Jan 30, 2018

How to get a better night’s sleep

"Let me think about it. Why couldn't you sleep?"
 "How do I know? The doctor's got some sort of holistic tea he wants me to try."
 "Sex is a good sedative."
 "Maybe. Especially, for instance, if your partner's on the inadequate side. You can catch a quick nap during the act."
 "I can promise you won't sleep through it."
 She only smiled, and ate her salad.

Angels Fall


By Édouard Vuillard - AAGyOnA867cXFA at Google Cultural Institute 
maximum zoom level, Public Domain, 

Most people know they need to eat right and exercise to be healthy. But what about sleep? We spend about one-third of our lives asleep, and sleep is essential to better health. But many of us are struggling with sleep. Four out of five people say that they suffer from sleep problems at least once a week and wake up feeling exhausted. So how do you become a more successful sleeper? Grab a pillow, curl up and keep reading to find out.


Out of habit, she switched on the white-noise maker on the bedside table.
When she moved away to adjust her bedroom air filter, Malachi switched it back off as he did every night. She never noticed.

Three Fates

Jan 29, 2018

You And Your Dog Share A Bed

 "Yeah, you fell into roses, didn't you? And didn't have to do a thing to earn it. Goofy-looking dog." 
Seth nearly blinked, realizing Cam was speaking to Foolish and not him. 
"It'll be his problem, won't it, when you're grown and take up more of the bed than he does."
 Cautious, Seth slitted his eyes open just enough so he could see through his lashes. He saw Cam's hand come down, give Foolish a quick, careless stroke. Then the tangled sheets and blanket came up, smoothed over his shoulders. That same hand gave Seth's head a quick and careless stroke.
 When the door closed again, Seth waited thirty full seconds before daring to open his eyes. He looked straight into Foolish's face. The pup seemed to be grinning at him as though they'd gotten away with something. 
Grinning back, Seth draped an arm around the pup's pudgy body.
 "I guess it is a pretty good deal, huh, boy?" he whispered.
 In agreement, Foolish licked Seth's face, then yawning hugely, settled down to sleep again.
 This time, when Seth dropped off to sleep, there were no sweaty dreams to haunt him.

Sea Swept


Sleeping with another person can be cozy, but being able to snuggle up with your dog is great.

By Edralis - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, 

Like people, dogs have all kinds of sleeping habits. In fact, the way your dog sleeps can say a lot about who they are, other than just being a good boy.


With that mess sorted out, he moved into the bedroom, tossed down one of the big pillows that grouped on the sofa in his sitting area. 
But the dog, fully at home now, jumped onto the big, high bed, stretched out like a potentate at his ease. 
“Well, at least you’re clean.” He climbed in himself, decided on a book rather than TV to ease him toward sleep. 
By the time Fin turned off the light, Bugs was quietly snoring. 
Fin found the sound of it a small comfort, and wondered how pathetic it was when a snoring dog eased the lonely. 

Blood Magick

Jan 27, 2018

Chic Champagne Brunch

Champagne for breakfast, she thought. 
Just imagine that.

Heart of the Sea


Pop the bubbly! It's time to celebrate -- with flowery decor, quiche, berry cheesecake parfaits, and best of all: a DIY mimosa bar. Brunch never felt this fancy.



And there would be champagne. 
Good, she was in the mood for it.

The Villa

Jan 26, 2018

Gooey Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

 "You cooked breakfast, so I'll fix dinner," she said and got out the wine. 
"I'm not much of a cook, so you'll have to make do with my fallback meal."

"And what might that be?"

"Soup from a can and grilled cheese sandwiches."

"Sounds like just the trick on a rainy night."

Jewels of the Sun


Warm, melty cheese between two toasty pieces of bread might just be the ultimate comfort food. Our readers griddle up the best grilled cheese recipes since sliced...well, you know.


Jan 25, 2018

Incredible Dog Houses for Your Best Friend

Nate realized one of the outbuildings was an elaborate doghouse, 
decorated with totem figures painted in a primitive-art folksy style.
High life, all right. 

Northern Lights


For millions of people across the globe, dogs aren't just pets, they're part of the family. And a beloved member of the family deserves the best possible living space. Here are a dozen amazing dog homes to help inspire your own canine creations. 

Jan 24, 2018

“Being a warrior is learning how to cry.”

 "Heels down. Knees, Joey. That's the way. You're a team, remember. Looking good. Much better."
 She moved closer, tapped the heels of one of her two boys.
 He grinned and turned them down. 
Oh, yes, much better, she thought. 
A month before Willy had jerked like a puppet 
every time she'd touched him.
 It was all about trust.

Irish Rebel


By Lori Hurley - Flickr: Cousins puppy--Tyson, CC BY 2.0, 


It’s this cycle of compassion  — from human to animal and earth and back again — that Cacciatore hopes will be the heartbeat here.


 "Did you notice the little guy, dark hair and eyes? He rides Teddy."
 "Aye. He has good form, and he's cheerful about it."
 "He is now. He was a scared little rabbit when Keeley took him on." Sarah swung into the stables, headed directly for the tack room.
 "Afraid of horses?"
 "Of everything. I don't know how people can do that to a child. I'll never understand it."
 "Do what?"
 She chose her tack, murmuring a thanks when Brian took the saddle from her. "Hurt them." 

Irish Rebel

Jan 23, 2018

boozing personality types

 He took her hand, held it as the wine was brought to the table, as the label was turned for his approval. He waited while a sample was poured into his glass, watching her in that steady, all-else-aside way she'd discovered he had. He lifted it, sipped, still looking at her.
 "It's perfect. You'll like it," he murmured to her while their glasses were being filled.
 "You're right," she told him after she sipped. "I like it very much."
 "Shall I tell you tonight's specials," their waiter began in a cheerful voice. 
While he recited, they sat, hands linked, eyes locked. 

Inner Harbor


By Jon Sullivan - pdphoto.orghttp://pdphoto.org/PictureDetail.php?oldpg=2479, 
Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25990

What type of drinker are YOU?

Are you a highly sociable shot clinker, or a clever pleasure-seeker who knows the value of taking your time over your favourite drink?



“How ya doing, hotshot?”
“I’m good. How about you, Swede?”
In answer she tapped her third shot glass to his before they tossed back the contents together. She brought the lime wedge to her mouth. “Do you know what I love about tequila?”
“What do you love about tequila?”
After a wicked laugh, she drank the fourth with the same careless gusto as the first three. Together they slapped down the empties. 

Chasing Fire

Jan 22, 2018

let's all encourage each other

"A woman doesn't want to be told she looks nice," 
Jude muttered as she sat down beside Maude's grave. 
"She wants to be told she's beautiful, sexy. That she looks outrageous. It doesn't matter if it's not true." 
She sighed and laid the flowers against the headstone. 
"Because for the moment, when the words are said and the words are heard, it's perfect truth." 

Jewels of the Sun


By Anonymous Dissident - Own work, Public Domain, 

18 Unexpected Compliments Every Woman Wants to Hear


"Would you take them as they're offered from the man who knows he holds your heart, or would you rather the words?" 

Dazzled, she lifted her head. The fire and spark still sheened her vision, but she saw how dark, how fiercely intent was his gaze as he studied her. She said the first thing that came into her head, because it seemed the only thing. 

"What are the words?" 

And he sighed, long and deep, his proud shoulders slumping, his eyes going soft and sad. 
"So it's true, then, they matter so much."

Jewels of the Sun

Jan 21, 2018

Mentions in Nora's Novels

Then we went into 'Somewhere,' from West Side Story. Do you know it?"
"I've heard it." Dylan leaned back and lit a cigarette. 

The Last Honest Woman


Jan 20, 2018

Artist Surprises Girlfriend

 He tapped one of the sketches. 
"Thats her. Thats you, Cilla. Just the way I see you."



Artist Surprises Girlfriend with Illustrations of Them Together in 10 Different Cartoon Styles

Minnesota-based character artist and graphic designer Kells O'Hickey decided to use his drawing skills to make a creative gift for his girlfriend, Lindsay. His illustrations depict portraits of the couple in the style of 10 of their favorite cartoons. From Disney to anime, the thoughtful drawings showcase the talented artist’s diverse drawing skills.


She took the paper back from him and stuck it in her pocket. It was something she intended to keep forever. 
“You’ve used me rather lavishly in your work recently.” 
She had to tilt back her head in order to keep her eyes level with his. Grant thought she looked more regal than ever. If she turned her thumb down, she could throw him to the lions.  
“Didn’t it occur to you to ask permission first?”
“Artist’s privilege.”

One Man's Art

Jan 19, 2018

'I've Seen It All'

She was a legend. A product of time and talent and her own unrelenting ambition. Eve Benedict. Men thirty years her junior desired her. Women envied her. Studio heads courted her, knowing that in this day when movies were made by accountants, her name was solid gold. 

Genuine Lies


By Damion Matthews - Originally uploaded to en.wikipedia as 
Image:Stone1.JPG (all linking to en.wikipedia):
08:42, 5 May 2005 Damion (Talk / contribs) uploaded "Image:Stone1.JPG"
(Sharon Stone speaking in San Francisco, April 24, 2004. 
Photo copyright, Damion Matthews. Courtesy of Damion Matthews.), 
CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=698293

“You’re laughing, but I don’t know if that’s a nervous laugh or an ‘Are-you-kidding-me-of-course-I-was’ laugh?” Lee Cowen asked.
Without giving any specifics, the actress, 59, said she’s “seen it all” throughout her decades-long career.


She is flawed, of course. Where there is generosity, there is also selfishness. Where there is kindness, there is also a careless disregard for feelings. She can be abrupt, cool, callus, rude—human. The flaws make the woman off the screen as fascinating and vital as any woman she has played on it. Her strength is awesome. It is in her eyes, her voice, in every gesture of her disciplined body. Life, it seems, is a challenge, a role she has agreed to play with great verve—and one in which she takes no direction. Any miscues or broken scenes are her responsibility. She blames no one. Beyond the talent, the beauty, that rich, smoky voice or sharp intelligence, she is to be admired for her unflagging sense of self.

Genuine Lies

Jan 18, 2018

Host a DIY Spa Party

Zoe rubbed the exfoliating cream over Dana's calf and grinned as her friend let out a long, heartfelt moan. 
"I really appreciate the two of you giving up your Sunday afternoon to be my guinea pigs." 
This time Dana grunted. 
Malory sat on a stool in the treatment room and rubbed her fingers over her newly scrubbed and polished skin. 
"I can't get over how good it feels." 
"I wasn't worried about the results—these products are great. But I want to be sure the whole experience works." 
"Works for me," said Dana's slurred and muffled voice. 

Key of Valor


It's time to treat yourself and pamper your favorite pals.
Host a DIY spa party and get ready to relax.
We've got light snacks, fun projects, and easy ideas for the most aaah-inducing party you've ever thrown.


Zoe glanced around, scanning the shelves of products, the glowing candles, the neat stack of mint-green towels on the counter, the clear crystal she'd hung from the ceiling over the padded table. 
It was, she thought, exactly right. 
"Of course, when we're doing this for real there won't be three people in here talking. You want us to be quiet, Dana?" 
"You don't even exist in my little world." 

Key of Valor

Jan 17, 2018


Stars exploded around it, as it someone had loaded a shotgun with diamonds and blasted away. Their light turned the icing of snow on the peaks an eerie blue, and dashed the crevices and gullies into deep, rich shadow.

Angels Fall 


By Michael J. Bennett - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, 

Stars are difficult to study. We can see them, which makes them an easier subject than black holes

Those natural seismic also carry with them a frequency, and if we could directly hear this resonance, it'd sound like ringing bells. 
But how do we know? 
Well, we can see it, in the swirling surface and changing brightness of the star.


But she laughed, shook back her hair to take a look up at the sky. "My God, it's so big, so clear. I can see the Milky Way. I think that's the Milky Way. And both Dippers, which is about it for my constellation knowledge."

"Don't look at me. I just see a bunch of stars, and a white, waning moon."

Angels Fall

Jan 16, 2018

why Americans love the royals

She’d been to the palace before. The first time, nearly seven years earlier, she’d thought it was a fairy tale sprung into three dimensions. She was older now, though she wasn’t sure about wiser. Cordina was a country. The palace was a building, a beautiful one. 
Fairy tales were for the very young, the very naive or the very fortunate.

Command Performance


Public Domain, 

Huffington Post: "We are fascinated and obsessed with fairy tales. They have been a part of our society’s fabric since childhood."


Throwing her arms around him, she brought him to her for a kiss, a bargain sealed, a life begun. She laughed and pressed her lips to his throat. 
"Fairy tales," she said, half to herself. "I’d stopped believing in them." 
"And I.’’ His lips found hers again. 
"But no more. Tonight you’ve given me even that”

Command Performance

Jan 15, 2018

Go Ahead—Draw On The Walls

“She showed me the mural in the parlor. The one with all the mythical creatures.” 
“I was twenty, and romantic.” 
And he’d asked his mother a dozen times to have it painted over. 
“I like it.” 

Gabriel's Angel


Mom and Dad always said not to draw on the walls. These two Minneapolis women politely disagree.

Imagine wallpaper, minus the paper. Just an imaginative pattern painted directly on the canvas that is your home. Sure, it’s unorthodox. But for Minneapolis artists Kate Worum and Jennifer Jorgensen, it’s an expression of bravery—in style, and in life.


“What’s wrong with unicorns and centaurs and fairies?” 
“They have their place, I suppose.” 

Gabriel's Angel