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A comforting solution for your better half

October 30, 2003|Ana Cantu; Chris Erskine; scott sandell

Relationships can run hot and cold under the covers, especially if one person's definition of cozy is the other's idea of sweltering.

So what do you do when one's hot and the other's not?

One solution, according to Portland, Maine-based Cuddledown, is a comforter that allows sleeping partners to pick individual sections to match their temperature preferences. Fasten the his-and-her panels together and keep the chill out of your relationship.

The down comforter sections come in six warmth levels, from the lightweight Blanket style all the way up to Level 4, for bedrooms with temperatures more closely resembling meat lockers. Fabric coverings for the queen- and king-size bedding range from cotton and damask to heirloom silk. And don't worry about having to change your bedroom decor -- just stuff the comforter into your favorite cover.

Pricing depends on the comforter's size as well as the fill levels and fabric for each half.

For information, call (800) 323-6793 or visit www.cuddle down.com.

Ana Cantu

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Chatting with Fido

Acheesy movie is about the only place you'll find a talking dog. That's why the Dog-e-Tag sounds like a good idea: It's an electronic tag that can be programmed with 400 characters' worth of information, from name and phone number to medical records and a reward amount. The packaging even suggests entering such phrases as "Please rub my ears" and "I love children" as a way of letting strangers know your lost pooch wants some affection from rescuers.

Setting up the device is tedious because you must repeatedly press tiny buttons to create each character. Once that's done, though, you've got a trove of information -- unless you've filled it up with cutesy commands like "Throw me the ball."

It's at www.dog-e-tag.com, Brookstone, L.L. Bean, Petco and elsewhere for about $40.

Scott Sandell

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The primrose path

In the mood for a garden tour? Something off the beaten path? "Southern California Garden Getaways," a new book by garden writer Sayonna Martin, is a road map to horticultural gems from Fresno to San Diego.

This spiral-bound book, small enough for the glove compartment, gives a county-by-county review of everything from major arboretums to obscure hotel gardens, with a healthy dose of Martin's opinions mixed in.

"The Adamson House and the 6-acre grounds on which it sits is probably the most-beautiful beachfront property in Southern California," Martin writes of the historical garden in Malibu.

The photos aren't particularly strong -- they're small and black-and-white -- but the book is packed with maps and practical advice. Directions, Web site and admission prices are included with the profile of each garden. There is even a glossary explaining the difference between an arboretum and a botanical garden.

The book is $18.95 from Premier Publishing, (858) 586-7692.

-- Chris Erskine

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