Lentils with a Side of Rice by 2050: Is This the 'Save-the-World' Diet?

Coming to dining tables everywhere by 2050: porridge for breakfast, rice for lunch, a dinner of lentils and vegetables, and a single hamburger every few weeks, as a treat.Here is a rundown of the daily meal plan that dozens of health and environment experts are urging the world to adopt in order to sustain a global population of 10 billion by mid-century, while reining in climate change and preventing millions of premature deaths each year.The team behind a landmark food say intake of some foods such as meat and sugar needs to fall by half by 2050 to reduce the global burden posed by the three billion people on Earth who are either over- or under-fed.While richer nations must drastically slash their meat consumption, regions such as South Asia currently experience a dearth of calories and protein from a lack of red meat.Livestock farming is catastrophic for the environment, producing up to 18 percent of global greenhouse gases and contributing to deforestation and water shortages.Under the new regimen, adults would be limited to 14 grammes of red meat a day -- equivalent to half a rasher of bacon -- and get no more than 30 calories from it.A quarter-pounder burger patty contains roughly 450 calories and North Americans alone consume more than six times the current daily recommended red meat intake of between 50-70 grammes.The diet recommends no more than 29 grammes of daily poultry -- around one and a half chicken nuggets -- and 13 grammes of eggs, or just 1.5 a week.The team said consumption of fruits, vegetables, and legumes such as chickpeas and lentils must increase more than two fold, particularly in poorer nations where more than 800 million people get insufficient calories.More wholegrain foods such as barley and brown rice are needed, but starchy vegetables like potatoes and cassava are limited to 50 grammes a day.The authors of the report noted that the ideal diet would vary from region to region, stressing that their menu was designed to show how everyone could get their 2,500 daily calories, keep healthy and aid the planet."Eating less red meat -- which is mostly a challenge in changing human behaviour -- is crucial," Johan Rockstrom, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Change Impact Research and one of the authors, told AFP. "But something equally dramatic that is less talked about is the reduction in conventional cereal and tubers, and the transition to nuts, fruits, vegetables and beans as a principal source of nutrition."The authors estimate their diet would improve intakes of most vital nutrients while slashing consumption of unhealthy saturated fats.Healthy sources of fat such as nuts and seeds receive a boost: You could eat up to 75 grammes a day of peanuts, but would need to cut back on other unsaturated fats such as oily fish on those days.Ultimately the new diet could globally prevent up to 11.6 million premature deaths per year, according to its creators.Get , live coverage, and Latest from India and around the world on NDTV.com. Catch all the Live TV action on NDTV 24x7 and . Like us on or follow us on and for and updates.

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This Holland Park Home Has Views of the City, Story Bridge and Mt Coot-tha
48 Newbolt St, Holland Park.Source:Supplied48 Newbolt St, Holland ParkFOCUSED ON comfort, this exquisite property is the perfect place to call home. Be amazed by the grand design, which encompasses Silver Silkwood floors, skylighted ceilings and views of the city, Story Bridge and Mt Coot-tha.A Purpleheart timber staircase with dramatic void overhead leads up to the first floor. The glamorous open-plan living and dining room immediately invites with its refreshing size.It connects seamlessly with the modern kitchen, which boasts granite benchtops, a walk-in pantry, stainless steel appliances and ample cabinet space.Sliding glass doors open up the inside to the spacious rear deck made from Purpleheart timber. Ceiling fans and a scenic outlook over Brisbane's suburban sprawl provide year-round comfort and serenity.48 Newbolt St, Holland Park.Source:SuppliedThe deck runs down the house's length, connecting with the four upstairs bedrooms through more sliding glass doors.Three of these bedrooms come with built-in wardrobes and share a modern bathroom along with an extra powder room. Open, well-lit study areas sit directly outside.The main bedroom offers a delightful sanctuary separated from the rest of the house with its own staircase. Parents can enjoy a large walk-in wardrobe along with an ensuite with a spa bath and double vanity.The downstairs patio and timber decks embrace outdoor living with enough space for dining tables, loungers and a barbecue. They are met by a 15m pool and a 25m lap pool. Outdoor enthusiasts will also enjoy the fully-fenced extensive backyard with children's fort and vegetable garden, along with the nearby bushwalking trails.48 Newbolt St, Holland Park.Source:SuppliedInside, the ground floor has more entertaining space with its versatile media room, which features a kitchenette and adjoining bathroom.Two more bedrooms are nearby, including a guest retreat with its own lounge room, ensuite and kitchenette. The three-car garage includes a roomy shed with workbench, television and bike racks.48 Newbolt St, Holland Park.Source:Supplied"This pet-friendly home is thoughtfully designed for a growing family and comes with all the conveniences a busy family requires," agent Simon Caulfield said. BSInspections: November 12, 11-11.30amFor sale: By expressions of interest closing November 17, 4pmAgent: Simon Caulfield, Place Kangaroo PointTel: 133 911, 0437 935 912
Dining Tables for Your Home
Dining tables come in as many varieties as there are people to choose them.First, consider the room where you are planning on placing the table, since this can affect the style you choose. Second, consider how you are going to use it to be sure you get one that can stand up to the use you need.If it is to be placed into a dedicated room, many choose to go for a formal dining table. These are usually large tables that can seat 6 or more. They are more ornate in style and are heavier then other types of tables. They can be glass topped, but you will most often see wooden tables. Tables can have carved, pedestal, or wrought iron legs and have carved feet. These types can be replicas of tables from hundreds of years ago, or be in a contemporary style. Finishes on these are usually darker, although there are light options available. Casual dining tables are also another choice if you have a separate room or it will be part of the kitchen. The can be round or square. These tables feature simple legs in wood or metal. The finish on these can be painted or coated in veneer to extend the longevity of these tables. They are expected to be used on a daily basis, and the construction of these is typically sturdy. Tables of this kind are made in a light coloured wood or other material and can be in a classic to country style.Tables for just the kitchen are somewhat smaller then the previous ones. These are the most varied in style and can be made of any material. Wood is a dominant choice of these tables, but you can also find them in plastic, metal and glass. Some will feature sides that will drop down, and these can seat two to four people. The styles also can be highly personalized. You can find retro reproductions to mimic a 50s diner, caf? tables and some that are rustic looking. Breakfast nooks are very space saving. Intended to be placed into the corner of the kitchen, these have bench style seating. These are picnic style tables, and usually are wooden, but retro metal and plastic styles are common. These have either a single stand to support the table, or will have 2 legs with a brace.Counter height dining tables are a recent addition to dining tables in homes, and these are tall tables. They do need special chairs to go with them, and can be as formal, or casual, as you like. Tables can be of any shape and in any material. They can have legs of any previous style. Colouring of these types are varied, although dark woods are most widespread.Dining tables can be fun and a way to express your own taste and individuality within your home. You are not limited in material, look or comfort and will be able to have a table that is perfect for your home.
Council Exploring 'tiny House' Village Idea
Two Mount Maunganui woman want to create New Zealand's first tiny house village in Tauranga. Bobbie Cornell is a Kiwi-born architect who worked in Hong Kong and China before settling in Tauranga. She turned to tiny houses as a way to put a roof over her kids' heads without a lifelong mortgage. Melissa Cox was burned in the collapse of the United States housing market in 2008. She and her husband bought a house nine months before the bubble burst. They stuck it out for eight years before selling at a big loss and moving to New Zealand. "I won't make the same mistake twice," she said. The women met through a tiny house Facebook group. They started imagining a village of beautiful little houses where people shared resources and a common sense of community - enjoying less stuff and more life - in the city they love. Definitions vary. For the village, it could be anything from a 17sq m house on (if allowed by council) a trailer, to a permanently-sited granny flat up to 59sq m. Mrs Cox and Ms Cornell hope for a mix of houses to suit people of all ages and life stages. "Small doesn't mean cheaply made, or cramped, or unattractive, or a lack of privacy. We're going to be the cutest little village you've ever seen," Mrs Cox said. They said the dwellings would essentially look like little houses - so house trucks, housebuses and caravans wouldn't fit the bill. Built to building code and designed for permanent living, the tiny houses would have double glazing, wall and floor insulation, kitchens, bathrooms. They could be made to connect to local services, or be off-grid. Inside a tiny house, space is used more efficiently than in a regular house. Think multi-functional furniture, fold-out dining tables and couches with internal storage. Rebecca Bartlett of Tiny House Builders, which has a workshop in Katikati, said she had huge interest in her showhome at the recent Tauranga Home Show. "I could have sold it four or five times over." The 21sq m showhome on a 3x7m trailer is fully insulated, and features two-bedroom lofts, a 900sq m shower and a kitchen with all the usual amenities. "A tiny house will be warmer and cosier and drier than any house you've ever been in," she said. A meeting of tiny house enthusiasts in Tauranga early this year had standing room only, Mrs Cox said. Students, young couples, families, immigrants, widows - people from diverse walks of life were interested in living smaller, more collaboratively and escaping Tauranga's high house prices. Te Puna man Leo Murray, who is midway through building his tiny house, supports the village idea as a way to build a more connected and resilient community. "When people share and collaborate the fabric of community always seems to weave together more tightly," he said. "Tiny houses speak to the fact that people are not consumption machines, and can live their lives without spending 25 to 30 years paying off a mortgage." To Mrs Cox and Ms Cornell, there was an obvious need for alternative housing. They started talking to both the Tauranga District Council and Western Bay District Council. Staff and elected members from both councils had been "wonderful" and very receptive to the idea, they said. Tauranga deputy mayor Kelvin Clout was keen to explore the idea, and organised for the woman to speak at a meeting of interested councillors and staff. A tiny house village could be a realistic alternative to the traditional housing market, or a way to get on the housing ladder, he said. It would also help the council meet Government housing targets.City plan obstacles Cr Clout said the first obstacle was the city plan requirement of a minimum lot size of 325sq m per dwelling in most areas of the city. Mrs Cox and Ms Cornell wanted to allow 150-200sq m per 17-59sq m tiny house, starting with a dozen or so houses. The second obstruction was that tiny houses on wheels were classed as caravans, meaning they couldn't be used as permanent homes. "Both obstacles require a city plan change," Cr Clout said. "When we do a city plan change there is a lot of consulting. People are going to say 'not in my backyard'," he said. The council would have to balance those perspectives. Cr Clout said past plan changes had taken one to two years, but Special Housing Area legislation could move things along faster.Searching for land For planning to properly begin, they need land. Rural land was available, but largely ruled out due to, among other things, the extensive development requirements and roading burden. For Mrs Cox and Ms Cornell, a minimum 2000sq m residentially-zoned site in walking distance to schools and amenities was the dream. It couldn't have the restrictive covenants present on a lot of developer land in Tauranga, and had to be affordable to lease long-term or buy. Cr Clout said the council was looking into council-owned land that could be leased for a village - ideally somewhere without sensitive neighbours. "It needs to be clear that this will not be like a commune. They are keen to become part of the local community, enriching it," he said. "We are not going to be a dirty crowded commune," Mrs Cox said. "We will have rules, we will have aesthetic guidelines and we will have self-government and community outreach. We're going to be great neighbours. "We are happy that the councils are working with us. It's going to be adorable and sustainable, but we need the land."
Dual-purpose Furniture Can Transform a Room
Dear Debbie,We would like to be able to accommodate travelling friends a few times a year. Our second bedroom is my home office. Could it also be a guest room? It's not large, eight by 10 feet.ArthurDear Arthur;When you are planning a space that has a dual purpose, your best option is to find furniture that also can be transformed depending on the requirements of the day. Resource Furniture has a product line that is uniquely suited to your challenge. Their multi-function furniture line is designed to be what you need when you need it, and then tucked away. The Cabrio IN unit shown here is a desk as well as a bed. With this unique design, made in Italy by Clei, there's no need to clear away your desktop, simply lift it up and pull down the bed. A modular storage cabinet and shelving system fit seamlessly beside the desk/bed unit. Your work papers and files can be stored in the closed cabinet, and the book shelves stocked with a music system, reading material, lamp and vase of fresh-cut flowers for your guest. Decorate the room with a cheerful motif; fuchsia and golden yellow make wonderful accent colours that you could pick up in a striped wallpaper.There are larger units if you require a double or queen-size bed, but for a small room, the twin works well, taking up about 41 inches from the wall when open. They have lots of ideas for the other rooms in your home: dining tables and chairs that collapse and can be stored away, storage units tucked under stairs, and their Stealth Kitchen - it's all hidden away behind wall panels. resourcefurniture.com. Dear Debbie,I have a typical three-bedroom bungalow where the bedrooms, bathroom and linen closet are all off a relatively short hallway. Hall lighting is a fixture flush to the ceiling. Suggestions to brighten the space?LindaDear Linda,Why not replace your existing fixture with one of the new thin track lights? You can then position three or four small spotlights along the track angled toward the rooms and the closet. The light will spill down the walls and brighten up the entire hallway. You can find these tracks at your lighting store, or check flos.com. Debbie Travis' House to Home column is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Please email your questions to . You can follow Debbie on Twitter at twitter.com/debbie_travisEND, and visit Debbie's new website, debbietravis.comEND.
Being Ousted From the Best Seat at the Griffin Poetry Prize
The prize is the largest annual award for a single book of poetry in the world is the Griffin Poetry Award. I attended the awards ceremony, and while I would like to say I made a great impression at Conrad Black's table; turns out I just filched two seats from his friends.Bernard Gauthier (Bravo TV) and myself arrived early at the Griffin Poetry Prize award dinner in Toronto on June 7. The Distillery District hall doors had only been open for a few minutes. We were one of the first to be welcomed by Scott and Krystyne Griffin, the founders and funders of the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry. The prize is the largest annual award for a single book of poetry in the world. I had trouble hearing our hosts because of the Mexican mariachi band that had just begun to tune up. I am sure I would have heard all the details about the seating arrangements if I leaned a little closer in.We entered the large exposed brick space that was once used for the fermentation of millions of gallons of liquor. The room soon began to fill with everyone I have read in the past 10 years. Michael Ondaatje, Margaret Atwood, Christopher Dwedney, Richard Gwyn. There were TV stars journalists, and former governor general Adrienne Clarkson.More and more people poured into the space. It was an elbows-up cocktail hour. This was going to be a sold-out show. Bernard and I worried we would get separated and not be able to sit together when the dinner bell rang. We decided to stake a claim at one of the round dining tables. I placed my car keys and glass of beer on the table. Bernard put his notes and bag on a chair beside me. We went our different ways, promising to meet up when the dinner began.The supper announcement was made and I sat down at our table. Soon I was joined by a man I had met at a Huffington Post party a week before: the recently released Conrad Black. He had out-dressed me. He was joined by his wife Barbara Amiel, whom I used to see when I helped out at Maclean's 15 years ago. Our table started to fill up with Murray Frum and an actress whose name I was told and promptly forgot. No one spoke to me. One couple standing nearby glared. No Bernard. I hung onto his seat as long as I could. But soon, the iron gaze behind me made it obvious that this table was not an open seating spot. I gave up my chair (and Bernard's too) to an annoyed elderly couple who seemed to know everyone at the table.Not a bum's rush but I blushed none the same. I grabbed Bernard's bag and made my escape. We met up at the media table. CBC, CP, filmmakers, photographer Tom Sandler: They laughed at my story and one bun got tossed my way. We had a good meal. A lot of laughs!David Harsent's Night and Ken Babstock's Methodist Hatchet were the international and Canadian winners of the 2012 annual Griffin Poetry Prize. They each received $65,000 in prize money. As we were leaving I handed Bernard back his bag. "Mon ami," he said, "that is not my bag, where did you get it"It had been on the chair beside Lord Black. I was going to return it to their table, but you know, at the age 60, I try to only blush once a day. I found one of the organizers, told her what had happened, gave her the satchel and very quickly disappeared into the night.
Restaurant's Dining Area Layout
Restaurateurs like to think each seat may be the "best," needless to say. When designing the dining area, a well-planned scheme carefully styles the customer's perception with these elements:. Table shapes, sizes, and positions. Quantity of seats at every table. Multiple floors, steps, or elevated places of seating. Paintings, posters, or murals. Kind and intensity of lighting. Planters, partitions, or screens. Attention to sight lines, to block any undesirable view (restroom, kitchen, assistance areas). Muffling of distracting noises (clattering dishes, outside visitors, or construction). Placement of assistance areas (coffee stations, dirty dish bins, etc.)Each of the preceding considerations plays a role in creating the circulation pattern from the restaurant, the procedure of delivering food and beverages to customers. These are the logistics, the methods and routes utilized to transfer items from the kitchen area, to the dining tables, and, finally, towards the dishwasher. How nicely can the waiters manage full trays of food? How far is it in the kitchen area towards the dining region? Exactly where are the guest checks prepared for delivery to tables, and where do customers pay for their foods?Does anyone have to hike up and down stairs? How hard is it for Mr. Smith to negotiate a path to his table on this busy day? When seating guests, does the hostess occasionally appear more like a visitors cop? Even though other facets of style can be out from the ordinary, with regards to flow patterns, the simpler the much better. Customer and employee security should be paramount. Remember that most of us tend to walk to the correct of other, oncoming persons. Believe of the room like a neighborhood and the flow since the major streets in that neighborhood. Prevent traffic congestion, and everybody likes living there. Think about the maximum quantity of seats allowed within the room as nicely since the average time you would like customers to invest at a table.Generally, the faster the turnover, the greater the need for clear circulation patterns that don't cross. Conversely, if dining is to be leisurely, circulation ought to be designed mostly to make the waitstaff appear as unobtrusive as feasible. In terms of environmental psychology, most people would rather sit with some kind of architectural fixture on at least one side of them-a wall or window or column-which helps them define their room. Another design rule is that tables of various styles and sizes should be mixed to produce visual harmony. A lineup that's too orderly evokes more of the military mess hall image. And how close is as well close when determining table position? Usually, permit 15 square feet per person.
Mad Men's Mid-century Modern a Hit with Condo Dwellers
Say the words "mid-century modern" to a room full of people and expect reactions ranging from screw-face to glowing; depending on what generation they were born into (and if it was the 1950s how scarred they were during childhood) along with the influence of AMC's award-winning series Mad Men. Love it or hate it though, local retailers stocking this Scandinavian designed furniture say its clean lines and compact size fits perfectly with Vancouver's condo culture."When I first started hearing the term mid-century modern I was sort of thinking oh yeah mid-century: that was a long time ago," says Alan Wilson, the owner of Granville Street's Industrial Revolution, the specialty furniture store that sells newly made mid-century-inspired pieces, among other styles, and has witnessed its rebirth in popularity in the 34 years he's been in business. "And then it dawned on me," says Wilson, "that I'm mid-century modern!"Uncomfortable with this trend at first, Wilson and his staff had no choice but to embrace it as the majority of his clientele are urbanites living in condos and this style of furniture helps maximize smaller spaces, while adding simple glamour.The sofas from this design period are generally smaller and lower to the ground and, like the desks and dining tables, they have plenty of room underneath them; so make a place feel spacious.These pieces were designed to be multi-functional (with hidden storage) and versatile. So many of the desks and dining tables have tops that extend and sometimes swivel to provide more surface space and then slide away to become invisible. Most importantly, says Wilson, this furniture fits into elevators and down the increasingly narrow corridors of apartment buildings."I had no idea how small things were actually going to become," says Wilson. "If someone had told me back then (when he opened in 1981) that people were going to be living in three or four-hundred (square) foot condos I don't think I would have believed it."Smaller, says Lillian Reimer, who has owned and run Commercial Drive's iconic Attic Treasures, which specializes in original mid-century modern furniture and accessories, for more than 25 years. "I get people in here saying 'I've got two-hundred and fifty square feet, what do I do!"What she does is keep a steady supply of mid-century modern nesting tables, which come as three small separate tables that fit together as one when not being used; so they're perfect for cramped quarters. The Scandinavian designers of this period, like Fritz Hansen, Hans Vagner and Peter Huidt, she says, created pieces that were easy on the eye, with so much air around them they did away with the feeling of clutter.Reimer's is a family-run business, with her brother handling all the furniture restoration work, her sister the website and social media and her mother the cooking. Her customers come from all over B.C., Seattle, Alberta. "Even Surrey!" she laughs, as she shuffles aside to make way for a film crew hauling a teak and teal mid-century sofa out of her shop to be used in the feature Into the Woods, being shot locally. Reimer supplies a lot of mid-century modern pieces for B.C. film productions and has been featured at the BC Home & Garden Show.Mad Men she says is often on people's lips when they come into her shop. So much so she's named a line of scotch glasses after it and they're a bestseller.The mid-tone woods used (often teak or walnut) in mid-century modern pieces really appeal to Vancouverites, says Reimer, because they're warm, and along with the popular orange and teal colours of the period, they offset this city's long, wet and grey winters."I would say single-handedly Mad Men made probably the most dramatic impact on the love of mid-century modern," says Jenny Cashin, the owner of Mid-Century Modern Home in the River Market on New Westminster Quay.Like Wilson and Reimer, Cashin's vintage stock caters heavily to the booming condo market. "When people have smaller spaces they want more stuff out of sight," she says. "So that it doesn't feel cluttered and overwhelming. Mid-century sofas can be picked up with one hand to vacuum under."Space saving features like the mid-century Danish sideboards that were originally designed for dining rooms, are now being used in all rooms for things like mounting widescreen TV's - as the sliding fronts allow the components to be tucked out of sight, she says.Cashin says the green aspect of buying vintage is huge for her B.C. customers, and feels there is nothing greener than buying something that has proven its durability over 60 years and looks brand new when restored often allowing her customers to chose their fabric before reupholstering a piece.Added to this, she says, these pieces have resale value, which make them good investments and heirlooms if they wish to pass them along.
Let Us Cure Your Christmas Ham Conundrums
The big leg of ham is a staple on many Australian dining tables at Christmas.That smoky smell, the cold cut, and (of course) the leftovers - how do you make the most of it and pick the best ham you can?The first tip from butcher Adam Stratton is to make sure your ham has a pink "Australian pork" label.Mr Stratton, who owns four butcher shops in Sydney, sources his pork from farms in Albury Wodonga.He said the past few years had seen an increase in imported pork, mainly bacon and small pieces of pork."Unless you see [labels on meat] with over 90 per cent Australian ingredients, I wouldn't trust it," Mr Stratton said."It's more beneficial and better to support our own industry which is one of the best in the world."Don't go overboard and get a huge ham if it's not going to fit in your oven, warned food writer Michele Cranston."Remember to measure the width and depth of your oven because you don't want to get carried away and not be able to cook it," she said."Also think about how many people you'll be getting - look at a smaller leg or half a leg."Ms Cranston said to check there was an even layer of fat and no dark spots, which indicate bruising.Make sure the skin of the ham is nice and brown and well smoked, Mr Stratton added.A smooth, consistent pink colour with no blotchiness is important as it means the leg has been evenly cured with salt.Price is also a fair indication of the quality of meat - a good-quality ham can be anything between $14 and $18 per kilogram."Don't be lured in by a cheaper price," Mr Stratton said."Go for one that has been naturally smoked; pay a little more money and you can look through the bag and it has a good texture right through it."I want a nice smoky taste, I want the texture not too dry, I want it to be nice and moist, and I want to be able to smell the smokiness."Female free-range hams are also the best-tasting compared with male hams which have a stronger and less pleasant taste.Mr Stratton likes to serve his ham raw off the bone, although glazing the ham has become much more popular in recent years, he said.There are now glazes available to buy from delicatessens, butchers and supermarkets for a quick option.For a simple home-made version, Ms Cranston suggested mixing Seville marmalade with English mustard."You get the glaziness of the jam and the bite of the mustard," she said.And what to do with the leftovers?"In a sandwich with lettuce, tomato and eat it while watching the cricket."If buying the ham ahead of Christmas Day, and you want leftovers to last you at least two weeks, then preserving the ham is important.A calico ham bag is the best way to store your ham, although a clean pillowcase will also do the trick.Topics:food-and-cooking,christmas,sydney-2000
High on the Concept
Aaron R. Thomas calls the plastic fabrication business his parents built 35 years ago "the best-kept secret in Southern California" for interior designers and people who want custom acrylic furniture. It may not be a secret for long. Thomas' goal is transparent: to create "an internationally known line." His work -- renditions of classic Eames and Chippendale designs, which the former high school football player likes to jump on to demonstrate their durability -- already has caught many a Modernist's eye at furniture stores such as Bamboo Colony and H.D. Buttercup. With a 22-piece fall collection in the wings, Thomas' showroom is staging a sale that runs two more weeks and includes the chair shown here (from $750). Aaron R. Thomas Designs, 2777 S. Bristol St., Suite C, Costa Mesa; (714) 434-1113; www.aaronrthomas.com.FINDSThe next household nameHer successful TV show and magazine make Cristina Saralegui an Oprah en espanol. Now, as befits a media mogul, she is also a home decor designer. With the launch of the Casa Cristina collection for Pulaski Furniture (shown here at Linder's Furniture in Fountain Valley), Saralegui plays tastemaker with a 110-piece line. It looks lavish but is priced modestly, with ornate dining tables around $1,000 and queen-sized canopy beds with carved posts, flame finials and a wrought-iron canopy and crown around $2,000. Though Casa Cristina looks grand, its creator is anything but. Describing her storage trunk on the Pulaski website as "the thing at the foot of the bed," she notes that it's a great place to hide nightgowns, robes and bedroom shoes, as well as high heels and pantyhose. "You do understand," she says, tongue firmly in cheek, "my home is always, but always, perfect. Yeah, right!" For local dealers, go to www.pulaskifurniture.com/locator.cfm.INNOVATIONSBright spot in bug trapsSummer evening barbecues: good. West Nile mosquito fears: bad. Ways to eliminate the latter and enjoy the former: sticky sprays, icky zappers and tricky-to-assemble propane-powered bug vacuums, none of which are attractive. The simpler solution: an outdoor lantern that does double duty as a bug trap. Using nothing more than a bright bulb and a plastic lens, the bronzefinished, vaguely Arts-and-Crafts Bug D'Light, $195, lures biting insects into the light. Stunned by the heat, they drop into a watery grave -- an easily removable drawer. For information, (800) 262-6612 or www.bugdlight.com.SCRIMP/SPLURGEAlabaster, authentic and in spiritExhibit ALong prized for a soft, creamy finish that makes it a natural and flattering choice for lighting fixtures, alabaster is one stone that keeps rolling. The noble profile of London-based manufacturer Vaughan's 19 3/4 -inch Alabaster Urn With Swag, top, hand carved by Italian artisans, is equally alluring to Old World design purists and new money minimalists looking for a neoclassical kick. It's available to the trade for $2,200 at the Hinson & Co. showroom in the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood; (310) 659-7075.Exhibit BYou can be sure it's a keeper if Rachel Ashwell has made it part of her collection. For her Simply Shabby Chic line, the designer has crafted a resin version of an alabaster lamp, complete with a swag design along the shoulder of the urn. Fifteen inches tall -- and at least that many pounds lighter than its Vaughan counterpart -- the lamp's base, bottom, is a less substantial piece at a less substantial price: $24.99 at Target stores.