Living

Living

Why we love to hate McMansions, but still buy them

McMansions – those bigger-than-average homes that try to emulate homes of the nobility – have become a familiar sight across the country, embodying our quest for that all-American paradox of affordable luxury, yet also frequently criticized for unsound construction and tacky design.

Families

Babies by the book

My wife, Elaina, loves babies. She loves to have them, to hold them, to nurse, and to stroll them. She knows everything there is to know about kids, it seems to me, including the best brands of strollers, baby wraps and baby and kid fashion, as well as a number of other topics about which I remain blissfully ignorant.

Living

Yardsmart: How to pick the perfect wildflowers for your garden

Whenever you disturb a lot of ground, there's an opportunity to sow wildflowers for beauty and erosion control. Flowers such as the red European corn poppy made the battlefields bloom bright red after the World War I armistice to germinate in a single massive display. The ground, pocked with excavated trenches, bomb craters and vehicle tracks allowed so much dormant seed to sprout that it became a symbol of veteran sacrifice. When your yard or property is torn up for any reason, that's the ideal time to sow not just for a spring flower show, but to help stabilize the soil against erosion by rain and runoff.

Entertainment

Book review: 'Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat,' exuberant bio celebrates art and creative freedom

Parents need to know that "Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat" is a bio of Basquiat, who grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., the son of a Haitian dad and Puerto Rican mom. By his 20s he was an art star, hanging with Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Madonna. He played hard and died young of a drug overdose, information that's dealt with in an Author's Note. The bio emphasizes the support Basquiat got from his mom, as well as the challenges he faced, including his mom's mental illness. The book's written and illustrated by Javaka Steptoe ("In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers"), who understands the challenges. His own dad, John Steptoe, was an award-winning illustrator who died young, and his mom suffered from mental illness. Steptoe illustrates the book in his own vibrant style, incorporating trademark elements of Basquiat's art, and his empathy shines through.

Living

10 home decor trends to try in 2017, according to experts

While some interior designers like Nate Berkus famously steer clear of trends when decorating, we still love to report on trends like we would baseball scores - much to the fascination of industry insiders and homeowners alike. But why are trends so fascinating to us? Perhaps it's caused by a fear of getting left behind by choosing a dark glossy floor for our next renovations when the trends are actually shifting toward light colors and matte shades. Or maybe it's because everything that's once new ends up feeling old - and conversely, everything that's old feels new again. So we turn to the designers and makers at the cutting edge of innovation to inspire us and make our tired decor choices feel new again.

Families

Game review: Run your own racing team in 'Motorsport Manager'

Parents need to know that "Motorsport Manager" is a strategic simulation game in which players have to manage aspects of a racing team. There's no sex, violence, or profanity, save for one use of the word "ass." While drivers occasionally talk about enjoying an alcoholic beverage, they're never shown drinking.

Families

Social Security: Retirement planning

It's 2017, and that means you might be one more year closer to retirement. Whether you're at your very first job or wrapping up a successful career, there are always new things to learn about when it comes to saving for the future. So why not make retirement planning part of your New Year's resolution!

Videos

Mucho-mega burrito dazzles hungry customers in Puyallup

Puyallup’s Fiesta Taqueria & Tequila Bar made its “Mucho-Mega Burrito” on Jan. 10 as part of its monthly free meal to military personnel, both active and retired, and their families.
Joshua Bessex jbessex@gateline.com
Mucho-mega burrito dazzles hungry customers in Puyallup 1:25

Mucho-mega burrito dazzles hungry customers in Puyallup

Building a house from scratch is not easy, even with love for DIY 2:44

Building a house from scratch is not easy, even with love for DIY

Female cat owners benefit most from stress-reducing effect of a pet 1:04

Female cat owners benefit most from stress-reducing effect of a pet

Can you really suffer from a broken heart? 0:43

Can you really suffer from a broken heart?

Entertainment Videos