Movies in Bed: Inspector Lewis

Post by Mark T. Locker.

Yes, mum. No, mum. Sorry, mum.

Is that the sound of a child being scolded by his mother? Nope, that’s just how some folks say “ma’am” across the pond! One of those somebodies is Robert Lewis of the Thames Valley Police. You how it is with those working-class Northerners.

I just began watching Inspector Lewis about a week ago, and even though I never seem to find time to watch a full-length movie, I manages three of these 90-minute BBC mysteries in just the past seven days! Paired with younger, best boy, cerebral partner Sergeant James Hathaway, they are the Odd Couple of Oxfordshire.

What I like about these BBC mysteries is they have none of the flash and overwrought special effects. And, best of all, the Who don’t do the intro music. There is the wonderfully subtle British humor, plenty of murder, and lots of English plodding about. It’s great to watch right before bed because it’s not TOO exciting!

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Things We Like: Art Deco Design

Post by Kyle St. Romain.

I love all things Art Deco, and you’d be crazy not to. For me, art deco elicits nostalgia from an era since gone. Art deco architecture is nothing short of grand, and it’s the style I imagine high rollers in the 1920s living in: well-traveled, well-built, and wanted.

Art Deco remains popular still today, and its influences can be seen in almost all types of design: architecture, interior design, fashion, and art. However, art deco is perhaps most easily associated with architecture. Indeed, many of the world’s most famous buildings are Art Deco inspired: The Empire State Building, The Chrysler Building, and Rockefeller Center.

If you’re lucky enough to live in an old Art Deco building, ideally constructed in the 1930s (when deco was used extensively throughout the United States), you’ve got it made. However, these architectural gems are becoming increasingly scarce which leaves most of us with the next best thing: art deco inspired interior design.

With a little creativity and patience to wait for the right vintage piece, an Art Deco-inspired bedroom design is very doable. The most permanent ways to bring deco into your bedroom would be with new, geometric crown molding painted in metallic silver or gold, marble wall panels, and elaborate ceilings. However, these more permanent changes would mean you really have to commit to the eclectic art deco theme.

If you’re looking for an easier way to bring art deco into your bedroom, furnishings are a great place to start. Armoires are very common in Art Deco bedroom, which also gives you more storage space. Mirrors are also typical in deco design. And while it’s perfectly fine to use wall mirrors, mirrored furniture and sunburst shaped mirrors are more clever ways to introduce the reflective element into your design. Mirrors also help smaller rooms feel open, which is a plus if you live in the city.

If you’re short on Art Deco inspiration, SampleBoard has an excellent blog post about getting into art deco design. You can also look for pictures of the interior of the Empire State building, or the Paramount Theatres in Oakland, CA. Both of these are prime examples of art deco at its finest. You can also search for photos of old train stations, which were primarily built in the art deco style.

Do you have any art deco design tips? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Breakfast in Bed:Frank’s Frittata Italiana-Mexicana

Post by by Alison Hein.

It’s one thing to have wonderful neighbors you enjoy spending time with. It’s quite another thing when your wonderful neighbors invite you to spend a few days with them in luxurious Water Mill, NY. Nothing says summer like the glorious beaches, amazing mansions, and tempting shops of The Hamptons. We enjoyed several days in Ann and Frank’s company – sailing, sunning, shopping – peppered with plenty of good wine and food, and topped off with great conversation.

I was so pleased with myself when I came up with this great idea to repay them for their generosity – I would ask Frank to create a recipe and prepare breakfast for my blog post! 😉

Frank, an accomplished and inventive cook, decided to blend two cultures in one substantial frittata, artfully mixing the flavors of Italian fried potatoes and Pecorino Romano with Mexican guacamole and salsa. The result? A savory, spicy masterpiece that thrilled with each bite. A gorgeous presentation, just right for honored guests.

Bravo and Olé! Recipes courtesy of Frank Falconieri.

We skipped the breakfast in bed this time, and enjoyed our luxurious Frittata Italiana-Mexicana poolside, Hamptons style.

Guacamole
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro or equivalent tubed cilantro paste
1 lime, peeled with pith removed
1 jar sliced jalapeño peppers (1 tablespoon juice + 3 pepper slices)
4 avocados
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
2 tablespoons hot or medium hot salsa, drained
1 teaspoon kosher or large-grained sea salt

Preparation
Coarsely chop cilantro and place 1 tablespoon in blender, set second tablespoon aside. Peel lime, slice, remove excess pith, and coarsely chop. Add lime pieces to blender. Add jalapeño pepper juice, pepper slices and salt to blender. Pulse briefly 2 to 3 times and set blender bowl aside.

Peel, pit, and coarsely chop avocados and place in medium bowl. Add onions, drained salsa, remaining tablespoon of cilantro and salt. Mash with a potato masher for a textured consistency. Stir in blended cilantro-lime mixture. Adjust taste according to preference.

Frittata
1 tablespoon high-heat olive oil
1 – 1 ½ cups sliced, pan-fried or roasted potatoes (enough to cover the bottom of pan)
½ cup grilled or boiled corn kernels
7 eggs (extra large or jumbo)
1 tablespoon good quality virgin olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese
2 10-inch tortillas (in dairy section of most supermarkets)
Cooking spray
1 cup sour cream
½ cup salsa
A few sprigs cilantro

Preparation
Pour high heat olive oil into a 10-inch ovenproof heavy frying pan, and place on stove over medium-high heat. Preheat broiler. Add potatoes to pan and spread to cover, pressing down slightly. Add corn, distributing evenly on top of the potatoes. Allow to cook until set, about 5 minutes.

While potatoes and corn are heating, break eggs into a large bowl, add virgin olive oil, and whisk until smooth and thickened. Pour eggs gently over potato-corn mixture (do not stir), cover, and continue to cook until eggs are set around the edges, about 5 minutes. Generously sprinkle top of frittata with Pecorino Romano. Place frying pan under broiler, about 5 inches from direct heat and broil frittata until eggs are firm and do not jiggle, about 3 minutes.

As the frittata is broiling, place a separate, large frying pan over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray, and brown tortillas lightly on both sides. Place one tortilla on a large platter. Spoon enough guacamole over the bottom tortilla to cover, spreading pizza sauce style from center to rim. Gently free and carefully slide the frittata onto the guacamole-covered tortilla, then top with the remaining tortilla. Recommended garnishes include sour cream, salsa, and cilantro. Serve immediately with guacamole on the side.

Makes 6 servings.

Tip: Use the best serrated knife to cut, since warm tortillas tend to shred.

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Bedroom Design: Shades of Gray

Post by Erin Sears.

Glorious Gray

Living in Portland, Oregon, I’m accustomed to gray.  We’re old friends.  I’ve accepted that soon the blue skies of summer will be replaced by the cozy gray dome that we live under for most of the year.  You’d think I’d be sick of gray, but gray happens to be one of the hottest colors in home décor right now and I love it!  Painting a bedroom gray is a great way to provide your room with a grounding neutral color to which you can add luscious pops of color.  Yellows, purples, turquoise and hot pink all look stunning against a gray base.  Conversely, adding gray accessories in a room adds an element of sophistication.  It shows that you know what you’re doing.  In the September 2012 issue of House Beautiful readers listed gray as one of their favorite color choices.  Let’s take a closer look:

Source: House Beautiful

Gray tufted bed with hot pink accent pillow and monogrammed shams.  So elegant!

Source: http://www.atelierabigailahern.com/

The red bed and yellow pillow really stand out against the washed gray wall.  It’s rustic and cozy.

Source: www.houzz.com Jessica Lagrange Interiors

Source: http://www.charlesprogers.com/european-linen-duvet-shams-p-162.html?cPath=3_15

If you aren’t able to commit to painting your room or you are still saving up for that special bed purchase, how about choosing gray bed linens?  Try the European linen duvet and shams from Charles P. Rogers.  Nothing brings a room together faster than good bedding.  Enjoy!

 

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Bedtime Stories: Jumanji

Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg.

You’ve probably never heard of this book before. Chris Van Allsburg is an obscure 18th Dutch children’s author from the town of Blokzijl. The word “Jumanji” is an archaic term from an obscure dialect meaning “to harness one’s sorrows and transform them into hopes”.
—Hang on, I’m getting a message:

What’s that? Oh, it turns out that Chris Van Allsburg is from Michigan and his books have sold millions and Jumanji was made into a best-selling movie starring Robbie Williams—sorry—Robin Williams.

Well, I can’t introduce you to something new every week, now can I???

Well, my kid got the 30th anniversary edition of Jumanji for his birthday. I can’t believe it’s over thirty years old now! Anyways, this particular edition came with an audio version of the book read by Robbie Robin Williams. Honestly, he does a pretty good job reading the story. He is an actor, after all. There’s some weird saxophone thing going on during the intro and at the end, but otherwise it’s perfectly fine. I was thinking about all this tonight as my son cried and cried to please listen to Jumanji. Again. After all, like I said, it’s pretty good.

But not that good.

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