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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 07/15/13

Monday, July 15, 2013

HOW TO MAKE CHALKBOARD PAINT!


   This diy comes from www.shelterness.com .  Another little one you can make at home instead of spending a lot of money buying the real thing.




If you’re into home decor then you probably know, that chalkboard paint is quite expensive and usually comes only in black and green colors. Although that isn’t the problem anymore. You can make such paint by yourself. You just need some Non-Sanded Tile Grout and latex paint of any color you want. If you mix a cup of this paint and two tablespoons of tile grout you’ll get a perfect chalkboard paint you can apply right away. Isn’t that cool? There are so many DIY projects you can do with it.



HAUNTED CASTLES OF EUROPE!!!

    Ancient or just simply old castles are some of the most interesting man-made places on Earth. They are often grand structures that are rich in history, but sometimes their history is dark and violent. This causes some people to look at these great historical sites in a different light. You can almost guarantee that if a person has been tortured, killed, or died of old age in a castle, that someone will claim it is haunted.
    European castles have been the home to ruling monarchs, both bad and good. They have seen the hardship, pain, tragedy and triumph of mankind. They have also served as prisons and torture chambers and in some instances, even tombs.
    Many believe this is why castles are so closely associated with ghosts and haunting's. With so much agony being born within, it makes sense that some of that might permeate into the very structure itself.



Tower of London



    Perhaps no castle known to man holds the possibility of ghostly apparitions than that of the Tower of London. It was there that many of Henry VIII's wives awaited their execution along with the likes of Sir Thomas More. Many of England's most famous figures-Princes Elizabeth, Sir Thomas Beckett, Sir Walter Raleigh and Guy Fawkes-were imprisoned there.
    Prisoners were tortured relentlessly, beaten, stretched and nearly drowned. Others were eventually beheaded, drawn and quartered, hung or impaled.
The figure of Anne Boleyn is but one of the many tower inhabitants that supposedly resurfaces to make her presence known from time to time. But she is not alone. Others that suffered the king's wrath such as the Countess of Salisbury also linger re-enacting with precise accuracy the events that led up to their deaths.
    These ghostly apparitions have even been caught on film. In 2003, a photographer commissioned to do a photo shoot there, reported many different incidents. While some refused to believe him, he proved his claims with oddly blank pictures; pictures of apparitions and one of an eerie ball of light.



Windsor Castle



    Windsor Castle has been home to many rulers and still is. Three of these rulers may still be heard and see in the castle. The infamously cruel ruler, King Henry VIII can supposedly be heard walking about and groaning. How people know it is he by his footsteps and groans is anyone's guess. King Charles I was beheaded before his death. Apparently some ghosts are given back their heads after their death because Charles has been seen with his in the library and in the canon's house at Windsor Castle.



Glamis Castle

    Glamis Castle is supposedly haunted by two ghosts. One of these ghosts is that of the Second Lord of Glamis or the "Wicked Lord". He is said to have been a heavy drinker, a gambler and a violent guy. Legend has it that one night he was without a gambling opponent and so he sought to gamble with none other than the Devil. He supposedly got his wish and was predictably relieved of his soul. Makes you wonder why the Devil let his soul wander around a castle.
    The other ghost that haunts Glamis Castle is that of the wife of the Sixth Lord of Glamis. She was found guilty of witchcraft and conspiracy to kill the king and was subsequently executed in 1537. She probably wasn't really a witch.



Trifels Castle




    Germany's Trifels Castle causes many visitors to wonder if its most famous resident, Richard the Lionheart, left a piece of himself there during his imprisonment following the crusades. While there is no proof the castle is actually haunted, many people have reported discomfort or tenseness while inside the structure.


Eltz Castle




    Eltz Castle in Germany supposedly houses the ghosts of medieval knights. Some say that Mad Ludwig still haunts his German castles.


Ballygally Castle




    In Ballygally Castle, it is said that Lady Isobel Shaw remains behind to torment the structure's annual visitors.



Kinnitty Castle



    Kinnitty Castle in County Kildare is believed to carry the spirits of dead Druids who refuse to leave the only home they knew.



Leap Castle




    Leap Castle was home of the O'Carroll Clan, it was the battle for power among the patriarch's two sons that eventually led to the castle's outrageous history. One day, while mass was being said in the castle chapel, one of the brothers rushed in and slew the other while he worshipped at the altar. After that, the Bloody Chapel was born and became home to more than 400 years of tragedy.
    In the 1800's renovation of the castle uncovered something of which no one was previously aware. Hidden behind the altar of worship was a hidden room with a trap door. When construction workers opened the door they discovered it fell several feet to a bed of spikes.
    It seems that the O'Carrolls used the room to rid themselves of their enemies or anyone else who angered them. Most people died upon impact. Those who did not; however, eventually died of blood loss or starvation. Three carts of bones were removed from the room.



Charleville Castle




   Charleville Castle is located in Northern Ireland and it has been verified that paranormal activity has taken place in the early morning hours. It has been said that the ghost of the former owner haunts the grounds every night. In addition, the ghost of a little girl who fell to her death from a high staircase. The girl is said to be about 6 years old and walks the corridors crying and asking for help.



Ardgillan Castle




    Ardgillan Castle is located 20 miles north of Dublin on the coast between Balbriggan and Skerries. The castle was built in 1737 and Robert Taylor was the original owner. A woman dressed in white is said to haunt the library and maids quarters. The woman doesn't speak but seems to wander about as if she is looking for something.




Killua Castle




   Killua Castle Clonmellon is located in Northern Ireland. The castle is said to be haunted by Jacky Dalton, a land steward from the 18th century who swindled his master out of money, silver and gold coins. Dalton was eventually put to death for his crime of theft in the 18th century. It is believed that Dalton's restless spirit haunts the property. In addition, voices have been heard and doors appear to open and close by themselves.



Clonony Castle




    Clonony Castle is located on Shannon Harbor and was built i the 16th century. A man has been seen in a hazy light standing at the top of the tower dressed in peasant type clothing. Locals are not sure as to why a spirit seems to be making its presence known. No story really exists concerning any tragic events taking place at this location.



Edinburgh Castle



    Edinburgh Castle also fails to escape its bloody history. An unusual amount of violent deaths took place there over the centuries, leading some to believe the castle could never be free of its ghostly visitors. Others believe it goes back to the fact that the castle was built on top of a once active volcano that claimed the lives of thousands of people. Still others say it has to do with the plague known as the Black Death, which claimed untold lives.
    Rather than remove the bodies, new structures were simply built on top of them; a new city covering the old but unable to erase its horrendous past. Uncovered in the early 90's, the subterranean city is believed to be home of hundreds of apparitions who simply cannot rest.















VANILLA PEACH COFFEE CAKE!!





Did you know that the fruit this summer is supposed to be the best it has been in years? Apparently, fruit loves hot weather. I personally have eaten more peaches and cherries this summer than I have in about five years just for that reason. 





As I have been a little overzealous lately buying peaches and cherries I found myself with a few peaches that were going to be too ripe for me to eat on the same day. That is unless I wanted to have them for every meal plus a few snacks. So I decided to make this recipe for Vanilla Peach Coffee Cake. 



Vanilla Peach Coffee Cake

Adapted from Allrecipes.com

Batter:
2 eggs
1 C milk
1/2 C oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C sour cream
3 C flour
1 C sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Topping:
5 or 6 large peaches, diced.
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
11/4 C brown sugar
1Tbsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
4 Tbsp. flour

Vanilla Icing:
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla or vanilla bean paste
3/4 C powdered sugar
2-3 tsp. heavy cream




Directions:

Prepare 9 inch spring form pan with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350. Beat eggs on medium for 1 minute. Add oil, vanilla, milk and sour cream then beat for another two minutes. In separate bowl, mix flour baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add this dry mixture to the wet and mix for a few minutes until well incorporated. Do not over mix. Pour the batter into the spring form pan.

Peach filling: In separate bowl, mix the peaches, melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and the flour. Evenly distribute the mixture over the batter.

Icing: Mix vanilla, powdered sugar and vanilla in a bowl, it will be lumpy so don't worry. Slowly add heavy cream a little at a time until the frosting is the consistency you like.

Bake for 1 hour and 5- 10 minutes. I recommend checking this cake after about 55-60 minutes, the add additional time if not done. When a toothpick or skewer poked into the center comes out clean the cake is finished.  Let cake cook and then drizzle with icing. 




This cake is delicious! I loved it! I think that you will to, it is sweet, spicy, moist and taste like a combination of Summer and Fall.

CHANGES:  I did change a few things in the recipe, the main change for me was to add MORE of the spices and more of the peach layer. Consequently, I did have to bake my cake for about 15 minutes longer than called for. I also used a dark pan, and as you can see the bottom is a little dark.



I hope that you try this recipe, and as I always ask if you do please come back and let me know. I would love to hear how yours turned out. Please remember that I am not a professional, I am only writing about my experiences with these recipes. If your version of mine or any other recipe out there does not turn out there are MANY reasons why, such as high altitude, wrong size pan, use of different ingredients, your oven temperature is off or many other things.