Movies in Bed: Dance Moms


Post by Josh Zinn.

Hello, dear readers! Rather than attempting to encapsulate the elaborate political and artistic machinations at play in any one episode of Lifetime Television’s “Dance Moms,” I thought it might be best to present you with a brief fictionalized dramatization of a recent scene that was broadcast. Some of the names have been changed, however it is nigh impossible to disguise the mistress of the dance herself. Ah, the perils of fame…

Scene:

Two women, Joanne and Stephanie, appear in the doorway of a studio at the Abby Lee Dance Academy. Recent divorcees, they exude an aura of ripe independence, its power mingling with the fragrant aroma of a fajita combo platter they recently split at their neighborhood Chili’s. Untamed and uninhibited in the way only those that drive Dodge Caravans can experience, these women no longer feel a need to please those around them. You might think they’re living life in a “devil may care fashion”, but honestly, these ladies don’t give a damn whether the devil cares or not!

Joanne - Oh dear, would you look at this spot? Some salsa must have gotten lost on the way to my mouth!

Stephanie - Oh no! Didn’t you just get that blouse? It’s so fab!

Joanne - Yep. Look what happens when SOMEONE twists my arm to order a second margarita!

Stephanie - Don’t point the finger at me. I’m not the one who said it was my birthday just so I could get a free brownie sundae. Naughty, naughty!

As the two friends giggle over their Mexican mishaps, a rotund woman, Abby Lee Miller, marches over to them. The owner of her namesake Academy, Abby has been working all morning with the women’s daughters in an attempt to prepare them for a national dance competition that is uniquely different from the national dance competition they attended the week prior as well as the week prior to that.

Things are NOT going well.

Abby - So, tell me this. Your daughters can be here. I can be here. But there’s some reason why neither of you could be here even though we’re going to nationals day after tomorrow and—at this point—neither of your daughters could dance their way out of a paper bag?

Joanne - Don’t you think that’s a little harsh, Abby? They’re little girls!

Abby - Well, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, apparently.

Stephanie - Don’t you dare say that you, b…

Abby - You’re really going to speak like that to me in front of your little girls? Don’t call me names, mommy. I have a whole wall of trophies. What do you have besides alimony and a bitter taste in your mouth? You’re not even a trophy wife anymore!

Joanne - That’s it, Abby! I don’t care what you have. None of us do! These are children! They’re supposed to be having fun and going to the mall with their friends. NOT spending their days listening to some angry cow tell them how untalented they are. I just don’t know how much longer I can be here. I am done here!

Stephanie - If she’s going, we’re going too. Just remember, Abby: You’re only as good as your girls and seeing as someone as huge as you could have never possibly been a girl, you aint doing so good.


Abby - That doesn’t make any sense. Girls, aren’t you embarrassed that your Moms have a drinking problem?


Joanne - How dare you?! We’re leaving!

Abby - There’s the door. See ya!! If you don’t want to be here, then leave! Just remember that we’ll be winning competitions while you and your kids are crying in your spinach dip.

And, thus, the eternal struggle continues unabated. As always, these questions remain: How does a woman reclaim her life when the life she lost to a man so long ago now exists primarily to foster the dreams of her child? How does a daughter remain untouched by age when the cruel realities of this earthbound plane (boys, slumber parties, One Direction) keep her from learning the steps to the latest jazz number? And how, pray tell, does a lonely, leather-faced dance instructor who looks like she hasn’t done a grande jeté in a coon’s age maintain an ego as boundless as the variety of Stouffer’s microwave meals she must surely adore? Perhaps the answer is…. there is no answer.

(deep)

Life, dear readers, is a mystery. Dance Moms is a really terrible show filled with terrible people doing terrible things that, somehow, is terribly addictive. Their similarities are uncanny.

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Things We Like: Hospitality Design Featured Our Organic Cotton Sheets

Post by Kyle St. Romain.

First off, I’d like to wish all the readers here at the Charles P Rogers Blog a Happy New Year! 2013 is going to be the best year yet! But before we can get started with the new, there is one important piece of news leftover from 2012 that we, at the Charles P Rogers blog, want to share with you.

In the December 2012 edition of Hospitality Design (p. 91), Charles P Rogers’ organic cotton sheets were once again featured as a comfortably green bedding choice; ideal for both home and hotel use. If you have yet to discover Charles P Roger’s organic cotton sheets, it’s about time you did.

Made with 100 percent organic cotton, our organic sheets are as comfortable as they are good for the environment. The cotton is grown using low impact farming techniques, which helps maintain soil fertility while reducing the amount of toxic chemicals sprayed onto the earth. Also, the use of natural farming methods means there aren’t any harmful pesticides and fertilizers found within your sheets, which can be a huge benefit for health conscious consumers and people with chemical sensitivities.

Finally, Charles P Rogers’ organic cotton sheets sheets are constructed with 300 single needle thread count and do not use ply yarns. This type of construction is the perfect balance between durability and comfort; two qualities you have likely come to expect from all of Charles P Rogers’ products.

If you’re resolving to live healthier and more environmentally conscious this year, consider organic bedding. Not only will you sleep better knowing you’re helping preserve your planet, you’ll also sleep better tucked snuggly under a fresh set of luxurious sheets.

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Breakfast in Bed: Italian PaneToast

Post by Alison Hein.

My husband and I were just leaving our favorite local Italian restaurant recently when the owner stopped us. “Merry Christmas!”, Antoinette said, as she raced after us and thrust a jaunty red-packaged Panettone in our direction. I happily accepted the gift, as the holiday season would be incomplete without at least one of these airy, fruit-filled sweet breads added to my holiday larder.

Sadly, the abundance of homemade temptations during this season – from cookies to chocolate to cheesecake – is often so overwhelming that the poor panettone may be overlooked. In this case, I will make French toast, or what I like to call Italian PaneToast.

Panettone is tall (6 to 7 inches) and is typically shaped like a chef’s toque. Its airy, angel food cake-like consistency comes from the long and slow rising process of the dough which can last several days. Traditional varieties include both dark and golden raisins, candied orange, citron and lemon zest. Less common types may include chocolate, chestnuts, or other types of fruit.

Open the package and a spicy citrus-vanilla scent is released. The panettone is so flavor-filled that only egg and milk are needed for the toast. (Well, maybe just a drop of alcohol, too, as it’s traditional to serve panettone with a sweet cordial. ;-)) Cut the bread in thick wedges – the sweet bread’s dough is so light and airy that the custardy toast browns to perfection in mere minutes.

There are many intriguing legends about the origin of panettone, from a nobleman posing as a pastry chef for love of a baker’s daughter, to a young kitchen assistant inventing the sweet bread when the chief cook had no Christmas dessert to offer. Start your own intriguing legend, with a new holiday tradition of Italian PaneToast breakfast in bed.

Ingredients
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tablespoon Frangelico or Amaretto (optional)
8 wedge-slices Panettone
2 to 4 tablespoons butter
Confectioner’s sugar, for garnish
Maple syrup

Preparation
In large, shallow bowl, whisk together milk and eggs. Add Frangelico or Amaretto if using. Dip panettone slices into the egg mixture, turning once to completely saturate. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in heavy skillet. Add panettone and cook over medium to medium-low heat, turning once, until golden and cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes, adding more butter as needed. Place two slices of Panetonne on each of 4 plates, sprinkle lightly with confectioner’s sugar if you like. Serve warm with maple syrup.

Makes 4 servings.

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Bedroom Design: Begin Again

Post by Erin Sears.

Here it is, friends- 2013!  Aren’t you excited?  A new year is ahead of us and anything is possible! YAY!

Okay, that’s all the enthusiasm I can muster considering I woke up in a disaster of a bedroom this morning and my head hurts.  The truth is that I’ve let things go around here.  A few years ago, I completely redid my bedroom- new linens, bright rugs, awesome art.  I deep cleaned and smudged the room with sage until the past was but a wisp of a memory.  I vowed to keep the space looking tidy and lovely. However, the shine has worn off my once beautiful room and things have gotten messy. My grandmother would say that things are looking a little long in the tooth, so here we go! It’s time to begin again.

The New Year provides us with a fantastic opportunity to assess and evaluate our living spaces. Ask yourself the following questions about each room: Is it functional?  Is it beautiful?  Would I want others to see it?  Do I like being here? Do I LOVE it?


Source: http://wendypolish.bigcartel.com/product/heart-pillow

Take those essential questions and take a good look around. Sprucing up your sleeping space can feel overwhelming at first, so here are four areas to consider when beginning:

  1.     Clean your room!  A little bit of cleaning and purging can go a long way. You’re not in college anymore.  Futons and fiberboard “furniture” do not belong in your bedroom.  Get rid of anything broken or ugly.  Be honest. Let go.

  2.     Color and Pattern:  Adjust the palette of your room with new paint, new bedding or new curtains. Use your wardrobe to initiate color choices. What colors do you naturally gravitate toward in clothing?  What looks good on you?  You want to look gorgeous in your room.  You want to go to bed feeling calm and wake up feeling good.  Use color as your driving force.  Pattern can work in the same way, but be careful not to go overboard.  Just because you like flowers it doesn’t mean you want to sleep in a garden.  With that said, a well-placed stripe or print can really bring your bedroom to life.  Consider saving pattern for curtains, pillows or bedding.

  3.     Furniture:

Bed choice:  Start here.  This should be where you spend the bulk of your money.  Choose a bed that inspires you and invest in a good mattress. It’s worth it.  Do not buy furniture sets.  They’re lazy decorating and rarely a true expression of self.  If you inherit a bedroom set and you love it, select the best piece for the room.  Repurpose, give away, or sell the rest.  Really.

Nightstands:  There are two ways to go with this- matching and not matching.  Matching nightstands can provide a room with balance and symmetry.  These are good things.  If you have more eclectic taste, you can go with two different nightstands.  My nightstands do not match.  One is a round French café table that I fell in love with at garden shop.  It’s large enough to hold a lamp and many books, but still in scale with the room.  My other nightstand is an old telephone table that I bought used.  It has wooden bead accents, a shelf, and two deep pockets on each side for magazines.  I took a pillowcase in a just right color to the paint store and had them match it and then painted the table in that dreamy shade.  LOVE.

Additional pieces: Dressers, vanities and other furniture pieces are space dependent.  We’re all looking for smart storage solutions and these can make wonderful additions to spacious rooms.

4.  Lighting:  Lighting is an essential component of any room.  In the bedroom, overhead lighting can make things look too harsh.  To avoid this, I opt for bedside lamps.  There are lots of ways to go with lighting and I’ll probably highlight them in another post, but like nightstands, your lamps can match or not.  I use two different lamps made of the same material with similar shades.  They coordinate, but are not identical.

Start by changing a few elements of your room and see where the changes take you. Remember, your room does not have to be finished all at once.  Great rooms are designed, developed, and edited over time.  The journey is part of the fun.

Happy New Year!

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Bedtime Stories: Guess Again!

Post by Mark T. Locker.

Guess Again! by Mac Barnett. Illustrated by Adam Rex.

The very talented and very silly duo Adam Rex and Mac Barnett have struck again. I cannot adequately describe this not-quite-as-expected rhyming guessing game book. Rightly titled Guess Again! each page features a silhouetted figure, and a rhyme which offers clues. In this book, the clues are designed to trick you into thinking the obvious. Here is an example:

He steals carrots from the neighbor’s yard.
His hair is soft, his teeth are hard.
His floppy ears are long and funny.
Can you guess who? That’s right! My

Grandpa Ned.

Each riddle is silly, misleading, and very funny. Even though it is best the first time round, my little one gets such a kick out of the ridiculous scenarios that we have been reading it twice a day at least, even though he totally knows the answers now. I love these guys and if they did a version of Quality improvement and shelf-life extension of fish filets from three aquaculture species (Ottowa, 2002) you can bet that it would be hilarious and enjoyable to all.

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