Tag Archives: Charles P. Rogers
Post by Tracy Kaler.
Last I heard, most folks think of February as the month of love. With Valentine’s Day falling on the 14th, we can’t help but plan dates, family get-togethers, and other social outings to celebrate with those closest to us.
Since the color red often reminds us of romance, passion, and love, there’s no better time than the present to starting dreaming in red. Though the boldness of red isn’t for everyone, these five sleep spaces show how a bright color can successfully be used in a private space. Get ready to swoon over these five romantic red bedrooms. Eat your heart out, Cupid!
This New York City bedroom boasts the right number of red accents in the most perfect shade of red. The space takes on a hotel-like quality with its crisp bed linens, chic décor, and uncluttered design.
Tiny and unassuming, this alcove in Paris offers little space for anything other than essentials, but the red wall and pillow shams add interest and punch to the barebones bedroom.
A fun wall covering from Anthropologie and a bold matelasse coverlet make this young adult room especially lovable. The pooch at the foot of the bed adds to the sweetness.
This bedroom in Aix en Provence provides the ultimate romantic escape. Silk, velvet, and an Aubusson area rug contribute to the luxurious French feel.
Valentine’s Day at Chez Moi
Post by Alison Hein.
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and you’ll be surprised that for once I will not advise you to enjoy a lazy breakfast in bed. Instead, I encourage you to get up and create your own pop-up restaurant, and offer your loved one a divine, romantic breakfast tasting menu.
My personal pop-up restaurant, lovingly named Chez Moi, appears in a quiet corner of our living room once a year. I use red tablecloths to create a lush fabric background, drag a small garden café table out of storage, and drape that in red as well.
To set the table, I arrange a few graduated cake plates to form a tower, then fill tiny dishes with delicious little bites of food. Page through prior posts for inspiration if you like. Fruit salad is a good choice – sweet and fresh – adding lovely color to the tasting array. And, mini-heart toast (cut from sliced bread with a cookie cutter) is a perfect holiday addition and silver dollar pancakes also never fail to delight:
My tasting menu this year will include Poached Eggs with Mornay Sauce – gently simmered eggs with a soft, molten center, topped with a light drizzle of cheese and garnished with fresh parsley. Perfect for heart-y toast dipping.
And after all this work, don’t be surprised if you soon receive a Valentine’s invitation for a future divine, romantic breakfast in bed. 😉
Poached Eggs with Mornay Sauce
1 sprig fresh parsley (about 1 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons grated cheese (gruyère, cheddar, or Swiss)
Salt and pepper to taste
Wash and dry parsley. Chop finely and set aside. To make cheese sauce, melt butter in small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth, thick paste forms. Whisk in milk and cook until slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add grated cheese and stir until just melted. Set aside and keep warm.
Eggs should be as fresh as possible for perfect poaching. To poach eggs, fill a heavy saucepan with enough water to cover eggs (3 to 4 inches) and heat until very hot and simmering, but not boiling. Break eggs into individual small dishes. Or you can use an egg poacher. Carefully pour the first egg into the simmering water. Immediately use a wooden spoon to wrap the cooking white around the egg yolk to prevent the white from feathering. Repeat the process with the second egg, and cook for about four minutes, until the white is firm but the yolk is still soft. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and drain. Trim edges if necessary. Place each egg in a small dish. Top with cheese sauce and garnish with a little fresh parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with toast, if you like.
Makes 2 servings.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby.
Well, the ALA midwinter session came and went, and as we all know (at least those of us involved in libraries know) that means the announcement of several major awards for excellence in American children’s literature. The Newbery, The Coretta Scott King award, the Caldecott and the Printz to name a few.
I am always particularly interested in the Printz award, given for the best in new young adult novels written by Americans. Always thought-provoking and often challenging, this year is no disappointment. Laura Ruby has written a few books before winning the Printz for Bone Gap. But her earlier novels such as The Wall and the Wing are for younger readers and somewhat straighforward magical reading. Bone Gap is gritty, full of aches and love and turmoil and hope, much like real life. It’s also full of magic which, sadly, is less like real life.
Finn and Sean O’Sullivan are left to their own devices when their mother leaves her family in Bone Gap, Illinois for an orthodontist in Oregon who dislikes children. As teens, she expects they can look after themselves. Then one day, Roza shows up, injured, scared, and hiding in their barn. Only a year or two older than Sean, they take her in and give her the apartment in their home. When she suddenly vanishes, everyone in the small town believes she just decided to leave. But Finn knows what happened. He knows she was taken, but nobody believes him.
It’s difficult to summarize this book. It manages to tell the story in several timelines and from two different points of views, all without getting confusing or muddled. We learn how Roza came to America from Poland and we learn what happened when she shows up in the barn, but not necessarily in that order.
Dealing with teenage and adult subject matter, this book is better suited to the high school or adult audience but is not a story to be missed. Both disturbing and magical and lovely, the Printz Award has chosen a great novel to bear its medal.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
I am a big fan of fairy tales. The original 19th-century German tales, as recounted by the brothers Grimm, hold a lot of value to me. To be honest, I never knew that Into the Woods was a musical by Stephen Sondheim until the movie was released. I was intrigued as to what a fairy tale-themed musical might be like.
With an A-list cast including Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, and James Cordon to name a few, it showed a lot of promise. The story contains mix of several fairy tales that will be familiar to viewers: Cinderella; Jack and the Beanstalk; Little Red Riding Hood; and Rapunzel. Their stories merge as a poor childless baker and his wife make a deal with a witch. In exchange for several items, she will give them a child. Those items happen to include a golden slipper and a red robe. Each character finds him/herself headed into the woods for each individual purpose. And one by one they find each other and create a new story altogether.
I enjoyed this movie. It’s a good family-friendly sing-along-able movie with a mix of old stories and new. I only wish the movie had ended at what I assume was the intermission. I felt that everything was resolved nicely and that the second part only served to muddle the story. I found myself asking: why did that character do that? Why did that just happen? When did songs turn into people just singing what seems like regular dialogue?
Aside from that, I would watch it again. I’d probably turn it off at intermission. But that’s just me. If you are looking for a family-friendly musical that’s got a mix of humor, adventure, and tales we all know and love, take a trip Into the Woods.
Post by Tracy Kaler.
In my opinion, a bedroom isn’t complete without a pair of nightstands or other furniture on which you can place essentials such as an alarm clock, phone, bottle of water, and pair of eyeglasses. That being said, a nightstand in a traditional sense isn’t the only option for this practical bedside piece. These five choices are viable alternatives depending on your lifestyle, taste, and room layout.
If you don’t need the storage in your bedroom, you can get a custom skirt made for a round, square, or rectangular table. Add a piece of glass for easy maintenance and you’re good to go.
A small desk can double as a place to write a note and work on a laptop, as well as hold necessities. And you don’t have to be symmetrical about it. It’s fine to use a bedside table on the other side of the bed.
This tiny side table does the trick, as it holds a bedside lamp and an alarm clock. It appears as if there’s just enough space for a water bottle.
A short bed wall didn’t leave much room for nightstands, so SGW Architects in Chicago decided on a pair of cleverly designed shelves instead.
This clean, uncluttered built-in offers everything a nightstand does as well as more storage than the usual single-drawer bedside table.