What do a Rhodesian ridgeback and a pot-bellied pig have in common? More than just alliterative names, apparently. It seems they can become best buddies. Perhaps you have heard of Owen and Mzee, the grumpy tortoise and his little hippo buddy. And of course there is Coco the gorilla and his cat friend. But there are apparently all kinds of unusual animal friend match-ups out there! A lion, tiger and bear? Oh my! A baby oryx and a lion? Who would have thought?
This book tells the brief stories of 47 different unusual animal pairings. They are all sweet, some downright bizarre. Each story is short enough that you can read one or two, alone or out loud, as a lovely little icing on storytime.
Lately, when I’m not flying to exotic ports of call in an attempt to heal the world in the memory of Michael Jackson, I’ve taken to relaxing by watching simple shows of fun and frivolity. One of my favorite programs of recent has been a little show on MTV called “Friendzone”. Let’s take a look at it, shall we?
Now, dear readers, I can already hear your cries of protests and, yes, I understand the ennui you must be feeling. Believe me, until I too fell into the “Friendzone” I figured MTV was nothing more than a haven for hooligans, hipsters, and hussies. And you know what? It is. But, as a famous writer whose name may or may not slightly rhyme with the phrase “flannél feel” once said, “In the depths of despair, two hearts shine among the garbage heap.” Beautiful, and in the case of “Friendzone,” oh so true.
What “Friendzone” is is a show about bravery. It’s about shedding a cloak of despair, a corset of depression, and a vice of restrained emotion. Inside all of us, according to “Friendzone,” is a hopeless romantic longing to make a soul’s connection with those we hold closest to us. Yes, that’s right my love-struck lads and lasses, “Friendzone” is a show about hitting on your best friend.
Imagine, if you will, it’s another warm summer night in your small Nebraska town. As you try on the sheer top you recently purchased at Torrid and imbibe in a second cocktail of Mt. Dew and vodka, your gorgeous hunk of a friend Cody knocks on your door. Now, because you guys have been friends since middle school and because he is always there when you have to pick up a Saturday night shift at Sonic and need a last-minute babysitter, you’ve asked him over under the ruse that you’re going on a date tonight and need some friendly advice – Only, the trick here is that the date’s with him!
“Friendzone,” you see, is about taking that next step with the friend that’s been with you through everything. When you think about it, it’s really quite obvious. After all, why wouldn’t you want to lock lips with the person who held your hand when you got Tweetie Bird tattooed on your hip; was there to hold your hair back when you did one too many Jell-O shots in the parking lot of the dollar store; and who defended your honor by throwing his chili cheese fries on your ex-husband’s new girlfriend when she threatened to gouge your left eye out with her heels? “Friendzone’s” mission is to let us know that love is oftentimes staring us right in the face, but sometimes we need a nudge, a camera crew, and a signed release waiver in order for Cupid’s arrow to be let loose from its quiver of anticipation.
Of course, there are times when the “Friendzone” fails to unite two lovers. Sometimes, it seems, a friend is just a friend, even if they do like to rub your feet, always bring you Sour Cream and Onion Pringles, and spend more time at your place than the apartment they rent out in their Grandma’s basement. In cases like these, however, “Friendzone” makes it clear that we should applaud the bravery and tenacity of those for whom not even the risk of losing their Wednesday night nacho nibbling buddy can keep them away from the siren’s call of amour.
Straight, gay, white, black – to “Friendzone” it matters not. All that matters is that you take a chance on romance and risk having your colossal failure and uncomfortable heartbreak filmed for the whole world to see. If that isn’t a compelling reason to follow through with one’s desires, then maybe this world is a colder place than I thought.
With spring fast upon us, there is lots of work to be done. March is a fun-filled month full of things to do for everyone: organizers who have long anticipated spring cleaning; gardeners anxious to get their summer planting underway; families looking forward to time with loved ones during Easter; and interior designers who are ready to shed the dark, heavy fabrics of winter for something more bright and refreshing.
To help get your home in the spring of things, we’ve put together a list of some of the hot interior design trends for Spring 2013.
Spring 2013 interior design is heavily influenced by nature. Whether it’s in the form of earth-tone colors or the use of organic building materials, more and more designers are drawing inspiration from organic design elements. Materials like rough-cut hardwood floors, slate countertops, and weathered concrete building elements are examples of this natural, contemporary design trend. You can also incorporate natural/living décor, such as wall hanging plants, to bring a more natural feel to your space.
To contrast with your natural design elements, colors from the pastel palette provide the perfect pop. Check out Pantone’s 2013 fashion color trends to get a feel for the types of colors that are in season this spring. If you need help visualizing how to put the perfect color pallet together, Pantone has also compiled several complete color palettes so you can get a sense of how these colors work together.
Here’s a hint for next season: pay attention to the Neiman Marcus Spring Catalog, as many of the colors featured on their clothing are trendy in the interior design world as well.
Light fixtures have been prominent in interior design for the past few years, and that trend is expected to continue. Using contemporary light fixtures, or light fixtures that otherwise contrast with the rest of your room’s design, is a great way to spice up a room without having to redo everything. A lot of popular light fixtures today use the old-timey Edison bulbs, which add a cool retro feel and a warm glow to your space.
Quick Tip To Freshen Up Your Bedroom This Spring
If you don’t have the budget to redo your entire bedroom this spring, don’t worry. There are a number of ways you can dramatically change the look of your room without spending much time or money. An easy way to update your bedroom this spring is to buy a new comforter, or comforter cover.
Since the bed comforter is such a large piece of fabric that is prominently displayed in your bedroom, you’ll really get a lot of bang for your buck visually. Bonus points if you can find a new comforter that’s reversible! Lightweight comforters will also help keep you cooler in bed during the warm summer months, making this a very practical update.
Are you planning any interior design projects this spring? Let us know how your project is going in the comments below.
Albert Einstein once said, “Things should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler.” Take bacon and eggs, for example. If you’ve ever eaten undercrisped bacon and overcooked eggs you’ll know what I mean.
My husband, Kevin, makes the best bacon and eggs I’ve ever eaten. Turns out he once worked as a short order cook. So I asked him to make breakfast for me and watched carefully as he chopped, fried, and flipped. Here are the culinary secrets I uncovered:
-Timing is everything.
-Cook the bacon low and slow.
-Don’t crowd the eggs.
On the evening prior, Kevin baked a Russet potato tossed with olive oil and sea salt. In the morning, he got his hash browns going, then started slow-cooking the applewood bacon. Kevin made sure to turn the thick slices several times, keeping them nicely coated with bacon fat as they edged toward a crisped brown. Finally, he cracked the eggs right on the rim of the oversized cast iron frying pan, quickly, then dropped them in one at a time leaving plenty of space between them. After frying the eggs for a minute or two, he gave them a final flip, then cooked them a few seconds longer to over-easy perfection.
I helped him out by making some toast, and by savoring the absolute best kind of breakfast in bed imaginable – one made to order with love and care.
1 Russet potato, baked
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ teaspoon paprika
4 to 6 slices bacon
For the hash browns, lightly spray a medium-sized heavy frying pan with cooking spray and place on stove over medium heat. Coarsely chop baked potato, skin on, and place in pan. Add a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika. Cook over medium heat, turning occasionally and adding additional oil as necessary, until potatoes are golden and crispy, about 10 to 12 minutes. When done, turn heat to very low and keep warm.
Start the bacon right after the potatoes are seasoned. Spray a very large heavy frying pan with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Add bacon and cook steadily over medium heat, turning each slice several times, until bacon is browned and crisp, about 10 to 12 minutes. Monitor heat as necessary to keep bacon cooking evenly. Let bacon drain on paper towels, and keep warm until eggs are cooked.
To make eggs, carefully remove excess bacon fat from frying pan, and place back over medium heat. Crack eggs into pan one at a time, making sure to leave enough space between the eggs so the whites don’t run together. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Cook each egg until white is solid, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip egg and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Transfer eggs to plates and serve immediately.
For my English class during my semester abroad in London, we had to memorize two poems to recite to the class. The first I learned was “Home Thoughts from Abroad,” by Robert Browning. The second was “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” by William Wordsworth. Today my son found my pocket version of Wordsworth’s poems in my purse. It is just the right size for his toddler hands, so he has been carrying it around with him all day. Seeing it triggered the verses of the poem to play in my mind:
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze
Even though six inches of snow fell this weekend, Spring is just around the corner. I know because I saw the daffodils in the grocery store floral department. Even though they won’t push through the ground in our area for another month, knowing that the cheerful yellow trumpets will be arriving soon is enough to get me through the rest of March. Knowing that soon, the windows can be opened to let the winter mustiness out and be replaced with a feeling of rebirth.
Apparently, I am not the only one who appreciates yellow this time of year. Benjamin Moore has chosen Lemon Sorbet as its color of 2013. While the pastel yellow isn’t as strong as the daffodils hue, it is a subtle warming shade.