and anything else that strikes your spring fancy. Having one of these in creations in your bedroom is a good reminder that even if the groundhog was wrong about how long it would take, spring will still arrive soon.

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Breakfast in Bed: Nail Salon Easter Bread

Post by Alison Hein.

Caution! Your secrets are not safe with me. I have been known to sneak into restaurant kitchens and accost people in grocery stores in the quest to uncover their families’ culinary treasures.

I finagled this delightful Easter Bread recipe from a trusting soul encountered while getting a mani / pedi. It was quite impressive how my new friend remembered the ingredients and quantities. I silently recited the instructions over and over until my nails dried, then raced home to jot them down.

This method of bread-baking intrigued me. Normally, one would let the yeast activate, unmolested, while readying the remaining ingredients. I worried that the bread would not rise properly with too much disturbance of the yeast. This recipe also calls for no second rise of the dough, another surprise. Nevertheless, after fiddling with the methods and metrics (my silent recitations may have been flawed), I managed to produce a lovely golden braided ring. Lightly sweet and dense with a hint of vanilla, this stolen Easter Bread is pure pleasure when warm and daubed with butter.

Jazz it up by tucking a few colored eggs into the center of your circle – a lush adornment for your holiday table, or your breakfast tray.

Ingredients
4¼ cups flour
1 packet rapid rise yeast
1 cup milk
1 stick butter
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation
Add two cups of flour to food processor. Sprinkle yeast on top of flour. Put milk, butter, sugar and salt into heavy saucepan and heat over medium heat until just melted. Pour milk mixture into food processor and pulse a few times. Add two eggs, vanilla and remaining 2¼ cups of flour to food processor. Pulse until dough starts to ball and pulls away from sides.

Turn dough out onto floured board, and separate into three equal pieces. Roll and stretch each piece into a long rope, about 30 inches long. Loosely braid dough ropes into a circle, and place in a circular pan (I use a 10-inch diameter cake pan). Allow to rise in a warm place, covered, for about one hour, until almost doubled in size. Beat remaining egg and lightly brush over top of risen dough. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes until golden on top. Tuck a few colored eggs in the center of the ring, if you like. Let cool at least 20 minutes before slicing.

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Things We Like: Charles P Rogers’ Hurricane Sandy Relief Campaign


Post by Kyle St. Romain.

Last week, we introduced you to our upcoming campaign to raise money and awareness for victims of Hurricane Sandy. Since today marks the official start of the campaign, we want to share some more information about the cause, and what you can do to show your support.

Charles P Rogers’ Big Yellow Truck

The Big Yellow Truck is a big component of our Hurricane Sandy Campaign Relief campaign, and we want to share a little more about what the Big Yellow Truck is.

Charles P Rogers’ big yellow truck is actually a big yellow bus. Originally manufactured by Fageol Motors, The Big Yellow Truck started out as a 1953 Twin Coach and has since been restored and repurposed into a Charles P Rogers icon. Doesn’t she look great!?

If you see the truck parked in the city, don’t be afraid to stop by and check it out. In addition to getting up-close and personal with this sweet vintage ride, Charles P Rogers also donated $1 to the Red Cross – Jersey Coast Chapter for every picture of visitors with the truck tweeted or RT CharlesPRogers. &#160;You can follow <a href="http://www.twitter.com/charlesprogers">CharlesPRogers on Twitter for updates on where you can find The Big Yellow Truck in the city.

 AD Home Design Show

As part of our Hurricane Sandy Relief Campaign, Charles P Rogers brought the Big Yellow Truck to Architectural Digest’s 12th Annual Home Design Show. It ran from Friday March 22 – Sunday March 24. It was located at Pier 94, 55th Street at Twelfth Avenue.

At the AD Home Design Show folks not only have a great photo op with the Big Yellow Truck, but they got to explore some of the latest products and trends emerging in the world of home design. With over 420 exhibitors representing 500+ brands, thousands came to find inspiration for your next home design project. We can’t wait to check it out! You can get more information about this event here.

Stay tuned next week for more updates on The Big Yellow Truck and what you can do to support the Hurricane Sandy Relief Campaign.

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Bedtime Stories: Avatar: the art of the animated series

Post by Mark T. Locker.

Avatar the Last Airbender: the art of the animated series by Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino.

Before reading this book, you may have some homework to do. Specifically, if you have not yet watched all 54 episodes of Nickelodoen’s Avatar: the Last Airbender, then you’d better get cracking! Let me be clear: this is about the animated series, NOT—I repeat—NOT the M. Night Shyamalan catastrophe based on the cartoon.

So, as you all know, the cartoon is about Aang, the last Airbender, on a quest to defeat the Fire Nation who has overtaken the world through fear and violence. This book is for people who can’t get enough of Avatar. My kid is one of those people; so is my wife, come to think of it. Included is this book is a look behind the scenes at the art of the animated series. There are oodles of sketches, portraits of versions of the characters in different outfits, parades of all the different creature encountered in their world.

There are also a lot of interesting little stories included about the creation of the show and the response from the public. For example, did you know that the episode “Appa’s Lost Days” won the Genesis Award from the Humane Society of the United States in the category “Outstanding Children’s Programming”? Well, now ya know!

So set aside about 24 hours, watch the whole stinkin’ series (it’s for kids, but it’s pretty good!)


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