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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 01/31/12

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

DIY VALENTINE ORNAMENT WREATH!






This diy comes from www.mommyisacoocoo.blogspot.com .  Something to do with those extra ornament left over from Christmas.  Enjoy!

 

How to make a Valentine Ornament Wreath

Did you go out and buy a bunch of ornaments at 50% off after Christmas? I hope so because there is no need to wait until next Christmas to have some ornament loveliness in your home!


~ My Valentine Ornament Wreath ~




Here is what you need:

  1. a glass of wine (if you are anal and will worry about bulb placement)
  2. a plastifoam wreath (DON'T buy floral foam) shaped like a heart
  3. glue sticks and a glue gun
  4. spray paint (to color the foam wreath). I used red. Use whatever color you like best.
  5. about a million ornaments (different {Valentine} colors and sizes work best).
  6. spray on glitter (usually $5.99 at craft stores or $1.00 if you buy body glitter left over from Halloween
  7. a small piece of ribbon to hang your wreath

Spray paint your foam wreath. You can use whatever color you like but keep in mind some paint will show between your bulbs.




~ my large bulbs ~




~ my smaller bulbs ~


* small bulbs are essential to fill in the gaps



Now, it is pretty similar to the Christmas Ornament Wreath Tutorial. Place your bulbs on the inside of the heart wreath. (Don't use your favorite bulbs on this part a lot of these bulbs will be covered up.) After you have placed your bulbs, use your glue gun to secure them in place. You will glue each bulb to the wreath AND, to the next bulb in place.





Repeat this process for the outside of the wreath. Use the same size bulbs all the way around the outside of the wreath. Use sturdier (not vintage-they break really easily) bulbs on the outside. (Again, don't use your favorite bulbs here).




Now you are ready to start placing your favorite bulbs (I find it is best to do this in the evening while you have {at least} a glass of wine. If you are anal {me} and tend to over think things {also me} you will have a hard time figuring out where the bulbs should go). Don't over think it! Place a few bulbs (not worrying about small gaps) and then glue them in place. You can fill in gaps with smaller bulbs at the end. When you finish placing all your bulbs weave your ribbon through, take two Tylenol and go to bed.



Finally, spray your wreath glitter. This will really make it shine!

*Store your wreath at room temperature! Otherwise your glue will expand/contract and the bulbs will fall off and (possibly) break.


~ Happy Valentines Day! ~








NATIONAL FOOD HOLIDAYS IN FEBRUARY!!!










   This may be a time for chocolates and romantic steak dinners, bu this month is also filled with several national food holidays. Check out all of the great food holidays to be enjoyed during the month of February, plus great suggestions on how to celebrate them.




  • National Baked Alaska Day, February 1st- Who doesn't love cake and ice cream? But, you can make it even better by adding a thick layer of meringue and popping the whole thing in the oven. Be creative and choose gourmet flavors of ice cream and cake.
  • Heavenly Hash Day, February 2nd-Heavenly hash is a wonderful combination of chocolate ice cream and almonds. Be creative and make some heavenly hash ice cream sandwiches using double chocolate cookies.
  • National Carrot Cake Day, February 3rd-Take a break from cooking and baking and just grab some carrot cake cupcakes made at a local bakery.
  • National Stuffed Mushroom Day, February 4th-A great way to celebrate this national food holiday is to make mushrooms stuffed with your favorite ingredients, such as cheese and bacon.



  • National Chocolate Fondue Day, February 5th-This great food holiday is to celebrate with your significant other. Just make a simple chocolate fondue and serve it with some fruits for dipping.
  • Food Checkout Day, February 6th-This food holiday is easy to celebrate, just go pick up something from the grocery store.
  • National Fettuccini Alfredo Day, February 7th-A delicious pasta dish is just perfect for a cold winter's evening. To celebrate this food holiday prepare a simple Alfredo sauce and combine it with chicken or shrimp and fettuccini noodles.
  • Molasses Bar Day, February 8th-Molasses is such a tasty ingredient to work with. You can either make these bars or you can make gingerbread or even serve it on fresh made biscuits.
  • National Bagels and Lox Day, February 9th-This is a great food holiday for a winter morning when you need a hearty breakfast.



  • Cream Cheese Brownie Day, February 10th-If you want to take this food holiday over the top, make a brownie cheesecake.
  • Peppermint Patty Day, February 11th-This is an easy food holiday to celebrate. Just grab some York Peppermint Patties and pass them around.
  • National Plum Pudding Day, February 12th-Plum pudding is actually a cake. But, it's the perfect carb filled delight to serve on a cold winter evening.
  • National Tortellini Day, February 13th-A good way to celebrate this holiday is to use Tortellini in creative ways. Add it to a soup, serve it with different sauces, or add different fillings.
  • National Creme Filled Chocolates Day, February 14th-This is a great way to celebrate Valentine's Day.



  • National Gumdrop Day, February 15th-Go to your local candy store and buy some handmade gumdrops.
  • National Almond Day, February 16th-There are so many great ways to celebrate this national food holiday. You can add almonds to brownies, make chocolate covered almonds, or chop them up and add them on top of some ice cream.
  • National Indian Pudding Day, February 17th-You can either enjoy this food holiday by making your own Indian pudding or look for a restaurant that serves authentic Native American food.
  • Crab Stuffed Flounder Day, February 18th-This food holiday is actually healthy. Just be careful of the ingredients you use in your crab stuffing.
  • National Chocolate Mint Day, February 19th-This is another easy holiday to celebrate. Just buy some Andes Mints.



  • National Margarita Day, February 20th-This another national food holiday that will warm your soul.
  • National Sticky Bun Day, February 21st- Can you think of a better way to start off a cold winter morning with?
  • National Cherry Pie Day, February 22nd-Celebrate this national food holiday by serving up some cherry pie topped with a heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  • National Banana Bread Day, February 23rd-Celebrate this national food holiday by taking a homemade banana bread to work and sharing it with some co-workers.
  • National Tortilla Chip Day, February 24th-Spice things up on this food holiday by serving a large plate of nachos.



  • National Clam Chowder Day, February 25th- This is a great holiday to celebrate on a cold winter afternoon.
  • National Pistachio Day, February 28th-Eat them roasted or serve them in a pistachio pudding.
  • National Strawberry Day, February 27th-This is the month of romance. Celebrate this food holiday by dipping some in melted chocolate.
  • National Chocolate Souffle Day, February 28th-Chocolate souffle is unbelievably sinful. What better way to take your mind off those cold winter days with?
  • Surf and Turf Day, February29th-Celebrate this food holiday with a large New York steak and some lobster.

WEIRD FEBRUARY HOLIDAYS!!!








   February's not just about Super Bowl Sunday, Valentines Day and Mardi Gras. Nope, this month has some pretty interesting days to celebrate to say the least.






  • Serpent Day, February 1st-Go out and pet a snake or if you don't like them. Pet some snake skinned cowboy boots.
  • Purification Day, February 2nd-Go out and wash real well today!
  • Cordova Ice Worm Day, February 3rd-This day is for worms found in icebergs. Alaska actually has an annual Ice Worm Festival that takes place on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.
  • Create a Vacuum Day, February 4th-Go out and clean all of that pet hair and dirt out of your carpets.





  • Disaster Day, February 5th-Might be a good day to stay inside and play scrabble.
  • Lame Duck Day, February 6th-
  • Charles Dickens Day Day, February 7th-One of the best early authors of his time, he wrote "A Christmas Carol", and has had many of his books turned into movies.
  • Man Day, February 7th-
  • Fly a Kite Day, February 8th-Hope the wind is in your favor on this day.
  • Read in the bathtub Day, February 9th-Get a favorite book, a glass of your favorite drink, a nice warm bath with bubbles and some nice heavy metal music to relax to.



  • Umbrella Day, February 10th-Maybe some rain will come your way.
  • White T-Shirt Day, February 11th-Go to your dresser and pick out a fresh one to wear.
  • Don't Cry over spilled Milk Day, February 11th-Laugh at spilled milk in the face today!
  • Get a Different Name Day, February 13th-Change your name to Ochocinco...... like that's gonna happen.



  • National Condom Day, February 14th-Go out and have some safe sex with your wife or other partner.
  • Quirky Alone Day, February 14th-This is my kind of day. We need to at least spend one day a month by ourselves doing what we want. It helps with our sanity.
  • Ferris Wheel Day, February 14th-Go out for a spin or two or three or four or...
  • Do a Grouch a Favor Day, February 16th-Go to a retirement home and make someone happy.
  • Champion Crab Races Day, February 17th-Ready! Set! Run sideways!!!



  • National Battery Day, February 18th-Take your old batteries in and recycle them don't just throw them in the trash.
  • Hoodie Hoo Day, February 20th-At high noon climb up in a tree. Stand like an owl. And yell Hoooddie Hooo!!!
  • Lover Your Pet Day, February 20th-Who doesn't love their pets?? Maybe go to a shelter and give someone a new home.
  • Card Reading Day, February 21st-You're holding the Jack of Spades! Right?



  • Be Humble Day, February 22nd-Many a man is served this from his wife. What's that honey?... Yes Dear!
  • National Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day, February 23rd-Go out and buy a box and share them with the neighbor dogs. Maybe that'll keep them from barking every time you walk past their houses.
  • Pistol Patent Day, February 25th-We honor Samuel Colt on this day.
  • Tell a Fairy Tale Day, February 26th-Once upon a time.....Oh, I'll save this story for another day.
  • For Pete's Sake Day, February 26th-For Pete's Sake! Can you please get out of the bathroom! I've got to go bad!!!



  • Polar Bear Day, February 27th-If you have a zoo in your town, drive on over and throw them a couple fish.
  • Public Sleeping Day, February 28th-Take your sleeping bag with you to the park and find a comfortable bench on which to perch your body on.
  • Gone ta Pott Day, February 28th-Wait, I'll be right back. I've got to use the Pot.
  • National Tooth Fairy Day, February 28th-Oh boy! Oh boy! I could use a shiny quarter. But do I have any extra teeth to spare!!

BIHU FESTIVAL FROM EAST INDIA!









   This harvest festival is celebrated thrice a year. Impressive and very own dance forms and magical tunes of folk music create a soothing and charming environment for the natives and tourists. It’s an occasion when everyone congregates and dances with the tunes of Bihugeet. There are no religion barriers.

HISTORY OF BIHU

   The state of Assam celebrates the most important festival, Bihu, with a lot of delight and joviality. The carnival which is celebrated with passion and vehemence marks the change of season. The history of the significant and noteworthy celebration dates back to 3500 B.C. At that point, it was one month long celebration. However, today it is celebrated thrice a year and each time for a week. The first Bihu is celebrated in April. 
    It overlaps with the festivals like Chait, Baisakhi and Sankranti.
   People of Assam propitiate and thanks the Almighty for bountiful harvest. Astounding Assamese dance forms accompanied with Bihugeet (folk songs) mark the essence of the pleasurable and congenial occasion.
   The dance forms which are the souls of the traditional festival were only restricted and constrained to the men previously but now lots of women come out of their homes to dance and celebrate the festival with their male companions. The idea and patterns of celebration differ at various places.




   To increase the effectiveness and enjoyment, dance competitions and beauty contests are organized during the Bihu week. Bull fights and Bird fights are part of the traditions of Bihu from many years.


About Bihu

   Bihu, the national festival of the traditional Assam, is definitely not marked as a religious festival. Three such fascinating festivals, observed at various times of the year, are the part and parcel of the traditional Bihu. Bohaag Bihu is celebrated in Baisakh or in the middle of April, Maagh Bihu is celebrated in the middle of January, where as the Kaati Bihu is celebrated in the month of Karthik or October. The foremost fiesta of Assam has a very old and ethnic history. Each Bihu marks a different distinguished and typical phase of the farming calendar. When the seeding time arrives, the whole Assam celebrates the auspicious Bohaag Bihu. It marks the New Year. The Kaati Bihu marks the end of sowing and transplantation of paddies. And last but not the least; the Maagh Bihu is another carnival which is observed at the end of the harvesting period.
   The festival of fun and bliss, the Bohaag Bihu is popularly known as Rangoli Bihu. Maagh Bihu is renowned as Bhogaali Bihu and is known as a festival of food. Kaati Bihu, marked as a festival of the poor, is also called as Kongaali Bihu.





   The arrival of the wonderful spring is enjoyed blissfully with Bohaag Bihu. The occasion is observed with the traditional dance form and folk songs. Bihu folk songs are popularly known as the Bihugeets. Bohaag Bihu continues for few Days. Young and energetic people form groups and walk around the village. They are dressed up in colorful and bright clothes. The pretty and beautiful girls dance to celebrate the occasion.  This kind of assemblage is known as Mukoli Bihus. The enchanting songs and music are popular among all the sections of the society. The special and spectacular carnival is full of romanticism and love.
   The language of Bihu always refreshes the mind and soul. However, the language of Bihu has kept on changing. The songs of Bihu are composed in couplets and each of them invariably depicts dissimilar emotions and at the same time the songs are accompanied with characteristic and unique dance forms. This is the charm of this fantastic festival. The elegance and style of these songs are noteworthy. The language is quite simple and straightforward. Intellectual scholars believe and opine that the language of Bihu is definitely not influenced by the ancient Indian language, Sanksrit.
Bihu songs also have a lot of influences on the old and impressive Assamese literature. The impact of the language of Bihu songs on the rich Assamese literature is notable.
Mukoli Bihu, the predominantly popular festival, is not anymore observed with the warmth. However, a number of professional dance groups still perform Bihu songs on the stage of Bihu fairs. Bihu dances are the additional enticements.





   Bihu Kunwori, the traditional contest, is still organized widely. Juvenile and young women include their names in the dance competition and the best dancer is honored and gets the title of Bihu Kunwori.
   The popularity of the Bihu songs has now crossed the boundaries of states and nation. Every year new songs are out in the market. It shows the popularity and acceptance of the special and melodious music of Bihu.


Significance of Bihu

   The prominence and recognition of Bohaag Bihu among the believers of Assamese cultures and ethnicity, spreading across the boundaries, are immense. It has the uncanny power to break the shackle and bring all the cultural people together on the propitious fiesta. The premise is open for all. Bihus are attached with the souls of the greeneries and soaring hills of Assam. Three Bihus attract innumerable people throughout the year and unite them.
   The tribal community, Dimasa Kachari, used to live their life in the awe inspiring valleys of Assam previously. The word Bihu, was derived from the mother tongue of the tribes, Dimasa Kachari.



Traditional bull fighting



   Assam, the land has to offer an impressive blend of cultures and mores, especially the ethnic traditions of various tribes have a definite impact on the chain of carnivals of Assam. Cast, religion, creed or belief, nothing is more important than the fun and frolic of Bihu. The promising and inspiring occasion is celebrated by all the residents of Assam. Assam is endowed with greeneries and welcomes the visitors with the tunes of Bihu amidst the fascinating prolonged valleys. People around the breathtaking landscapes and compelling gorges come alive with the musical tunes of Bihu songs thrice every year.
   It's a grand celebration of farming and paddies. Each and every Bihu signifies a special and singular meaning. Rangoli Bihu marks the inauguration of sowing of seeds where as the Kati Bihu marks the conclusion of sowing and transplantation. The arrival of the harvest period is observed when the inhabitants of Assam celebrate it with Maagh Bihu.







Three festivals are linked with three different seasons, spring (Bohaag), winter (Maagh Bihu) and autumn (Kati).
   Even though Bihu is solely and exclusively a regional (Assam, India) festival but many people who live in other countries also celebrate it with lot of zeal and pleasure. As the festival is not anyway attached with the spirituality or religion, everyone of every religion and field come out of their homes to celebrate the carnival. This is the essence of Bihu. The seasonal changes are marked perfectly by three Bihus in a year. It is quite obvious that the festival symbolizes the solidarity and togetherness.


ESSENCE OF BIHU PERFORMANCE


   Bihu dance is performed along with the unique and striking Assamese folk music. Assamese customs and ethnicity are visible on the dance forms. Drummers who play drums or dhol, are the most important and significant musicians. The dhol is played with a stick and a palm. Drummers perform differently with variety of rhythms and musical tunes at various segments of the performances. These metrical and musical compositions, called seus, are conventionally codified.
   Drummers enter into the dancing premise in a queue and before entering into the performance arena they play a short and vigorous rhythm. The mohor xingor pepa is played generally in the beginning by a single player and without any doubt it sets the mood of the dance and carnival.






   All the men dancers then come out to perform the special dance. Taal (a type of clash cymbal), Gogona (a reed and bamboo instrument), Toka (a bamboo clapper), xutuli (a clay whistle) and Bamboo flutes are played apart from the ethnic Dhol (drum).
The lyrics of the Bihugeet welcome the New Year and narrate the daily activities of farmers.
   Bihu dances are performed both my men and women. However, the dances of women offer a lot of vibrant variations. There are many stages (freehand, twisting etc) of female dance forms which really attract and entice dance lovers. The dance forms fascinate mainly because of their rapid and hasty change of dispositions, tempo, movements, swiftness and improvisations. Able dancers and musicians are given very short span of time to showcase their talent and intelligence.

TYPES OF BIHU

Types of Bihu
The most important and momentous festival of Assam is definitely Bihu. The whole Assam celebrates the charming occasions with smiles, happiness and delight. Three Bihus are celebrated right through the year. The following descriptions will help you to understand the essence and importance of the different Bihus.





Rongali Bihu:
Most of the dwellers of Assam, irrespective of their religion and race, celebrate the occasion with their own touch of colors and traditions. The most popular of all the Bihus, Rongali Bihu, marks the commencement of the Assamese New Year and welcomes the spring with both arms wide open.
The occasion is known with innumerable names to various races (Baisagu for Bodo Kacharis, Baikhu for Rabhas, Ali- Ai- Ligang for Misings, Bobhaggio Bisu for Deoris).
The seven days long festival observed cheerfully and with lot of fun all over Assam. The first day is known as Goru Bihu or Cow Bihu. Generally cows are washed and worshipped with lot of devotions. This is followed by Manuh (Human) Bihu, falls generally on 15th April, the New Year. This is the time when city indwellers and village habitants clean themselves up and wear new attires. It's time to get ready for the energetic and sparkling celebrations of the New Year.






Goru Bihu:
The occasion marks the last day of the year and cattle are reverenced. The underlying principles behind worshipping the cows are their nature and importance. They produce milk, help to plough fields and used to transport men. They are the best friends and assets of the farmers.
The cattle are rinsed, tarnished and cleaned with ground turmeric, different pastes and adhesives. Gourd and brinjals are offered to the cows. Assamese sing the traditional and tuneful Bihu songs while cows take foods.







Manuh Bihu:
Manuh Bihu, the next day of Goru Bihu, is celebrated on the New Year day. Bihuwan, the traditional Assamese clothes, were gifted to the elder people of the family as a token of appreciation and respect. Children sing and dance wearing new and colorful attires. It's time when people go and greet their near and dear ones. Husoris, the Bihugeets and Carols are sung mainly by the elder people of a particular village. They move to different households while they sing hymn. Various cultural events are planned and staged on the premise of different Bihu pandals.







Kati or Kongali Bihu:
The style of observing Kati Bihu is bit different. It's not all about smiling and spending the festive season, restriction and solemnity are must on this occasion. The Bihu is dedicated to the holy deity, Lakshmi who is the distributor and dispenser of the assets to the mortals. The aspiration of rich harvesting is the key. Kati Bihu marks the completion and end of sowing and transplantation. Puja offerings are made to the Tulsi plant in the evening. The enchanting Diyas enlighten the inner souls. Inhabitants of Assam offer the puja and wish to have quality and improved crops. This Bihu is celebrated mostly in villages where farmers offer lights in their respective fields. These lights are known as “Akash Banti” or "Sky Lamp". Tulsi (Basil) trees are planted on the premise of every household and habitants worship the plant with Diya or an earthen lamp.






Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu
   The homes of Assam are decorated to welcome the third Bihu festival of the year. Generally the festival falls on 14th January and is observed on the sankranti of the month. Having foods and enjoying the festive times are the prime objectives of the grand Bihu. Bhogali, the word is derived from the word Bhog, i.e. food. The occasion marks the end of the harvesting season. The mouth watering and delicious delicacies are the charm of this fastidious Bihu. Uruku, the night of the first day, is the time when the grand feast is celebrated with Bhog. Habitants form Bhelaghars or Mejis with bamboo and pieces of woods on their own farmlands or on the adjoining premises.    Everyone of the community congregates at a place and takes the pleasure in the luscious and appetizing local foods. Sweets and greetings are exchanged with smiles. The whole night is spent with a blissful mood. Musical instruments like Dhols are played while people enjoy the Bihu songs. People spend the beautiful night together around the Meji. Children engage themselves in playing games. Young and energetic guys wander around the firewood and have fun.
   On the next morning everyone fresh themselves up after taking bath and assemble in front of the Meji to burn it. Pithas and betel nuts are thrown in the burning Maji. It is a way of worshipping the Almighty and ending the harvesting year at the same time.
Later on, the half burnt firewood is thrown to the fruit trees for the desired results. Different types of sports like Buffalo fight, Egg fight, Cock fight and Nightingale fight are quite common games which are played all through the day.