Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bring on Independence Day!

Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a huge holiday here in the states commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Cannot wait for this awesome day, I love fireworks!

If you are planning a party for this special occasion, here are some great ideas!

I found this really cool idea for kids (or big kids). This would have been a hit with me as a kid and these days it's tempting to wear these around as I'm only 5'2" tall! You can find instructions on how to make these stilts here! I might even make these as we're spending the holiday in Las Vegas and I will definitely not be able to see over the crowds on Las Vegas Boulevard!

This decorating set from one of my favourite blogsters, "Twig and Thistle", will make your 4th of July table very festive! Their downloadable PDF includes sparkler cards, matchbook wrappers and straw tags, awesome and simple, as always!

And OMG, these "Bald eagle Tissue Paper Lanterns" are hilarious, I am definitely making these :)

Ok, so there are a million recipes on the web for "American" food, but nothing speaks "America" to me more than Cherry Cola, so I love this recipe for "Cherry Cola Cake"

  • 1 pkg. chocolate cake mix(you can make your own chocolate cake if you wish)
  • Cherry cola
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. finely shredded lime peel
  • 1 recipe Celebration Icing
  • 10 to 12 dark sweet cherries with stems


1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Grease and flour a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside. Prepare cake mix according to package directions except substitute cherry cola for the liquid called for and add ground ginger and lime peel. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake according to package directions. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack.

2. Use a serrated knife to cut top of cake level. Trim edges of cake. Discard trimmed pieces. Cut cake in half lengthwise into two 13x4-1/2-inch rectangles. Place one rectangle on a serving platter. Spread with tinted icing. Top with second rectangle. Spread with white icing. Refrigerate cake for 1 hour or until icing is set. Wrap cake in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours before serving. Top each slice with a cherry. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Celebration Icing: This recipe is based a 1-lb. box (about 41/2 cups) of powdered sugar. In a medium mixing bowl beat 1/3 cup butter with electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add 1 cup powdered sugar, beating well. Slowly beat in 3 tablespoons milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Gradually beat in 2 cups powdered sugar. Divide the mixture in half.

Happy 4th July America!

Bring on Chocolate Pudding Day!

Chocolate pudding originated as a variation of the more traditional chocolate custard. The North American version is usually a variation on the chocolate custard, however, the Australian version is often the steamed cake-like dessert. During the early years of chocolate pudding, it was considered a food item suitable for children who have a weak physical disposition. It was so because of the high calories, and therefore energy, quotient contained in chocolate. Later it became an item that found mention in the dessert menu of all self-respecting eateries. General Foods introduced the chocolate pudding mix in 1934 and it became famous as "Jell-O Chocolate Pudding" in 1936.

Chocolate Pudding Day is celebrated on June 26th, and it is definitely a great reason to toast to one of the most popular food items. Trivial it may seem to the purists when they hear of days being named after food-items which to their perception are sold in the back-streets, but they have always been the same. Go out there on Chocolate Pudding Day, have plenty of them and plan when to have them next! Calories do not count on Chocolate Pudding Day!

Either buy (if you HAVE to!) or make your own chocolate pudding! I love this recipe from Martha's website for "Potted" Chocolate Pudding!

Ingredients Makes 20 three-ounce servings (5 1/2 cups)
  • 3/4 pint sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • 14 chocolate cookies, ground fine
  • 20 sprigs edible, organic flowering herbs


  1. Whisk sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, and salt in a medium pan. Combine cream, milk, and vanilla in a large measuring cup. Whisk 2 cups liquid into dry ingredients until cornstarch is completely dissolved. Whisk in remaining cream mixture until smooth.
  2. Place pan over medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture comes to a boil and thickens, 7 to 8 minutes. Add chocolate; cook, whisking until melted, about 1 minute. Remove from heat; whisk in butter until melted. Divide pudding between glasses, leaving about 1/2 inch at the top. Refrigerate until completely set, about 1 hour; chill until ready to serve.
  3. Just before serving, top each with 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed cookies, and "plant" an herb sprig. Serve cold.
Enjoy! Happy Chocolate Pudding Day!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

It's that time of the year when we get to tell our dads how ace they are :) I love these holidays, especially when I am with my family. Unfortunately this year Daniel's dad is home in Canada and my dad is in Australia, although Australian father's day is not until September (it's the same in New Zealand). So even though we'll be celebrating with phone calls, if our dads were with us I would definitely have a moustache (Australian spelling) themed get together!

Ok, so here is a fabulous idea from the very talented "Sprinkle Bakes" for moustache themed cupcakes, I have to admit that these look amazing, and apparently men love the taste of these cakes!

If your dad is a coffee cup kind of guy you could give him this awesome cup from Urban Outfitters

They also have these awesome bandages

...and these fantastic pillow cases

Even Martha is in on the mustache decorating with her "Mustache on a Stick" DIY

Hope that gave you all some ideas for Sunday.....Happy Father's Day!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Going Cuckoo!

I thought that "National Cuckoo Warning Day" was a appropriate post for the blog due to the crazy past month or so, talk about super busy! I have no idea how the time passed, but I'm excited to get back to blogging and sharing the crazy holidays coming up :)

Every year Cuckoo Warning Day is celebrated on the 21st of June. The saying goes that if the cuckoo sings, your summer will be a wet one. So bring along a warm, bright and beautiful summer for yourself and your loved ones by sending them some warm wishes.

Perhaps because I was born in a town that borders
Germany (lol) I feel drawn to cuckoo clocks, and have had a blast looking at all the wonderful contemporary cuckoo clocks that are available on the web. So in the spirit of "National Cuckoo Warning Day" I thought I would blog about these amazing cuckoo clock related items!

I adore this Cuckoo Clock Wall Hanging from decoylab on as well as this Cuckoo Clock Ornament from Anthropologie.

I also really want to get this Cuckoo Clock Charming Silhouette from AFancifulTwist on

and I know many lovely Jacksonville ladies would also love this Cake Time Tea Towel by MrPS, also on (gees that website is great!).

In all of the items above the strongest theme to me seems to be modern, simple colours, and a retro feel. I am currently watching a few cuckoo clocks on e-bay. I plan to buy a clock and paint it one simple solid color, definitely thinking turquoise or vintage green! You could also buy a cuckoo clock image and add your own clock movement (you can pick these up for little money on e-bay).

Happy Cuckoo Day!!!