Movies in Bed: Muppets!

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Post by Mark T. Locker.

When I was a kid, Friday nights was a sacred time. After the glittery disco spectacular that was Solid Gold (I only ever got to see the end credits, but that was enough to captivate me) came the greatest half hour of television. It was time for The Muppet Show. When Scooter pops his head through the door and announces, “Elton John? 15 seconds to curtain, Elton John!” (or whoever the guest of the week was) you knew everything would be fine for the next thirty minutes. The intro still fills me with the childlike glee I felt as a kid. And what better way to end a long day than with Muppets, music, and comedy? The Muppets was the best bedtime viewing imaginable.

Now I am passing on that great experience to my son. Granted, a lot of it is extremely dated—I’m not sure he’s ever seen a variety show outside of the Muppet version—but the humor is still hilarious and Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Beeker and the rest are as popular today as ever. We picked up season 2 from the library and started with Peter Sellers, one of my favorites. Taking his Dr. Strangelove character and bringing it into the world of Muppets is a mash-up I won’t be forgetting.

If you aren’t into the old-fashioned stuff, I hear ABC is currently airing a new version, set in the world of late-night talk shows. I haven’t see it yet but if you have, please let me know how it is! I’m quite happy to watch the old Pigs in Space and Veterinarian’s Hospital. So if you are in the mood for a blast from the past and like to end your days with classic, timeless humor, you can’t do much better than some Muppet Show in bed.

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Tips & Tricks: 6 Suggestions to Stay Cool When You Sleep

Post by Tracy Kaler.

When it comes to sleeping, a comfortable temperature in the bedroom is almost as important as a comfortable mattress on the bed. If you find that you’re often waking during the night, you could be too warm.

Body temperature shouldn’t rise when you get in the sack. In fact, to fall asleep and stay asleep, your overall temperature should remain cool. So if you feel warm in bed, heed these six suggestions so you can chill out when it’s time to snooze.

Angel Sleeps

1. Stick your sheets and pillowcases into a plastic bag and place in the freezer for a few minutes just before you hit the hay.

2. Wear cotton or silk bedclothes. Both fibers are breathable and more likely to keep you cooler than polyester.

3. Take a cool shower before you crawl in bed. Even a quick rinse might be enough to lower your body temperature.

4. Avoid spicy food too close to bedtime. For medical reasons, it’s also not a good idea to eat too late in the evening, but hot and spicy dishes could leave you feeling a tad warmer than you should.

5. Try a cooling pillow, which can help regulate your head and face temperature so you don’t get overheated and wake up before the alarm sounds.

6. Purchase a tabletop fan. Although many bedrooms come with ceiling fans, an additional fan on a nightstand or table can circulate enough air to keep you cool as a cucumber until morning.

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Breakfast in Bed – Hot Cocoa

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by: Alison Hein

It’s so easy to make prepared hot cocoa – just stir a packet of mix into a mug of hot water and pop it into the microwave – you may wonder why I suggest you make your own.

Well, truth be told, it’s not too much harder than the method just described. Yes, you have to dirty a pot and make a few measurements, maybe wait 5 minutes longer for the final product. But trust me, the end result is more than worth this tiny bit of extra fuss.

Hot Cocoa 1

This recipe mirrors the classic Hershey’s instructions printed on the side of the little brown box of hot cocoa mix. I’ve just added a little oomph by topping with whipped cream and cinnamon. Don’t stop here though. This recipe is merely the basic pattern for finding your very own hot cocoa mix, tailored just for you. Try using different types of chocolate – there is now a wide variety of cocoa offerings in every store. White cocoa is lovely, and you dark chocolate addicts can even shave a bit of your chocolate bar right into the milk before warming.

I like cinnamon, but nutmeg, mace or allspice add a little punch, or you can even try a sprinkling of sea salt or a tiny dash of cayenne pepper for some serious spice! Sweeten the cocoa with brown sugar, honey, or caramel sauce. On special days, pour in a finger of whiskey, brandy or Bailey’s Irish Cream.

Hot Cocoa 4

Make a big pot of steaming hot cocoa for a large group (simply multiply the recipe times the number of people) or just treat yourself to a little something special. Homemade Hot Cocoa – so right for these fleeting autumn days, so right for breakfast in bed.

Ingredients

1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla
A pinch of salt
2 tablespoons whipped cream
Dash of cinnamon

Hot Cocoa 5

Preparation

Pour milk into small, heavy saucepan. Whisk in cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla and salt. Heat over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until smooth and thoroughly warmed. Pour into mug. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon.

Makes 1 serving.

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Bedtime Stories: DRAGON PUNCHER ISLAND

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Post by Mark T. Locker.

I haven’t read books out loud to my son in a while, partly because a) He always has his nose buried in books on his own and b) He’s super into comic books and like I keep telling him, you CAN’T READ COMICS ALOUD.

Well I asked him if he wanted me to read him a book (I am really good at it and have been depriving the world too long of my skills) and he grabbed a COMIC (maybe it was technically a graphic novel) called Dragon Puncher Island. That’s a good start. What a ridiculously silly title! What a ridiculously silly book inside! The most remarkable feature is John Kochalka’s style of illustration. Simple bright characters: monsters, dragons, superheroes, with what appear to be family photos as faces. The monster’s face is the author’s child and the superhero “Mr. Puncher” is a tabby cat’s face. The dragon from the sea appears to be the other cat in the family.

What’s the story? Who cares? The monster/child has a super weapon he calls “Spoony Spoon”. It’s a spoon! The Dragon Puncher has little time for Spoony Spoon and the stinky monster wielding it. Of course while they are busy arguing, Spoony Spoon falls into the sea. And who should emerge just then? The cat-dragon! Whatever will happen?? This ridiculous book is pretty easy to read out loud even though it’s a comic book. Just come prepared with three silly voices to narrate it all.

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Bedroom Design: Easy Pillow Sham Ideas

Post by Tracy Kaler.

Let’s talk pillows. We’ve already done an overview of shams, but what about some serious sham inspiration? Whether you realize it or not, shams can quickly transform the look of your bed. No matter if you prefer standard or Euro, knife-edge or trimmed, a pair of custom pillow covers could be all the décor your bedroom is asking for. Peruse the photos below for easy sham ideas to apply to your own sleep space.

Imagine this room without the shams; it would be a tad dull wouldn’t it? It’s amazing how those two lovely boxed pillows enhance a very traditional space. The trims introduce the right amount of detail too.


Traditional Bedroom by Chagrin Falls Design-Build Firms W Design Interiors

We’ve discussed how monograms can add personality to a space. A layer of throw pillows acts as a backdrop for the crisp white shams in this girly bedroom.


Eclectic Bedroom by Philadelphia Interior Designers & Decorators Caitlin Wilson

These shams throw a dash of pattern into this Chicago home. The floral picks up the blue wall color and connects every element in the room.


Transitional Bedroom by Chicago Interior Designers & Decorators Tom Stringer Design Partners

This teen bedroom doesn’t lack color or pattern but gets a dose of city skyline on its shams. This space beats a dorm room any day.

Eclectic Kids by Chicago Interior Designers & Decorators DM Designs

Elegant and neutral, this calming Denver bedroom successfully boasts toile, seersucker, florals, and stripes. The button and ruffle introduce interesting details to the otherwise plain shams.


Farmhouse Bedroom by Golden Architects & Building Designers Todd Remington Architect

This twin bed uses a simple green and white pattern on a single sham with a smaller throw pillow in front. Every item is perfectly proportioned to the rest of the space in this Salt Lake City Bedroom.


Traditional Bedroom by Salt Lake City Interior Designers & Decorators Caitlin Creer Interior Design

This mostly white room is modeled after a luxury hotel. Euro shams with embroidered edges complete the look. Remember, shams like these can be laundered with your sheets and duvet cover – an advantage over others, which usually require dry cleaning.


Contemporary Bedroom by Boston Interior Designers & Decorators Su Casa Designs

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