Bedtime Stories: A Boy and His Tiger

calvin

Post by Mark T. Locker.

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson.

I’m sure those who grew up in a different era would say theirs was a golden age of comic strips, but I really think growing up in the 1980’s and 1990’s was an unspeakably wonderful time for daily comics. The Far Side treated us to a daily dose of nerdy single-panel comedy, while the recently (yay!) revived Bloom County tackled politics and penguins. But for me, the nearest and dearest, as a young boy and now, will always be Calvin and Hobbes. Made all the more enticing and yearned-for because of Watterson’s refusal to license the characters for toys, much less posters and cards, and for his abrupt and total removing of himself from the public eye, these strips were the beloved of kids and adults alike.

My son is about the same age as Calvin now. And there is hardly a waking moment that he isn’t buried one of the many Calvin and Hobbes books strewn about the house. It’s been great for me, as I haven’t visited these comics for a long time so I’m getting the chance to see them again while also enjoying them through his eyes, seeing them for the first time. Like Calvin, my son is a very imaginative only child. Unlike Calvin, he’s not a holy terror and, thankfully, he’s not getting any big ideas from Calvin.

The balance of wry humor, philosophy, cynicism about the human race, and the unconditional love of his best friend the tiger makes this easily the greatest comic ever. If you haven’t picked up a collection in a while, now is a great time to do so. Curl up in bed with a volume tonight.

hobbes

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Movies in Bed: Harry Potter for Grown-Ups?

strange

Post by Mark T. Locker.

Way back in 2004, debut novelist Susanna Clarke introduced us to the world of 19th-century English magic in the wonderfully long and dense and fantastic novel Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. And now, 11 years later, the BBC has finally graced us with a series based very faithfully on the nearly 800-page novel.

The world of English magic in the 19th century is a magical world vastly different than the one we imagine. While magic indeed existed and had been practiced widely in the past, no proper gentleman would deign to do such a thing now. This did not mean, however, that there were no magicians’ societies. On the contrary many learned men were members of such societies. However, these were devoted to the study and appreciation of magic. Never for the practice!

There was one man who continued to practice in his deeply secluded and book-laden home. This man was Mr. Norrell. Once discovered, he became something of a celebrity, despite his rather unpleasant demeanor. When he takes on an apprentice, one Jonathan Strange, he is greatly troubled to realize this man’s intuitive skills far outmatch Mr. Norrell’s highly academic approach.

The BBC television series has released seven episodes. So far, they have remained very true to the story and the tone of the original book. Filled with awesome displays of magic, lots of repressed Victorian-style drama and strange, mysterious, dark forces, this series has quickly become my favorite bedtime watching. It’s captivating enough to keep me awake but not too flashy to keep me up past by bedtime trying to quiet my brain. Highly recommended for lovers of period pieces, miniseries, and awesomely unique approaches to magic.

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Bedroom Design: Tile Floors in a Bedroom

Post by Tracy Kaler.

Tile might not be the most obvious choice for flooring material in a bedroom, but there are those rare interiors when it’s the ideal choice. Tile can be ceramic, porcelain, stone, or terra cotta, and is most suitable in warm-weather climates, keeping your feet cool as you wake each morning.

In the US, you’ll find tile floors mostly in Florida, the Southwest, and coastal communities. Homes in the Mediterranean also gravitate toward tile floors, adding texture and pattern to structures with history and charm.

Get inspired by these five beauteous bedrooms with tile flooring.

This Amsterdam bedroom boasts whitewashed walls and Provence-style terra cotta floors. The design is simple, earthy, and attractive.

Original to the house, the ceiling beams in this Rasteau, France bedroom are 800 years old. The large, square tile keeps the palette neutral in the renovated guest quarters.

Sleek and modern, this Chicago bedroom with a marble floor pulls out all the stops. It’s elegant, classic and has a view of the water! What more could you want in a master bedroom?

A Scottsdale home uses tile throughout the bed space and the sitting room. In this case, tile as a flooring material is an excellent choice, considering the desert-like conditions in Arizona.

For whatever reason, the designer of this London bedroom opted to extend the tile from the bathroom. If I’m honest, I would’ve rather seen hardwood floors or a flat-weave carpet here to designate the change of space. The beige color is a good choice –– it blends well and doesn’t detract from the rest of the décor.

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Breakfast in Bed – Egg Salad Sandwich

Egg Salad Sandwich 10

Post by Alison Hein.

Ever wake up late, hungry, but not quite wanting breakfast? Perhaps not quite wanting lunch as well, but not in the mood for a fussy brunch? That’s when you should break out the egg salad. Hard-boiled eggs, chopped and mixed with mayonnaise and fresh herbs, always hit the spot. Guaranteed to go fast, I strongly recommend cooking a few extra eggs. You can always use them for a quick snack, to top a Russian salad, or for a sixties-style deviled egg appetizer. Perhaps let your kids have a go at making egg salad (no cooking required), and let them serve you in style.

Egg Salad Sandwich 1

I like my egg salad sandwich on a crusty roll, but feel free to use soft brioche or lightly toasted white bread. Thick rich rye and pumpernickels are also wonderful – a nice contrast of thick, grainy bread against creamy, herbed eggs.

Ever versatile, try these egg salad change-ups:

  • Spice it up – chop up some jalapeño peppers, add a splash of hot sauce, or a dash of cayenne. Serve on tortillas, if you like.

  • Select various herbs – depending on your palate, parsley, rosemary, thyme and fennel are all good choices. A heavy hand of paprika (reminiscent of deviled eggs) is always pleasing.

  • Serve open face – spread neatly on some mini-rye bread slices, and top with thin cucumber rounds and sprigs of fresh dill.

  • Skip the bread altogether – delicately mound egg salad on baby greens, or Boston lettuce. Garnish with cherry tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes.

Whatever your pleasure, I hope you enjoy and savor your late, not-so-breakfasty breakfast in bed!

Egg Salad Sandwich 2

Ingredients

2 eggs
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 roll, sliced
Handful of baby arugula

Egg Salad Sandwich 3

Preparation

Place eggs in a small heavy saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil on high heat and continue to cook eggs for 10 minutes, until hard-boiled. Cool and peel. Finely chop eggs and place in small bowl. Stir in mayonnaise and fresh dill. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Egg Salad Sandwich 6

Spread egg salad mixture on one half of roll. Top with baby arugula and serve.

Makes 1 serving.

Egg Salad Sandwich 8

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Eat Right and Sleep Well: Foods to Help You Sleep

Post by Tracy Kaler.

We all have those nights when we can barely keep our eyes open, but we’re also familiar with those evenings when we can’t seem to get to sleep no matter how many sheep we count. Few people realize that diet can play a significant role in our ability to fall and stay asleep until the alarm buzzer sounds in the a.m. Avoiding caffeine-filled foods, alcohol, and heavy meals too close to bedtime can make dozing off less troublesome.

Above and beyond these things we shouldn’t eat, try eating those foods that help promote a healthy night’s sleep. Read on to see if any of your favorites made the list.

Salmon
Known for its share of vitamin B6, which is needed for our bodies to produce melatonin, salmon encourages a good night’s rest, as does halibut and tuna.

Salmon Dinner-2

Yogurt
Did you know that calcium deficiency can keep you from sleeping? Yogurt and milk are rich in calcium, so regularly including dairy products in our diet could make a difference in our sleep habits.

Yogurt

Whole grains
Foods like barley, millet, and bulgur are rich in magnesium, which has been known to keep us fast asleep through the night.

Toasted-Bulgur Pilaf

Chickpeas
Those cute little beans that we often eat in salads and use to make hummus are jam-packed with tryptophan, a natural sleep inducer. In a nutshell, keep dipping those veggies.

Hummus

Bananas
Usually considered a breakfast food, bananas release natural chemicals needed to relax before falling fast asleep. Rather than drinking a cup of warm milk –– the classic bedtime remedy –– try a half banana instead.

going bananas : san francisco (2012)

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