If you are a connoisseur of fine children’s picture books, perhaps you have heard of I Want My Hat Back. Or, if you are regular reader of this blog, maybe you saw my review almost a year ago TO THIS VERY DAY of that lovely, subtle, hilarious book. (If not, don’t worry. I hyperlinked it for you.) Jon Klassen’s new book takes a new twist on what worked so well the first time. This is indeed another story about hat theft in the animal world, only this time we see the crime from the perpetrator’s perspective.
“This is not my hat,” the little fish begins, “I just stole it. I stole it from a big fish. He was asleep when I did it.”
So carries on the little fish while we the readers see that the big fish indeed woke up sooner than the perp anticipated, and indeed the giant victim is hot on the fins of this diminutive ne’er-do-well. And although the little fish makes a good point about the hat being far too small for the big fish, it is not for him to decide! That being said, I think the little bowler looks quite dashing on the little guy, but I cannot approve of his methods of acquisition.
I can, however, approve of this book. Few can take a successful theme and make a second book out of it without it coming off as horribly derivative but Jon Klassen pulls it off brilliantly. Just go read it.
Is there anyone that is actually glad Christmas is over? Not me. I am still in Christmas mode. It may have something to do with the fact that this year, Christmas was nice and low on the stress-o-meter. I actually had the chance to treasure the time I spent with family instead of stressing about how their time was spent with me. So, in a last ditch effort to keep Christmas alive because I had such a wonderful one, and to wish all my readers a belated Merry Christmas, here’s to maintaining the holiday spirit in your bedroom with Christmas wreaths.
The epitome of Christmas decor, I could celebrate Christmas all year in the bedroom. A holiday message is proclaimed as it rests on a strand of green garland. Flowers in rustic pots provide a warm welcome. Snowflake needle point pillows remind you how cozy the bed really is. If there was a season for wrought iron beds, this is it. With Charles P. exclusive iron & brass sleigh bed, the same look can be achieved by tying a simple velvet bowed Christmas wreath to the foot of their classic detailed iron bed. Hot on every good little boy and girl’s wish list, a pair of sweet puppies cuddle closely. My next blog will be about how to decorate your bedroom with adorable puppies because well, puppies just go with everything.
There’s something that is just so modern, unexpected, and fresh about a square wreath. The square wreath in the bedroom below highlight out the architectural lines in the poster bed. Wreaths are even more appealing when they are zero maintenance. West Elm has just the right faux boxwood square wreath currently for $59. However, with the holidays coming to a close, my financial advisor recommends waiting to score the best deal.
There’s no place that I cannot imagine a wreath being hung in my bedroom. I would totally tie one on right over my dresser mirror just like the inspiration below. Metallic decor on a mirrored surface will effortlessly bounce light around the bedroom and is sure generate enough sparkle into the new year. Merry belated Christmas.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon Frangelico or Amaretto (optional)
8 wedge-slices Panettone
2 to 4 tablespoons butter
Confectioner’s sugar, for garnish
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.