Tag Archives: bed

Bedtime Stories: The Curse Workers: White Cat

curse workersPost by Mark T. Locker.

The Curse Workers, Book 1: White Cat by Holly Black.

Here’s an exciting series for teens who like something akin to down-to-earth magic. This series is about a family of curse workers living in New Jersey. Certain people are born with certain abilities. They are known as curse workers, or just workers. With a simple touch of a finger, they can manipulate someone’s emotions, dreams, memories, luck. Some can kill. Some can transform others. The interesting aspect of this is that whenever a worker “works” somebody, the worker is also affected. This is known as blowback. If you erase a memory, you lose a bit of your own. If you manipulate someone’s emotions, your own become unstable for a while. Nevertheless, the organized crime syndicate does not let this stop them. Not knowing who may or may not be a worker has created a world where everyone wears gloves, just in case.

Cassel Sharpe is a teenage boy who comes from a long line of workers. He himself is not a worker, but his grandfather is a death worker, his mother an emotion worker, and his brothers are memory workers. They are all deeply embedded in a crime family. Cassel has spent his life not feeling included because he lacked the skill of the rest. He has also been haunted by the memory of killing his best friend, a girl named Lila, daughter of a major crime boss. But one day, he starts having strange dreams. It would seem a dream worker is communicating with him. But why? He begins to dig and realized that even his own memories cannot be trusted and that everything he thought he knew about himself, and his family, is not what it seems.

This is a unique and intriguing series. It blends the supernatural with the very real angst of being a teenager. Cassel’s life is full of the social stress of high school, compounded with coming from a crime family and being a killer.

Good book for teenagers and adults.

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Bedroom Design: What to Do Before You Hire a Designer

Post by Tracy Kaler.

Don’t have a design direction for your bedroom? Maybe you have one of those rooms with too many doors and windows, and you don’t know where to place the bed. Or, maybe picking colors isn’t your strong suit, and you always turn to ho-hum beige. Hiring an interior designer to decorate your sleep space might be worth your time and money, but before you make a commitment to work with any decorator, here are a few things you should do first.

Create an inspiration file.
Use Pinterest or look through magazines and websites to create a file of bedrooms you like and would love to be yours. Doing research will establish a direction for you and the person you potentially hire.

Meet with several design pros.
Ask friends and look online to peruse portfolios and check references. Meet with at least three designers, and get a feel for how each would approach your project. Even if you have to pay a consultation fee, you’ll get practical advice, and chatting for an hour or two will get you one step closer to selecting the right person.

Know your budget.
Before you start your bedroom project, have a number in mind and communicate that to your would-be designer. Some decorators have minimums, so you might be expected to invest a hefty sum. Others will accept any project, and be happy to work with you, even if you’re scope is small and your budget smaller. By establishing a number in your mind, you’ll also know pretty quickly if you can afford to hire someone in the first place.

Be clear about what you like and don’t like.
Even in your initial meeting, be clear about what you like and don’t like, as well as your wish list. King bed? Upholstered headboard? Storage? A sitting area? Be sure that you’re on the same page as the person you might work with and your expectations are reasonable. Plus, establishing great communication from the get-go sets the tone for a working relationship with the interior designer you select.

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Breakfast in Bed – Spiced Apple Hand Pies

Spiced Apple Hand Pies 11

Post by Alison Hein.

Oh no! I cannot believe I forgot to do a Valentine’s Day post!

Well, as they say, better late than never, so here’s a sweet recipe you can either save until next year or surprise your beloved with an unexpected, heartwarming anytime breakfast in bed.

These little pies are deliciously spiced with an amalgam of exotic flavors, and tuck neatly into a small hand for nibbling on the go. If you like, use a small heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out a heart in each half-moon. Then gently lay the little heart back over the filling before baking.

Spiced Apple Hand Pies 3

Ingredients

Pie Crust
1 cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon water
1/3 cup butter

Pie Filling
2 tart apples, such as Granny Smith
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon sugar, plus an additional 1 teaspoon for topping
½ teaspoon flour
¼ teaspoon cloves
A dash each of cardamom, ginger, mace and nutmeg
1 egg white, lightly beaten

Spiced Apple Hand Pies 4

Preparation

To make crust, sift together flour and salt. Remove half of the flour mixture and add to a separate small bowl. Add water to flour mixture and stir to make a paste. Cut butter into small cubes and cut into remaining flour mixture, using a pastry cutter or two forks. Mix all ingredients together until a smooth, uniform dough forms. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°. Remove dough from refrigerator and cut in half. Gently roll out one piece of dough on a lightly floured board, adding more flour as needed to prevent sticking. Roll dough to form an approximate 12×12-inch shape. Cut 3 to 4 6-inch circles from the dough, using a large cookie cutter, a tin coffee can, or cutting around a small plate. If possible, re-roll any leftover dough to form an additional 6-inch circle. Set circles aside until ready to use.

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To make filling, peel and finely dice apples. Add to a large bowl and stir in cinnamon, ½ teaspoon of sugar, flour, cardamom ginger, mace and nutmeg. Place about 1½ teaspoons of filling on the lower half of each circle, leaving enough room to crimp dough ends together. Fold top half of dough circle over filling to create a moon shape. Crimp edges together with the tines of a fork. Repeat with remaining dough. Poke a few holes in the top of the pie for venting.

Place pies on lightly greased baking sheets. Brush with lightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with remaining sugar.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until crust is golden brown.

Makes 6 to 8 hand pies.

Spiced Apple Hand Pies 13

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Bed Heights: How High Should You Go?

Post by Tracy Kaler.

Beds come in a variety of heights, but most fall in the range of 18-25 inches from the floor to the top of the mattress. Formal, more traditional beds tend be higher while antique beds can come as high as 36 inches, and perhaps a little higher once you add bedding.

You can decide on the height that works for you, and that’s often based on design style, comfort, ease of getting in and out of the bed, etc. You also might think about how much storage you need under your bed, and this will help determine the bed you choose, so you’re sure to make the most out of that space between the bottom of the box spring and the floor.

More and more mattresses run thicker today, especially with pillow top options, so the standard heights of beds have increased over the years. Many people like that soft cocoon-like feeling they get from a pillow-top mattress. One option with a thicker mattress is to purchase a platform bed, which sits closer to the floor; hence you will get a lower bed. Bear in mind, you won’t require a box spring with a platform bed.

Elderly folks will probably feel more at ease with a bed height that’s more in the 24-inch range –– since they’ll be able to get in and out easier –– and should aim for a design in which their feet touch the floor when sitting on the bed. Lower beds are usually easier for children to crawl in and out of, once they graduate from their crib.

Whatever bed frame and mattress you choose, consider the overall height and what will feel most natural for you when you’re at rest, sitting, and getting in and out of bed.

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Bedroom Design: 5 Benches for the Foot of the Bed

Post by Tracy Kaler.

If you have enough clearance in your bedroom, consider placing a bench at the foot of your bed for practical and/or decorative purposes. Benches are not only for sitting, but ideal for removing your shoes after a long day or even laying out an outfit the night before an important meeting.

Benches prove to be one of the most useful and versatile pieces of furniture. These five show different design options when placing a bench in a bedroom.

Unusually practical because it offers space underneath for storage, this bench is perfect for a young person’s bedroom. Tchotchkes such as toys and stuffed animals fit neatly inside the wicker boxes without detracting from the clean lines of the bench. A boxed cushion on top makes for comfy seating.

Tufts and acrylic legs on this bench help complete the look in this somewhat feminine bedroom. Decorative starburst pillows and a pink throw at the foot of the bed add the right amount of texture while the zig zag rug adds pattern. Overall, this space is fresh, interesting, and serene at the same time.

With an upholstered back, this bench strays from the norm, and the chrome arms and legs are unexpected. The scale is just right and the almost monochromatic scheme works to its advantage. More than a spot to throw a handbag or put on your boots, this bench looks fit for sitting too.

An all-white bedroom welcomes this modern yet primitive DIY walnut bench with metal hairpin legs. Probably more aesthetically pleasing than functional as a piece of furniture, this bench finishes the space, in my opinion.

A grey and white scheme might seem boring to those who love color, but there’s no lack of design in this well-though-out room. Two benches hug the foot of the king-size upholstered bed, both of which boast chrome nailhead trim. The pattern in the headboard marries nicely with the legs of the twin benches.


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