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Did you ever wonder about St. Patrick’s Day and how it started? Did you ever wonder about the color green used in the celebration? Here are some St. Patrick’s Day Fun Facts in honor of the upcoming holiday!

Most people know that St Patrick’s Day is a cultural and religious holiday celebrating the Patron Saint of Ireland, St. Patrick, but did you know St. Patrick was not Irish?

Saint Patrick (known as Magonus Socatus before sainthood) was born in 5th century Roman Britain but was captured and brought to Ireland as a slave at age 16. He escaped, but later returned as a missionary and is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. It is believed he died on March 17th, 461. For hundreds of years he was forgotten, but then resurrected as the Patron Saint of Ireland in the early 17th century, hence the celebration of St Patrick’s Day on March 17th, the day he died.

st patricks day hat

Shamrocks refer to many plants not just one.

There still is no scientific consensus as to the precise botanical species of clover that is the true shamrock. The word shamrock refers primarily to the young springs of white or red clover, but sometimes the term is applied to a variety of three-leaved plants found in Ireland. The shamrock was originally associated with the Goddess of Ireland, Ana, but over time it became associated with St. Patrick’s Day because it is believed that Saint Patrick used the three-leafed clover to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish. For good luck, the shamrock is usually included in an Irish bride’s bouquet and the boutonniere of the groom regardless of the day they marry.

St Patricks day pancakes

The color of Saint Patrick was blue not green.

A particular blue hue was known as St. Patrick blue and for hundreds of years it was this blue that was associated with the holiday. However, green became the dominant color of St Patrick’s Day over time as the holiday was used to highlight Irish nationalism against British rule in the 1790s. Now, the color green is often associated with the other more poetic name for Ireland, the Emerald Isles.

The St. Patrick‘s Day parade was invented in the United States.

On March 17, 1762, Irish soldiers serving in the English army marched through New York City. The parade and accompanying music helped the soldiers celebrate with their Irish roots, as well as reconnect with fellow Irishmen serving in the English army.

Kelly Green Tablecloth

Chicago dyes its river green on St. Patrick’s Day.

Yes, for decades, Chicago has turned its river neon green every St. Patrick’s Day. At first I was horrified, but then I happily learned that the city uses natural veggie dye. The practice started in 1962 when city workers started using dyes to trace illegal sewage discharges and realized that the green dye would be a unique way to celebrate March 17th in this very Irish city. During their first attempt, they released enough green vegetable dye (100 pounds) into the river to keep it green for a week. Today, with an eye towards environmental caution, only 40 pounds of dye are used, and the river turns green for only several hours.

Valentines Day…

Its pouring someone a drink after they ate a snack and they’re probably thirsty

Its buying a small item for someone knowing its something they can really use

Its writing a small note saying you’re thinking about them

Its letting Mom sleep in late knowing she was up with the baby at night

valentines pizza

Its setting the table when the kids are hungry and Mom is finishing up

Its clearing the table after dinner when homework and chores are on the list as well

Its babysitting so Mom can get out a bit

Its preparing a special breakfast with some thoughtful treats

Its small acts of kindness that show lots of love

Winter Fun Facts

The colder parts of America can be challenging in the winter. There are months that are snowy, windy and brutally cold. Feelings about winter are divided. Some people embrace the winter. They love the serenity, the peace and quiet that comes along with winter. The comfort of being indoors is an opportunity to develop close relationships with the people around us. Relax indoors with some hot soup and tea by spreading out a lace tablecloth (or any white tablecloth) that is snow white for a nice winter effect.

heirloom white tablecloth

Some people like to brighten things up. They see winter as dark and dreary and love to bring some color indoors. Calming colors such as blue and green are great mood enhancers. A place mat or a table topper in such a color will certainly brighten up those days!

Elizabeth Placemat

Here are some interesting Fun Facts for Winter:

A single snowstorm can drop 39 million tons of snow, carrying the energy equivalent to 120 atom bombs!

Snow comes in a variety of colors, yellow, orange, green and even purple. Actually, it’s colorless but it can contain dust or algae that give it different colors. Orange snow fell over Siberia in 2007 and pink snow (watermelon snow) covered Krasnodar (Russia) in 2010. Watermelon snow is common in mountains and has a sweet smell and taste.

Pink snow, watermelon snow, may be pretty and sweet smelling, but it frequently contains nasty algae that will make you sick. Source: Wikipedia

It was believed that Eskimos had dozens of words for snow. However, some linguists showed that they have the same number of root words as English. Then other linguists showed that they really did seem to have more words. Now there is a hot debate about snowy words.

The Inuit/Eskimos should get together with snowboarders. Skiers are always using different words, such as “pow pow,” “mashed potatoes,” “champagne snow (powder),” “cauliflower,” “sticky snow,” “dust on crust” to describe the snow.

According to Guinness World Records, the largest snowflakes on record were 15 inches (38 cm) in diameter and 8 inches thick. They fell on Fort Keogh, in eastern Montana on 28 January 1887. Nearby ranchers described the flakes as “larger than mild pans” and measured them; “8 inches thick”.

Let us know what you think-do you enjoy the winter or just can’t wait for spring?

Getting together for New Years is a fun and exhilarating celebration. We are excited about starting a new year, starting our new years resolutions that we are committed to and hopefully keep for a while. While some go outdoors to celebrate, some prefer that the party comes to them! By decorating your home festively and having tasty treats you and your guests will surely go into party mode!

new years clock

Frost twelve cupcakes and decorate the tops with numbers. Place on a pretty cake tray or platter. Add two clock hands by placing pretzels or chocolate in the center. Let the countdown begin!

Here is a fun game to play while waiting for the clock to strike twelve. Make a New Years Bingo game with fun symbols like party hats, champagne glasses, 2015, and see who gets the first row.

New Years Bingo

Hang balloons from the ceiling with string for a party look. Craftibilities.com has a super fun activity were you insert a note into a balloon and pop the balloon at a designated hour with instructions. http://www.craftibilities.com/2013/01/best-new-years-eve-ever-fun-games-and.html

Place a sparkly tablecloth on the table or a nice solid color tablecloth such as black and bring out the glittery party favors for a stark contrast. Place your appetizers, cocktails, and games on the table. Invite your friends and family. Now you’re ready to party! Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

Holiday Party Ideas

This is delightful time of year! We decorate to put us in the spirit and everything shines so bright The walls, the ceilings, and the tables as well. Will it be Red and Green? Gold and Silver? Blue and White? Here are some great suggestions:

The Burlap Damask table runner is printed on 100% Jute (Burlap) in a choice of gold or pewter. Everyone will just love this classy and pretty addition.

Burlap Damask Gold

Place your favorite Christmas tablecloth on the table and add a Glisten Round Table Topper to enhance it. Glitter is applied to the snowflakes to give it a glittery shiny effect. You can also try a Glisten Table Runner instead for a snowy Holiday look.

Glisten Table Topper

Don’t neglect the rest of your home! Add lots of greenery, ribbons and streamers to your staircases, mantle, and around picture frames. By spreading the exciting decorations all over your home you will be spreading holiday cheer to all those that see it!

So much thought goes into making a festive Thanksgiving dinner. Starting with the table linen, deciding if you want to use a traditional tablecloth or something a little different. Will you be using nice table runners or place mats to add style to the table? Will you be using the same color cloth napkins to match the tablecloth or another color for contrast?

Once the table is set you can add some cute party favors to further enhance the table. These terra-cotta flowerpot hats from Better Homes and Gardens are perfect!

http://www.bhg.com/thanksgiving/crafts/thanksgiving-place-card-ideas/

thanksgivingplacesetting

You can also try something cute and edible. This Thanksgiving Veggie Turkey is adorable. When you work so hard on all the amazing food you don’t want your guest to be fill up on snacks. Veggies are great to have on hand especially for little ones who don’t like to wait!

thanksgivingveggieturkey

There are some many varieties of food put out on the table. This Broccoli Cheddar Brown Rice Casserole from Oh my Veggies is delicious and has no cans of soup or blocks of faux cheese involved. The extra effort is well worth it!

http://ohmyveggies.com/recipe-broccoli-cheddar-brown-rice-casserole/#GbA9iA4zXwhmeWml.99

Broccoli Chedder Rice Casserole

If you or your guests are on gluten free diet this Gluten Free Cinnamon and Toasted Pecan Crusted Sweet Potato Cake is a must try for dessert! Enjoy all the goodies!

http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/gluten-free-cinnamon-and-toasted-pecan-crusted-sweet-potato-cake/7fe1fda3-82a7-43b3-9d3f-9c8e388861d3

Gluten Free Bunt Cake

Halloween Fun Facts

Halloween is a time for merry making and fun get togethers. Here’s a bit of Halloween fun fact knowledge for you:

Orange and black are Halloween colors because orange is associated with the Fall harvest and black is associated with darkness and death.

Jack o’ Lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips to keep away spirits and ghosts on the Samhain holiday.

Pumpkins also come in white, blue and green. Great for making all sorts of incredible creations!

Pumpkin Fondant

Halloween was brought to North America by immigrants from Europe who would celebrate the harvest around a bonfire, share ghost stories, sing, dance and tell fortunes.

The ancient Celts thought that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on Halloween night. They began wearing masks and costumes to avoid being recognized as human.

Halloween Ghost Cupcakes

Halloween candy sales average about 2 billion dollars annually in the United States.

Chocolate candy bars top the list as the most popular candy for trick-or-treaters with Snickers #1.

Tootsie Rolls were the first wrapped penny candy in America.

Halloween is the 2nd most commercially successful holiday, with Christmas being the first.

Elegant Fern Tablecloth

Bobbing for apples is thought to have originated from the roman harvest festival that honors Pamona, the goddess of fruit trees.

Black cats were once believed to be witch’s familiars who protected their powers.

The fear of Halloween is known as Samhainopobia

the hungry mum

Mum + food + writing = this blog

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