Bedtime Stories: Cartoons for Grown-Ups

hyperbole_and_a_half_book_1Post by Mark T. Locker.

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh.

Recently I was feeling a bit down. All the news has been sad and depressing and I needed to read a book that would be sure to make me laugh out loud (actual laughing—not LOLing) and make me forget all the other stuff in the world. I was given a number of recommendations from friends but the one that came up the most was Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. With no idea what it was—so little of an idea that I looked for an audio version—I promptly put a hold on it at my local library, with no idea what I was even getting.

What I got was a unique blend of personal narrative and hilariously crude illustrations, all chronicling the formative moments of Allie Brosh’s life, from the opening story about finding a note written to future Allie from 10-year-old Allie to the story of her insanely stupid (but greatly loved) dog. Each story is complemented by a number of pictures done in Brosh’s telltale stick-figure style. The stories on their own are funny and interesting but the pictures push it to a whole new level of hilarity.

But not all the stories are flat-out funny. As one who has struggled with depression, she provides a startlingly honest look at her bouts with depression and her attempts to be understood and to deal with it. Even this is oddly funny, mostly due to her ability to see clearly where she is being unreasonable and holding, at times, hilariously unrealistic expectations.

I read this book in bed every night and couldn’t get enough. My son was super interested in it too, partly due to the fun pictures but probably mostly because I told him it was totally inappropriate for children, mostly because of language. We did let him read the story about cake. The cake story is okay for kids.

If you need some levity in your life without compromising on a smart read, read this book. Or, if you can’t wait, hit up her blog where it all began: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/

hyperbole

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Bedroom Design: 5 Solutions for TV in a Bedroom

Post by Tracy Kaler.

Although most sleep experts don’t advise keeping a television in the bedroom, if you’re a diehard TV fanatic and can’t resist binging on Game of Thrones or relaxing in bed with the latest episode of House of Cards, then this blog post is for you. These five solutions give you options, so your bedroom can still appear stylish and the television doesn’t need to be a focal point.

This Lake Michigan home utilizes a smart pop-up cabinet for the TV. The screen neatly recesses into the case piece at the foot of the bed, so there’s no sign of a television in the room. In a nutshell, now you see it – now you don’t.

Lake Michigan House

The designer of this elegant bedroom in Los Angeles used a frame around the television, so it creates the illusion of a piece of art. Although no one can ignore the flat screen, it blends in nicely with the interior.

1512 Dolphin Terrace

With its pitched ceilings, dormers, and fireplace, this Seattle bedroom oozes charm. The television is cleverly tucked away in millwork above the mantle.

Hidden Electronics - Classic Bedroom

This traditional bedroom in Portland has recessed the TV, so it hangs in a niche, creating symmetry along the fireplace wall.

Traditional Bedroom

If you’re married or have a significant other, you know that few couples appreciate all the same television shows. This bedroom solved the issue by installing two separate units. He can watch all the sporting events he wants, and she won’t miss her favorites on HGTV or BRAVO. How perfect!

Mills

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Bedtime Stories: Pokémon!

pokemonPost by Mark T. Locker.

Pokémon Gotta Catch ‘em All! Deluxe Essential Handbook : the Need-to-know Stats and Facts on Over 700 Pokémon by Scholastic.

I’m too old to have caught the Pokémon fever when it first came out. I was vaguely aware of something called Pikachu and that there was a turtle named Squirtle. But as a parent I learned that the exciting world of the Pokémon card game never actually went away. My son has piles of cards, and binders full of these critters, sorted by type. There’s electric types and grass types and poison types. We’ve watched the cartoon a million times but every time he’s asked me what my favorite Pokémon is, I’ve only been able to say: what’s that one that looks like he has broccoli on his head?

There are hundreds of these guys out there and many change form as they evolve. Of course, nearly everyone knows that now. The wildly popular Pokémon Go! game has turned our entire planet into a game board with gyms, Pokéstops and weird little creatures everywhere.

Can I say that my kid was into it before it was cool?

Either way, if you or your kid (you can say it’s for your kid if you’re embarrassed—it’s okay, you’re not alone) are interested in making sure you have all the information you could ever need, then this Essential Handbook is probably something you need. Not only does it have a handy pronunciation guide, but it shows you all the evolutions and powers of each Pokémon. It even tells you weight and height. My son has an incredibly deep knowledge of this universe. We spot a silhouette of a Pokémon and he can tell you exactly what it is. As far as reference books go, this is less useful than the Farmer’s Almanac but way more interesting to kids and grown-ups of a certain ilk.

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Bedroom Design: Best Outdoor Bedrooms Around the Globe

Post by Tracy Kaler.

A bedroom that isn’t completely enclosed might sound less than practical, but depending on where you live, sleeping outside can be a lovely alternative to the traditional interior room. From getting in touch with nature to experiencing the sounds and smells of the great outdoors, snoozing under the stars has its merits. In case you’re not convinced, let’s take a look at some of the best outdoor bedrooms around the globe.

Interior and exterior lines blur in this Asian-influenced master bedroom. Glass doors fold open and create an outdoor space in this Western Australia home.

Bedfordale House

You couldn’t pull off this patio just anywhere. Of course, this creative bedroom tucked under a pergola is in Miami. How enticing does this space look for a nap, or even an entire night slumbering in the backyard?

Desert Oasis

Located in the mountains of Bali, this tropical home boasts a simple space for sleep. With bamboo construction and trees as the backdrop, this open-air bedroom might be minimalist, but it’s far from mundane.

Open air living in the mountains of Bali

Island-inspired, this Los Angeles bedroom takes sleeping under a cabana to another level. Wispy palm trees lend a tropical feel.

Interiors Photography in the Los Angeles area.

This magnificent vacation home in Mexico opens its doors to bright blue waters. This brilliant architectural design is ideal for beach lovers.

Waves

After seeing these five innovative and lovely outdoor bedrooms, how do you feel about sleeping under the stars?

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Bedroom Design: 5 Things Every Woman’s Bedroom Should Have

Post by Tracy Kaler.

All bedrooms start with a great mattress, and luxurious bed linens, if affordable, are a must as well. Don’t forget the window treatments for softness and light control, and a chair or bench to put your shoes on and take them off at the end of a long day. Besides the basics, however, a lady’s bedroom doesn’t feel complete without these items.

A well-designed closet.
Any fashionista will attest –– having a great closet is a must. Size doesn’t always matter here, either. A small, well-planned closet with shelves, hanging space, and drawers will suffice, as long as you can stay organized.

The Classic White Closet - Hancock Park, CA Residence

Something sentimental.
Whether it’s a vintage jewelry box from your great grandmother or a bargain flea market find that you had to have, one sentimental tchotchke adds soul to any bedroom.

Goodies

A dressing table or writing desk.
Every lady’s bedroom should have a designated spot to sit down and write a note, apply makeup, or open mail. If you have a small bedroom, consider placing the table next to your bed to act as a nightstand.

Diana

Pretty accent pillows.
Pillows certainly aren’t required, but they add pattern and interest to any bed. Don’t go overboard, however. Two to four pillows should be more than enough, especially if you have shams.

Row House Interiors Bedroom Detail

A full-length mirror.
I don’t know a woman who doesn’t want to see what she looks like before she leaves the house. Install a door mirror, or purchase some other full-length mirror to check that you look your absolute best every single day.

Creative Control

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