Friday, February 21, 2014

Getting ready for Saint Patrick's Day

 Saint Patrick's Day, although only a legal holiday in Suffolk County, Massachusetts (where it is recognized alongside Evacuation Day) and Chatham County, Georgia, is nonetheless widely recognized and celebrated throughout the United States. It is primarily celebrated as a recognition of Irish and Irish American culture; celebrations include prominent displays of the color green, eating and drinking, religious observances, and numerous parades. The holiday has been celebrated on the North American continent since the late 18th century.

Early celebrations

The Charitable Irish Society of Boston organized the first observance of Saint Patrick's Day in the Thirteen Colonies.[1] Surprisingly, the celebration was not Catholic in nature, Irish immigration to the colonies having been dominated by Protestants.[2]:8 The society's purpose in gathering was simply to honor its homeland, and although they continued to meet annually to coordinate charitable works for the Irish community in Boston, they did not meet on 17 March again until 1794.[2]:8 During the observance of the day, individuals attended a service of worship and a special dinner.[2]:8
New York's first Saint Patrick's Day observance was similar in nature to that of Boston's. It was held on 17 March 1762 in the home of John Marshall, an Irish Protestant, and over the next few years informal gatherings by Irish immigrants were the norm. The first recorded parade in New York was by Irish soldiers in the British Army in 1766.[2]:9 In 1780, while camped in Morristown, NJ, General George Washington, who commanded soldiers of Irish descent in the Continental Army, allowed his troops a holiday on 17 March "as an act of solidarity with the Irish in their fight for independence."[3][4][5] This event became known as The Saint Patrick's Day Encampment of 1780.[6][unreliable source?]
Irish patriotism in New York City continued to soar and the parade in New York City continued to grow. Irish aid societies were created like Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick and the Hibernian Society and they marched in the parades too. Finally when many of these aid societies joined forces in 1848 the parade became not only the largest parade in the United States but one of the largest in the world.[7]
The City of Savannah, Georgia has hosted the Saint Patrick's Day celebrations since 1824. It boasts a celebration rivaling New York City in size and fervor. Unlike any other cities, Savannah's historic parade is always held on March 17, not on the neighboring weekend. Festivities begin more than a week in advance with [8]
Communal rituals and commemorative ceremonies, such as the St.Patrick`s Parade, were in fact the two main causal factors to have intimately shaped Irish-American identity as we recognize it today.[9] In fact,leading up to the 1870s, Irish-American identity in the United States was reworked through the shifting character of the Saint Patrick's Day rituals and features under three separate occasions: initially, in 1853 when it undertook a “spiritual rhetoric” notion, then when it became known as a “reformulated memory of an Irish past couched in terms of vengeance against Britain” to finally, adopting a “sectarian catholic nationalism” attitude in the 1870s and 1880s.[10]
In fact, ceremonies represent the very “junctures at which processes of identity formation surface through representation” which imply that ritual practices,represent the molding tools by which people turn to in order to build a national identity for themselves.[11] Furthermore,incorporating “the analysis of commemorative rituals” consists of a valuable element “in the context of broader historical studies” as it reveals a whole lot about the collective conscience of the Irish-American community.[12]
There is a clear gradual shift towards a nationalist attitude in the Irish-American Diaspora which can be detected in the prose of Doheny`s commemorative speech in 1853 but the “complete ascendency to a nationalist [approach] in Irish identity” truly came in the 1870s and 1880s.[13] More importantly, there were already numerous evidences of a national identity present in the Irish catholic labouring classes prior to the settlement of an Irish-catholic community in America.[14] Despite the longing memory of a loved lost Ireland, the main factor that contributed to creating a clear “sense of group unity” in the Irish-American community really came with the hatred sentiments that were felt towards “British oppression and resistance”.[14]
Furthermore, there is a turnover in perspectives towards the causes of the Great famine in the mind of the Irish-American that can be traced: one that varies from a “mourning religious view”, seen in Archbishop Hughes `sermon, to a perspective that shifts the blame towards the British monarchy for its indifference and greed , seen in Cahill’s speech in 1860.[15] From that point on, all the following commemorative speeches on the Saint Patrick`s Day invoked nationalist themes such as “British hatred” and “heroic struggle” and led way for the creation of a “new parade” which gained in adherents and absorbed “elements of American patriotism and full-fledged nationalism ”.[16] The end result was such that the Irish- American community came to regard itself in the 1870s as a community that defined itself by dual loyalties on one hand, and in another as “a unified common organism” which gathered in strength on the basis that they had a common past, “not a religious one but one that centered on the common Irish experience of British oppression and suffering ”.[17] In other words, this goes to show that the shifting character of commemorative rituals experienced during the Saint Patrick`s parade have influenced the development of American culture in a larger sense since it contributed to enriching its heritage and making of its Irish-American Diaspora a prideful concept to celebrate and look up to.[18]

Customs today

In every year since 1991, March has been proclaimed Irish-American Heritage Month by the US Congress or President due to the date of Saint Patrick's Day. Christian denominations in the United States observing this feast day include the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Protestant Episcopal Church, and the Roman Catholic Church.[19] Today, Saint Patrick's Day is widely celebrated in America by Irish and non-Irish alike.[19] For most Irish-Americans, this holiday is both religious and festive.[20] It is one of the leading days for consumption of alcohol in the United States, as individuals are allowed to break their Lenten sacrifices for the day in order to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day.[21][22] The consumption of artificially colored green beer is a common celebration. Green Beer Day, for instance, is a tradition among students at Miami University (Miami of Ohio), dating to 1952; the day has been held on the Thursday before spring break due to the fact that Saint Patrick's Day often occurs during the spring recess. Many people choose to wear green colored clothing and items.[19] Traditionally, those who are caught not wearing green are pinched "affectionately".[23]
Seattle and other cities paint the traffic stripe of their parade routes green. Chicago dyes its river green and has done so since 1962 when sewer workers used green dye to check for sewer discharges and had the idea to turn the river green for Saint Patrick's Day. Originally 100 pounds of vegetable dye was used to turn the river green for a whole week but now only forty pounds of dye is used and the colour only lasts for several hours.[24] Indianapolis also dyes its main canal green. Savannah dyes its downtown city fountains green. Missouri University of Science and Technology - St Pat's Board Alumni paint 12 city blocks kelly green with mops before the annual parade.[citation needed] In Jamestown, New York, the Chadakoin River (a small tributary that connects Conewango Creek with its source at Chautauqua Lake) is dyed green each year.
Columbia, South Carolina dyes its fountain green in the area known as Five Points (a popular collegiate location near the University of South Carolina). A two day celebration is held over St Patrick's Day weekend. In Boston, Evacuation Day is celebrated as a public holiday for Suffolk County. While officially commemorating the British departure from Boston, it was made an official holiday after Saint Patrick's Day parades had been occurring in Boston for several decades, and is often believed to have been popularised because of its falling on the same day as Saint Patrick's Day.(source:wikipedia-Saint Patrick's Day in the United States).

 Originally, the colour associated with Saint Patrick was blue. Over the years the colour green and its association with Saint Patrick's Day grew.[13] Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration of St Patrick's Day as early as the 17th century.[14] Saint Patrick is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish, and the ubiquitous wearing and display of shamrocks and shamrock-inspired designs has become a feature of the day.[15][16] In the 1798 rebellion, to make a political statement, Irish soldiers wore full green uniforms on 17 March in hopes of catching public attention.[13] The phrase "the wearing of the green", meaning to wear a shamrock on one's clothing, derives from a song of the same name.(Wikipedia).

Above are some information about Saint Patrick's Day. Last year we went to down town Columbus to watch the parade it was pretty awesome even it was chilly but it's worth watching especially lot of people giving out lots of candies ,necklaces and badges we're kids had so much fun picking it up . We wore something green since Saint Patrick's color is green, so, I'm looking forward to watch the parade again this year weather permitted.
Speaking of green I'm going to show you some of my green bows which I consider it a Saint Patrick  bows.

This is my version of three leaved plants called shamrock I know it's not even close to the original shamrock leaves but I give it a shot anyway, it took me forever to cut those tiny leaves, I can't make it bigger coz it won't hold up it will be too heavy for the stem to hold onto it should be just the right size but I think it's pretty after all the efforts and patients I put into it.
Here's just green
Green and white combination

Which one do you like best?

After two days I finally finish my Saint Patrick bows, I could finish those in just an hour or so but you know I'm a busy momma multitasking all the time coz my little fufu(baby) here wants to mess up and get into my stuff and wants to help mommy. She is so curious about everything that she also wants to do what I'm doing. That's why it took me two days to finish it coz I keep stopping and continue doing it whenever I get a chance(when she's sleeping).

I went shopping today and got my little fufu this outfit get ready for Saint Patrick's day so, she's all set and I just find something green for me in the closet to wear. Mostly Irish people are the one whose really in to this event but I don't know why I got into this lol, maybe because my family here likes to watch that kind of event so I just go with the flow. 
I am going to post my bow tutorial with this design on my next post, just to let you guys know that you can use and decorate this green bows on other occasions too.
See you again in a little bit, Have a nice day ahead!


Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine Memories

How did you celebrate your Valentines?

My Valentines went so well with couple of surprises, since hubby is working today he invited me and my mother in law and of course my little girl for a dinner last night as a Valentines date.
We went to olive garden(Italian restaurant)for our dinner it's quite busy but it's worth waiting especially when you spend the moment with your special someone.
Not knowing that when we are on our way to the restaurant coz we are suppose to meet hubby there from his work he stop by somewhere to get some flowers and boxes of chocolates for me and drop it at home before he went to the restaurant.

This is what I saw on the kitchen table when I got home from dinner, I was so surprised and giggling at the same time yay! I got flowers. So we start giving out our gifts and cards that night then.
Silly me! I give you my heart lol

This is what I got for hubby  a HUGE box of chocolates with the sexy cover I thought it's funny and my mother in law help me to pick that out, and I gave him a polar bear stuff toy that says "I Love You" on it and a card of course.
I also made a no crust strawberry pie for everybody in the house as a dessert
That was an awesome night indeed celebrating my valentines together with the people I love.
How did you celebrate your Valentines? please share!



Monday, February 10, 2014

Valentine Cupcake Ideas

How to decorate a Valentine Cupcake
Today I will show you some of my valentine cupcake decoration, It doesn't need to be fancy I just use what is available in my kitchen. I found some bananas that nobody wants to eat because they are too ripe so why not use them to bake something.
Instead of banana loaf bread I decided to make a banana cupcake with buttercream frosting.
 So, let's start with the banana recipe it's the same ingredients when you make banana bread but I add sour cream on mine to make it extra moist then put it in a baking cups instead in a loaf pan.
Banana Recipe

                              - 1/2 cup butter melted or 1/2 cup canola oil if no butter
                              - 1 cup brown sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
                              - 2 eggs
                              - 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                              - 1 teaspoon baking soda
                              - 1/2 teaspoon salt
                              - 1/2 cup sour cream
                              - 1 1/2 cups all- purpose flour
                    Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit(175 degree Celsius).Smash the bananas with fork in a bowl, mix sugar, oil or butter and eggs in a separate bowl, Sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Add the sugar mixture to the banana and then fold the banana mixture into flour mixture, mix it using the whisker or spatula then add the vanilla and sour cream mix it again until all blend in.
                  filled up the baking cups about 3/4 full and bake it for 20 minutes. Cool it down in a wire rack before icing it.
                       - 1 pound (1/2 kilo)powdered sugar
                       - 2 stick of butter (1 cup) in room temperature
                       - 1 teaspoon vanilla
                       - 2 tablespoon fresh milk (you can always add more)
Put the powdered sugar in a mixing bowl add butter and milk mix it using the electric mixer in low speed. Fold in the vanilla, you can add more milk base on the  consistency that you like. Blend it well until it's fluffy. Now everything is ready let's do the decoration.
I have extra cupcake here coz basically I made this cupcake for my little one who turned  nine months, so valentine cupcakes will be her theme.
Here is my valentine model digging her cupcake

I guess cupcakes all gone now.
 Hope you enjoy everyone thanks for the visit and have a good one
See you again next time!


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Valentine Bow Tutorial

Red bow with heart design

Hi everyone here is my bow tutorial for those who wants to learn a Valentine bow, I choose red ribbon with heart design, obviously coz it's a love month. I design the heart by myself by cutting it individually so there will be a lot of cutting going on here.
All you have to do is be patient making this coz your hard work will paid off afterwards when  you see your beautiful creation. Alright lets get started
All you need:
                1.Red ribbon (size 1 inch or 3/4 inch width) about 200 cm for one
                2.Small scissor   
                3.Clear tape with dispenser
                4.Piso coin or a quarter($25 cents)
                5.Tape measure
                6.Poster board for the bow base


You can buy the ribbon online for U.S residents its called poly ribbon they have various kinds of colors that you can choose or you can buy it in a grocery store, normally you can find this type of ribbon in the grocery during Christmas time they only have red, white and green available as a Christmas color, that's why I grab a few last Christmas coz I'm gonna be using it a lot on different occasions.


For Philippine residents you can buy it in a craft store or in a store that sell fabrics, I suggest to get a storck brand coz that's the good kind,  and for the clear tape use the scotch brand or evercel brand that holds your ribbon pretty good and stayed for long period of time.

This is how you do it:

  Cut two 100 centimeters ribbon from the spool or ribbon roll.

On the tape measure you can see the big numbers is for inches and the smaller numbers on the other side is for centimeters.


Take one of the 100 cm ribbon cut it into half, and repeat it to the other one too so, it become four pieces altogether.
Cut four of them into half again to become eight pieces
Now you have eight pieces here, take one piece fold it into three and cut it
Cut all eight pieces to get twenty four pieces altogether
Finally were done all the cutting and now were going to do the design.

Take one piece from twenty four pieces and fold it in half long ways
 Leave at least a quarter inch from the bottom edge of the ribbon before you start cutting
Now we start to cut it and form into a heart shape

As you form the heart turn the scissor up and continue cutting in long way to make a stem of the heart, cut it thinly as possible but not too thin coz it's not gonna hold the heart and not too thick coz when you open the fold up, it looks funny with a wider stem, cut it just right it takes a lot of practice but once you got it, it looks good. When cutting the stem leave about a half inch to the top edge of the ribbon.

Open the fold and it will be look like this
Repeat the process until you finish all twenty four pieces
Now were done cutting the design, lets assemble the bow

Draw a circle using the coin, this will be the bow base
The size of this bow is 4x4 (4 inches height and 4 inches width)
If you wish to make a smaller bow you can use smaller coin or any round object that you can find, you just use it to draw a circle so it doesn't matter if it's a coin or not.

Now bend the ribbon, do not fold it just bend to the other end but not close to the edge leave about .5 cm to the edge as it shown above. Then taped it to hold it in position. Make sure your tape is long enough coz your going to tape it again to the base.

Place the taped one to the side of the dispenser so that it wont stick to each other, but if you don't have dispenser just lay it on the table sideway or upside down.

Get one ribbon and stick it to the edge of the base, do not overlap on the base just on the very edge. Must pay attention here.

Start filling the base with first four, as you can see there are four gaps in between of each ribbon you will be filling that up with another four ribbons.

   This will be the first layer, There are eight ribbons in here so far so, lets continue filling the gaps again for second layer.

Add eight more ribbons on second layer

Now you have the second layer filled up, this is how it looks like its already pretty but hang in there, there's gonna be another layer

In this step you only need to use another four ribbons for the third layer coz the remaining four we will put it on the center of the bow

Now you have four remaining ribbons we will put it on the center

Place one ribbon where the three layer is, just calculate the distance on each ribbon so that four of them will fit on the center

Make sure its lined up, you can always remove the ribbon if its crooked and stick it again until it lined up.

When you already put two in there, turn your bow to the other side just across and start sticking the other two left

Make sure you stick it very close to each other on the last one so that you can't see the base
Let go your fingers

We finally finish (ha ha), there you have a beautiful red bow with heart design. I hope I explained it good and clear for all of you guys.

This is what it looks like upside down


I hope you guys are patient enough to read all this coz I know it's very lloonnngg (ha ha) It probably take you a week to read this (just kidding).But as I said it paid off afterwards as you can see it's very pretty. Most people said it's too pretty to use.
I wish you guys had fun as much as I do, now you can start making your own bow for your love ones, it would be nice if you do it on your own with all the efforts and love you put on it, I'm sure you will be appreciated.
So, now lets go shopping and grab the materials you needed sit back and relax then make the bow, you don't have to finish it in one day you have one week to finish it before Valentines.
You can use other color beside red and don't forget to share it on your post when you made one I will be glad to see it.
Have a great Valentines Day ahead everyone
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