Movies in Bed: Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Post by Josh Zinn.

Hello, dear readers! While being under the weather and incapacitated this past week has taught me an enormous amount about life, the immune system, and my undying love of apple crisp, perhaps nothing has resonated more with me than this revelation:

Though I am by all means a homebody, I am by no means a housewife.

I realized this specific distinction whilst watching an 8-hour marathon of Bravo TV’s “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” this past weekend. There, in that gilded cage known as reality television, Botoxed women with breasts, Birkin bags, and bucks a’plenty show little regard for sanity, sobriety, or civility as they compete amongst themselves for the adoration of a tweeting fan base. As I unceasingly observed them from the comfort of my bed/infirmary, their tantrums over issues such as petty gossip, suicide, book deals, and the loss of one’s husband to Leann Rimes began to really hit home with me, disrobing me of the veil of judgment I was all too happy to wear in their honor.

Now, mind you, I have never lost a lover to a country chanteuse. For that matter, I’ve never been to rehab, had a former career as a dancer on Club MTV, nor have I willingly injected anything into my face—unless you count that time in 1988 when I made my Mom take me to Claire’s Boutique to get my ears pierced because I wanted to look like George Michael. What I do know all too well, however, is the unyielding pressure of scandal, sass, and scintillation that accompanies a personality too big—too glamorous, really—for everyday life to contain on its own.

Instead, it must be documented for the world to see!!

Therefore, I decided to attempt to become a housewife for a day. Here’s how it went:

7:30AM – Wake up. No one is waiting for me with a bathrobe. I have to make my own coffee. It’s too cold. Have to microwave it. Now it tastes like the Tikka Masala leftovers we had a couple of days ago.
9:00AM – Thought about exercising. That was fun. Watched a cooking show instead.
10:00AM – Gonna get into the shower now. Oh, wait… The View is on.
11:00AM – I still haven’t talked to anyone today. My better half is STILL asleep. I’m still thinking about exercising, but now it seems like a chore and I’ve already unloaded the dishwasher, so that’s more than enough for the day.
1:00PM – I ate an apple. Because I was feeling naughty, I had it with peanut butter. Thank goodness all my blinds are closed or the paparazzi might see me awkwardly slumping here on my couch.
2:00PM – Finally left the house to buy toilet paper, deodorant, and groceries and noticed that there are an inordinate amount of children out on the streets. Oh god, it’s a holiday. That’s it. I’m going back home. The hummus can wait.
4:30PM – Wish I had bought that hummus.
6:00PM – Just watched a documentary on North Korea and followed that with one on Bigfoot. Two mysterious entities no one knows much about. I’m already in my pajamas.
8:00PM – Maybe I’ll call my editor. He’s not answering. I leave a message that makes me sound morose when, in fact, I’m really just bored.
9:00PM – I love my DVR, but I’ve seen all of these episodes of Four Weddings already. I have a moment of hating myself for allowing this to actually be a problem, but the angst is extinguished by my decision to watch that DVD of My Super Sweet 16 I procured from my parents’ house.
11:00PM – I can’t believe how stuck up and lazy all those girls are! Maybe I’ll not move for another half hour and watch another episode…
11:30PM – I just opened a bag of chocolate chips and ate a handful because we have nothing sweet in the house.
11:35PM – I eat another handful, but try to put too many in my mouth at once and a bunch of chocolate chips fall onto the floor. I’ll sweep them up tomorrow.
12:00AM – I guess I should go to bed. All this glamour has tuckered me out. Dangit, I forgot to make the bed and the sheet is somehow twisted in a knot and on the floor. Life is so hard!
12:15AM – The walls of my apartment are thin and the reclusive neighbor next to me snores really loudly. It’s like he’s reaching out for a friend, but deep down I know he isn’t.
12:30AM – Maybe my coffee will taste like coffee tomorrow. Good night.

As you can see, dear readers, while this day was action-packed, it nonetheless lacks that certain “something” that makes a housewife a HOUSEWIFE. Thank goodness, then, for Bravo’s bevy of beauties and their critical role as spokeswomen for the secret stars in all of us. In-between all those times I was vomiting into a paper bag, they made this weekend a real winner.

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Bedroom Design: Contemporary vs. Modern vs. Traditional Design

Post by Kyle St. Romain.

While most people have a general idea of the way they want their bedroom to look, many use the wrong words when trying to describe this vision to other people. While minor differences in terminology go mostly unnoticed when talking amongst friends, the same words carry distinctly different meanings to professionals in the design community. To help you nail down the terminology, we’re going to discuss contemporary, modern, and traditional design and the main differences between each.

Contemporary Design

Contemporary design, also called transitional design, can be described as a mix of modern and traditional design. Unlike modern design, which describes a specific style from a particular era, contemporary design embodies what is “in” today. Indeed, the word contemporary means “with the time, “or “modern, characteristic of the present.” Contemporary can even be further described in terms of its geography. Thus, today’s contemporary design in California may be very different from today’s contemporary design in New York.

Some of the cornerstone elements found in contemporary design today include shiny, reflective surfaces like glass and stainless steel. Contemporary furniture is a bit bulkier and more rounded than modern furniture, but is more minimalistic than traditional furniture. Contemporary design often features very artistic lighting fixtures, which are commonly used as the statement piece in a room.

Modern Design

Modern and contemporary design are often confused and while they are similar, modern design refers to a specific era of design while contemporary design changes with the present. Modern design refers to an era of design from the mid 20th Century (1920s – 1970s) and many of the most famous furniture pieces and designers from this era are referred to as 20th Century Classics. Modern design incorporates clean lines, bright and open spaces, and the use of natural materials. During the mid 20th century, the idea of “form follows function” was prominent, and you’ll find that modern furniture is surprisingly comfortable—even if it doesn’t look like it will be.

Traditional Design

While it’s rare to confuse traditional design with modern or contemporary design, it’s important to briefly hit on traditional design since contemporary design often blends traditional with modern.

Traditional design often uses heavy, bold furnishings with rich earth tone colors such as brown, gold, or dark green. Traditional design is very ornate also, for example: claw foot chairs and embellished four post beds. Traditional pieces draw their inspiration from 18th and 19th century Europe. If you can picture it in a castle, it is likely traditional.

So there you have it: a brief introduction to contemporary, modern, and traditional design. Understanding the differences between these design styles, especially modern and contemporary, is important when describing your vision to interior designers, furniture sales people, and other members of the design community. As always, the best way to get a feel for design is to see how other people have done it.

What type of style do you like? What elements do you feel distinguishes these different design styles? Let us know in the comments below.

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Breakfast in Bed: Danny’s Egg White Omelet with Wilted Spinach and Grilled Tomatoes


Post by Alison Hein

Facebook. That’s how I got reacquainted with my good friend Danny. We live miles apart and haven’t seen each other for years. In my mind, Danny is still that tall, gangly teenager with the easy smile and friendly style. Except that he’s not. Well, I’m pretty sure he’s still friendly, and I hope that he smiles often, but he’s certainly not gangly anymore.

Dan recently messaged me: “In 2012, a health coach friend helped me take control of my dietary habits, and now I feel better than I have in years. So, I am starting 2013 with a new commitment to help others make more healthful decisions about food and exercise.”

After a further exchange of messages, Dan shared the following: “For two decades, I worked first in retail, then in radio. Then, an awful thing happened – I got my first desk job. I sat, and sat, and sat some more. I also gained, and gained, and gained until I was 75 pounds overweight.”


Dan is committed to his weight loss journey, and has lost 25 pounds so far. It’s enough to allow him to walk a mile or two without losing his breath, and enough that his self-esteem has returned from exile.

You go, Danny! Kudos for your hard work and commitment to helping others! Here’s a light and healthy Egg White Omelet named in your honor. Fresh vegetables and nature’s pure flavors make this an enjoyable, healthy breakfast in bed. So relax, fuel up, then go out and do something exciting to post to Facebook. ☺

Ingredients
Olive oil cooking spray
1 ripe but firm tomato
1 cup loosely packed fresh baby spinach
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon water
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation
Spray a grill pan with cooking spray and heat on high. Cut tomato into thick slices. Place on hot pan and cook until tomato is softened (and grill-marked) but still firm, about 1 minute on each side. Set aside and keep warm.

Liberally spray a small, heavy pan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Place baby spinach leaves in pan and cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low. Whisk egg whites with water until frothy. Add eggs to heated pan and allow to cook slowly and gently, folding over around wilted spinach. Push back edges and let uncooked egg whites flow underneath. Cook until egg whites are set, but still glossy, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Fold in half and gently slide onto serving plate. Top with grilled tomato slices and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Makes 1 serving.

See Dan’s facebook page if you are interested in learning more about his journey and commitment to helping others – http://www.facebook.com/Coach.Rudt

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Bedroom Design:We ♥ Valentine Pillows

Post by Stephanie Noble.

The first rule of any design show makeover of a bedroom is more pillows! Not just the pillows you rest your head on while you sleep, but ambiance pillows of varying shapes, textures and patterns.

I’ll admit to being a reformed pillow fanatic. I wanted my bedroom to look like a hotel room every time I walked in. But, with a long commute, a full time job, a 19 month old son and a never ending stream of laundry to fold; my husband and I are lucky if the bed gets made. There is simply no time for complex pillow schemes. So we’ve streamlined our cushion display to three sleeping pillows each and a turquoise satin embroidered pillow. My great grandmother started the pillow in the 1920s. My grandmother worked on it at some point during the 1960s and my aunt finished it in the 1990s.  This family treasure is the only decorative pillow in our cushion lineup.

That’s not to say I do not notice other pillows. I do, all the time. They are such a quick and easy way to freshen up a room. They’re also an easy nod to a holiday without going overboard.  Although, I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day, I’ll admit to being attracted to Valentine pillows. Here are a few of my favorites.

These Scrabble-inspired pillows are all over Etsy.

 


This personalized tree initials pillow cover is available in five colors from Red Envelope.

 


This love postcard pillow cover is available online only from Pottery Barn.

It’s not too late to add a Valentine flair to your room.

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Bedtime Stories: Mr. and Mrs. Bunny—Detectives Extraordinaire!

Post by Mark T. Locker.

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny—Detectives Extraordinaire! by Polly Horvath.

This is one of the silliest books I have read in a while. It was very refreshing. And it’s not just silly in the random insert-something-arbitrary-and-silly-here kind of book; it was actually, literally laugh out loud funny. Just ask my wife! Polly Horvath is enormously talented at writing subtle humor that children and adults alike will laugh at.

Madeleine is a smart girl with some utterly useless, kinda dumb parents. So when they go missing, she knows she must find them, because they are pretty much helpless without her. Her only clues are a letter signed “The Enemy” and a coded card with reference to rabbits and rabbit by-products. Spoiler alert: it’s foxes.

Luckily, Madeleine meets Mr. and Mrs. Bunny just when they had decided to buy fedoras so they could be detectives. Mr. and Mrs. Bunny have never detected before. Madeleine worries that she may be putting too much faith in them, not because they are new in the game but because they are bunnies. What Madeleine quickly learns is that the Bunnys are the closest she will come to being cared for and loved. And that marmots are very stupid and very fond of the Olde Spaghetti Factory. (These two points are not related. Probably.) Mr. and Mrs. Bunny are charming and adorable. I would love to be adopted by them.

Poignant, funny, action-packed, this book can be read by even as slow a reader as me in just a couple days. It’s well worth it!

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