Interior Design

Design Your Own Pillow With Inmod’s Brand New Pillow Design Studio

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — Inmod (www.inmod.com), a division of Evo Furniture LLC and a leading provider of contemporary and modern furniture, is pleased to introduce its exclusive Pillow Design Studio. Via a one-of-a-kind interactive application, visitors to Inmod can design single pillow or create entire pillow collections for their homes. Inmod.com is the only website to offer custom pillow design, continuing to give its customers more control over design, as demand for personalization continues to grow. Inmod continues to address this trend with the addition of pillows to its Design Studio, giving more and more control to its customers who continue to both ask for and embrace it.  read more »

Parenting

D.C. no longer #1, but with Arlington, ranked as one of the top ‘cities’ for families

We still have the Nationals.

We are, however, no longer the top city for families, according to Parenting magazine. The magazine’s editors are publishing their latest annual ranking of best cities for families online today, and have grouped Washington, D.C., and Arlington together, placing them at No. 6. read more »

Kitchen

Sauternes is a sweet wine, but there’s more to it

Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com

Of course, until recently, my thoughts on Sauternes were like that of many others, namely: Who the heck drinks them, anyway? Wine Recommendations Joe Riley, manager at Ace Beverage in Northwest Washington, said he has seen demand for Sauternes and other sweet wines drop off like a cliff. “I think some people like the idea of dessert wines, but have second thoughts when they see the prices, Riley told me via e-mail. Even Sauternes makers will tell you that their wine has been a tough sell of late. “Nobody comes into a store to buy Sauternes, says Xavier Planty, general manager at Chateau Guiraud, a producer ranked as premier cru since the original Bordeaux classification of 1855. As I’ve seen with numerous other wines and spirits over the years, however, if you wait long enough, things will change. Old will become new. Uncool will become trendy. When I stopped at Chateau Guiraud on my visit to Sauternes in the spring, the mood was optimistic. “Sauternes is back, said Augustin Lacaille, Guiraud’s brand ambassador. “The target for us is millennials. From what we can see, the millennials have a sweet palate as they move into wine. Lacaille bases his optimism on trends like the rise of sweet wines such as moscato, the U.S. sales of which were up 80 percent last year. “Moscato was the easiest wine for [millennials] to start with, he said. “I think this is a good thing. Eventually, the millennials will seek out more complexity. Among older wine aficionados, there’s a basic bias against sweet wines. I think we need to move beyond the false idea that “sweet equals “unsophisticated. Sauternes is “sweet in the same way that “Moby-Dick is a sea story. True, but there’s more to it than that. “I don’t like the word ‘sweet.’ Sweet is reductive, Planty said. “These wines are not just sweet. They’re more complex than that. When it’s good, Sauternes is like ambrosia, full of layer upon layer of flavors. I prefer to serve it slightly chilled, and as the wine warms up in the glass the complex aromas change from moment to moment: honey, honeysuckle, honeydew; pineapple, mango, papaya; almond, fig, flowers; brioche, creme brulee, salted caramel. Sauternes gets its complexity from sauvignon blanc and semillon grapes, many of which have botrytized, meaning they have been benevolently “infected by a fungus called noble rot. If you’ve never had wines like this it can sound strange, but the effect is delicious. As the grapes dry out, an incredible concentration of aromas and flavors occurs. Unlike many sweet wines, Sauternes is not late harvest. Cool, humid nights cause the noble rot to develop, and noble rot must happen soon after maturity. There are so many capricious factors at play. In the early 1990s, there were years when no harvest occurred at all. No surprise then that it’s one of the most sought-after wines by collectors. Half-bottles (375 milliliters) regularly fetch more than $100. Great vintages can stretch much higher. I recently saw a bottle of 1994 Chateau d’Yquem listed at a Virginia retailer for $2,790. Part of the reason for this is the aging potential for Sauternes: The wine can seemingly live forever. “Sauternes was the first wine of Bordeaux to age. It’s built to age, Planty said. “But a good Sauternes is always good. When it’s young, you can drink it, too. That is very unlike a lot of coveted red wines meant to age, such as premier cru Bordeaux or Barolo. That’s why I recommend splurging on even a young Sauternes. High-quality, 375-milliliter bottles for less than $30 abound. It sounds like a lot for a little, but honestly, you’re not going to slurp down a full bottle of such a rich, viscous wine. And I find that Sauternes keeps slightly longer in the refrigerator than other wines: at least four to five days, sometimes longer. Don’t be put off by the drab sameness of the Sauternes labels. It seems to be a rule that all bottles must have golden, scripty fonts on stark labels, with images of either old chateaus or coats of arms. (I’d suggest that if Sauternes producers are really going after the millennial market, they may want to invest in label makeovers from hip graphic designers.) In the end, the label is irrelevant. Once you open the wine and pour it into a glass, it’s pure pleasure. I defy anyone to taste and disagree with me on this: Sauternes makes you happy. Wine Recommendations Wilson writes this week for Dave McIntyre, whose column will return next week. read more »

Home and Family

Fremont Insurance Provides Seasonal Dwelling Advice; Offers to Waive Deductible for Claims

FREMONT, Mich., Sept. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Fremont Insurance is committed to helping homeowners protect their homes.  As part of that commitment, the Company regularly shares tips and recommendations with its customers to help them avoid a wide range of potentially devastating losses.  The Company’s Seasonal Dwellings Closing Checklist provides policy holders even more protection by helping homeowners properly prepare their seasonal dwelling for the winter months, and also offering to waive the policyholder’s deductible should any losses occur if the homeowner has followed the company’s recommendations. read more »

Holidays

Arthur’s Blog: The Six Most Common Travel Questions

What are the queries most frequently posed to this blog by readers, or phoned in to the Travel Show? There are six of them repeated over and over most weeks, each reflecting a widespread travel concern.

1. Is it safe to travel to _____? It’s the most frequent query of all and the most difficult to answer. In a pinch, I direct them to the U.S. State Department’s list of nations to avoid (www.travel.state.gov) and also point out that a similar list maintained by the British Foreign Office (www.fco.gov.uk) is regarded, by some, as containing even better advice. read more »

Furniture

QualityMatters.com to Sell Handmade Wood Cutting Boards by Chatelle Inc.

PORTLAND, OREGON — Online retailer QualityMatters.com is pleased to announce its decision to sell handmade wood cutting boards crafted by Chatelle Inc. Later, QualityMatters.com will also offer other products by the Oregon City, Ore.-based manufacturer.

The affiliation of the two companies gives consumers easier access to the high-quality wood cutting boards by Chatelle (http://www.chatellefurniture.com/), which specializes in furniture and woodworking. It also allows online shoppers the ability to avoid ordering cutting boards manufactured from unknown overseas sources. read more »

Energy Saving

Save Energy, Save Money With Today’s Manufactured Homes

PHOENIX, ARIZONA — In these economic times, the decision to purchase a home has become a very serious consideration, with cost of ownership in both the short and long term being in the forefront of the buyer’s mind. One of the most important factors consumers should consider when buying a home is its energy efficiency rating, as this can add up to substantial savings over the life of the home. Today’s energy efficient manufactured home is no different from any other home, except it has been built off-site, usually in a controlled factory environment, using the latest in energy efficient technologies. Coupled with a lower cost per square foot as compared to site-built homes, today’s manufactured home is a smart investment for today’s savvy homebuyers. read more »

Pets

Secret Missions for Obama’s New First Dog

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA — With every wag of its tail the First Dog will accomplish secret missions for dogs everywhere. The White House dog will teach the Obama children and their counterparts in homes across America about compassion, responsibility, and respect for animals while providing plenty of photo-perfect fun and stress relief. But the dog has already sparked controversy and hope among people who passionately care about animals. Allen and Linda Anderson, best-selling authors of Angel Dogs with a Mission (New World Library, 2008), say, “The Obama dog will fulfill its missions as the nation’s doggie trendsetter with every choice the family makes for their new pet.” read more »

Children

To boost test scores, schools clamor for a horseman’s advice

On a ranch of willows and wild grass outside Sacramento, the cowboy cooed to his tawny mustang. Then he led Little Buck through basic commands — back up, step forward — and rewarded him with a biscuit.

Dennis Parker is a part-Cherokee trainer in rural Zamora, Calif., who sports a silver ponytail beneath his cowboy hat. But his recent demonstration was aimed at training a different breed grappling with far bigger tasks: educators under mounting pressure to raise students’ standardized test scores. read more »

Interior Design

Cappellini hits sweet spot with Candy table, Lace lamp

Giulio Cappellini No, it’s not some Don Draper-devised take on Rodin’s “The Thinker” staged with midcentury modern accent tables. This is Giulio Cappellini, artistic director of Cappellini, the Italian furniture manufacturer known for more than 30 years for discovering talent and producing works by designers such as Jasper Morrison, Marcel Wanders and the Bouroullec and Campana brothers. read more »