Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bring on Movember!

It's just over one week away folks, the moustache-inspired month of Movember, that started in my home town of Melbourne. Back when I was still living in Australia, I remember years ago our friends shaving their facial hair, then growing amazing works of art on their faces during the month of November. Well as it turns out, this has now become an international event and here in Jacksonville our good friend Sean Collins, who started the Jax Beardsmith society, is planning many great events for Movember this year. Movember is not just about fun with moustache-related events, the main goal is to raise awareness of men's health issues and to raise money for research related to these.

As you can imagine, since this event is growing at such an amazing rate, the number of moustache-related products also grows at an alarming rate! Movember is not just for the gentlemen, the ladies can also celebrate this jovial month with some fun jewellery, "Moustache Ring"

Or this stylish "Moustache Brooch"

And who can resist this "Moustache Necklace"?

Movember can be a whole family event if you wish, even the dog can join in with his/her very own "Moustache Pet ID tag"

And no home is compete without a set of "Moustache Salt & Pepper shakers"

There are of course many many things for the gentlemen to celebrate Movember, too many to mention, but if you want to make your guy something special to celebrate Movember, like these chocolates, you can get yourself some chocolate molds from "Bake it Pretty"

Happy Movember!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bring on Halloween!!

Image from Martha Stewart

Happy Halloween planning! I hope you've found some fun designs for your Halloween pumpkins! This past weekend we had some friends around for a pumpkin carving party, lots of fun people and great creativity! I tried to carve Martha's design which has the word "Boo" on one side and a face on the other side, it was challenging since you were not supposed to cut all the way through the pumpkin to make the word "Boo" and it was simply etched, but I cut out the centre of the "Os" without realizing it, so I continued cutting, and this was the result (I love it at night since the face is projected onto the wall while the "Boo"in the front glows, so fun!!)

Our lovely friends made fantastic pumpkins, check these out

And our friend Caroline had a lovely idea to put sequins on a pumpkin which she painted white, so pretty, great work, and a great alternative to the traditional, she's so creative!

Ok, so now that we're all done with carving, it's on to Halloween decorating! I have been searching online for great ideas, and I have seen so many amazing ideas that I thought I would share! I absolutely love the ideas at Country Living, including this great spider cake!

Good Housekeeping always has amazing designs also, and this year is no exception. Check out these ideas for decorating your home, I wish I had a fireplace and some white pumpkins!

And out friends at Woman's Day have this great Halloween wreath DIY


15"–17" wreath base
Dry twigs
Wired candy corn, spiders, skeletons, fans of orange craft paper
Spool of fishing line
Artificial web
Small skeleton


  • Insert dry twigs in a vine wreath.
  • Tie on wired candy corn, spiders, skeletons, fans of orange craft paper, etc. with fishing line.
  • Drape artificial web over wreath.
  • Tie on skeleton at bottom of wreath.
And no Halloween would be complete without candy corn, which you can string together to make this fantastic garland! What a great idea :)

Happy Halloween decorating!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bring on Halloween and pumpkin carving!

Hey...long time no blog! Life has been incredibly hectic the last couple of months, my husband has had some international photo gigs so we've been travelling a lot, which I love of course! It has been a while since I last blogged, so what a great way to get back into things than by blogging about the wonderful holidays coming up!

October is one of my favourite months, the fall colours start to surface, there are pumpkins in all the stores, and Halloween is coming up as well as Thanksgiving in one month :) This year I will, for the first time, be carving a pumpkin (very excited) so I have been looking around for design ideas for my big orange vegetable, and as usual, Martha has some great templates available on her website, check them out here.

Some of my favourite Halloween decorations on Martha's website include these cool Halloween eggs, check them out!

I may just have to make these as I definitely know how to decorate eggs, pumpkins on the other had I'll need to take step by step. Ok, so first you need to cut out the base of the pumpkin, they suggest using a saw:

The next step is the hollowing out of the pumpkin's interior, this part you can do with a spoon I'm told. I guess there is a fine line between making the walls thin enough to carve easily and too thin where the pumpkin walls break, I'll have to get advice from my American friends on this one :)

I personally would keep the pumpkin seeds as my dad used to dry them and roast them when my mum would cook pumpkin, yummy!

Finally, draw the design onto the pumpkin and begin carving!

I will post pictures of my pumpkin when it's done, I am thinking of what I would like to do, something with bats is coming to mind!

Halloween is not really popular in Australia, so i did not grow up with these traditions, which is a shame I say, Americans sure do know how to celebrate their holidays! I am trying to think of pumpkin-related recipes also, I tried once to make pumpkin pie from scratch, never again, bring on Publix Pumpkin Pie! One Aussie recipe does come to mind when I think of pumpkins however, "Pumpkin Scones", just because these are very Australian. Here's a recipe for pumpkin scones, which in Australia you would serve with jam and whipped cream...yummy!

60g butter
¼ cup (55g) caster sugar
1 egg yolk
1 cup cooked (440g) mashed pumpkin
2½ cups (375g) self-raising flour
pinch of salt
pinch bi-carb soda
milk, for glazing

  • Preheat oven to 220°C fan-forced and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • Beat butter, sugar and egg yolk together in a small bowl with an electric beater until combined; transfer to a larger bowl and stir in mashed pumpkin.
  • Add self-raising flour, salt and bi-carb soda; mix until just combined.
  • Place dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly.
  • Roll or pat dough out to about 2cm thick.
  • Cut scones out using a 5cm cookie cutter and place onto tray.
  • Brush tops of scones lightly with a little milk.
  • Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Enjoy your carving :) My next posts will be about Halloween parties and the upcoming "Movember", stay tuned :)