Most of us think of holidays as one of those few days our employer actually pays us to stay home. We all know the big ones: New Year's, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas. And yes, some employers are a little more generous but most likely you'll have no more than 7 days a year that you consider a holiday. Depending on your religious beliefs you may add a few more to that annual list, and find that you're up to a dozen or so.
For a day to be considered a "National Holiday" it needs to be declared so by Congress. And then of course we have the "commercial holidays" that we all love, which in effect are simply days that have become popular over the years. We all love them, but for some of us that just isn't enough. Organizations, corporation, and even loosely connected groups of people can "declare" a day for any reason they choose. Some of these days catch on and become popular with the general population, some remain only recognized by their creator, and some fizzle out and become a mere memory after only a year or two.
The point is - Every day, somewhere someone is celebrating something.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August 31, 2010 ~ Happy National Trial Mix Day

Well, I thought it was appropriate...  Some good trail mix can certainly make it a happier place.  Trail Mix is a generic name given to any combination or "mix" of sweet and salty snack foods combined together and eaten by hand.  It should be of high nutritional value to keep your energy levels up while on "the trail."  You  can buy ready made trail mix from any number of manufacturers, and you could just pick up some energy bars to take on a hike with you.   But, the very best and most fun thing to do is to create your own blend.  Your only limitation is that you want to make sure the food will not spoil, melt, or otherwise "breakdown" without refrigeration and possibly exposed to heat.  Gather up your favorite ingredients, toss them together in a large bowl, and store in heavy duty zip-lock plastic bags (or any well sealed contain that you can carry along).  

If you're not sure where to start, here's a list of some common ingredients that are easy to find in any grocery store.
peanuts, cashews, walnuts, pistachios, mixed nuts, almonds, pecans
Dried Fruits:
raisins, cranberries, apricots, bananas
pumpkin, sunflower
breakfast cereal, granola, pretzels, crackers
candy coated chocolate pieces, candy coated peanut butter pieces, chocolate chips, marshmallows

I'm sure I've missed more than a few, but you get the idea...  Don't worry about the combination of flavors, I've found that if you use the foods you like they'll be fine together.

Have fun and HAPPY TRAILS to you!

Monday, August 30, 2010

August 30, 2010 ~ Toasted Marshmallow Day

Quick find some sticks...Let's toast some marshmallows!!!  Now, don't get confused....this is just toasted marshmallow day not S'mores Day which is August 10th.  Seems to me we should have toasted our marshmallows before we made our s'mores, but who ever said these holidays have any logic behind them.

Ahhh the memories of sitting around a campfire stick in hand patiently waiting, gently turning, watching carefully, for that perfect golden color.  Then, one little slip, OH NO, it's on fire.....quick, quick blow it out....too late, you now have a charcoalmallow.  YUCK!

Not in the mood to build a fire -  for a grown up treat today (and some blow torch fun) I found this on YouTube.... looks YUMMY!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

August 29, 2010 ~ More Herbs Less Salt

No...not that kind of  "HERB"

I suppose Mrs. Dash has been waiting all year for this day. 
  I actually like the taste of Mrs. Dash, and you can find some great recipes and ideas on the Mrs Dash website (the image should link you there)

If your salt intake is high, this is the day to make some changes.  High sodium levels can cause high blood pressure which can lead to stroke, heart attack, osteoporosis, and asthma.

While the average American consumes over 3000 mg of sodium a day, the American Heart Association recommends that you lower your sodium intake to 1500 mg per day. 

The AHA gives you these
Tips for reducing sodium in the diet

  • Choose fresh, frozen or canned food items without added salts.
  • Select unsalted nuts or seeds, dried beans, peas and lentils.
  • Limit salty snacks like chips and pretzels.
  • Avoid adding salt and canned vegetables to homemade dishes.
  • Select unsalted, lower sodium, fat-free broths, bouillons or soups.
  • Select fat-free or low-fat milk, low-sodium, low-fat cheeses and low-fat yogurt.
  • Learn to use spices and herbs to enhance the taste of your food.  Most spices naturally contain very small amounts of sodium.
  • Add fresh lemon juice instead of salt to fish and vegetables.
  • Specify how you want your food prepared when dining out. Ask for your dish to be prepared without salt.
  • Don’t use the salt shaker. Use the pepper shaker or mill.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

August 28, 2010 ~ Crackers over the Keyboard Day

Of all the wacky holiday's this one is up there in the top ten I'm sure.  The entire point of this day is to eat cookies or crackers, or anything that would produce crumbs, over your keyboard.  I suppose this is to make sure your mouse has something to nibble on while you sleep.  You should also celebrate your fellow employees who make it a habit of eating crackers over their keyboard and reward them with a can of air.  For those of you that take this day all to seriously, your keyboard may be beyond the help of canned air and it might just be time for a new one.

Friday, August 27, 2010

August 27, 2010 ~ Global Forgiveness Day

Well, it's been a couple days since "Kiss and Make Up Day" so you've had time to really be ready for today.

Words of Wisdom:

Forgiving is love's toughest work, and love's biggest risk.  If you twist it into something it was never meant to be, it can make you a doormat or an insufferable manipulator.  Forgiving seems almost unnatural.  Our sense of fairness tells us people should pay for the wrong they do.  But forgiving is love's power to break nature's rule.  ~Lewis B. Smedes

Forgive all who have offended you, not for them, but for yourself.  ~Harriet Nelson

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.  ~Paul Boese

 To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.  ~Lewis B. Smedes

 I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive.  Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note - torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one.  ~Henry Ward Beecher

Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it forgoes revenge, and dares forgive an injury.  ~E.H. Chapin

The weak can never forgive.  Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.  ~Mahatma Gandhi


Thursday, August 26, 2010

August 26, 2010 ~ National Women's Equality Day

What else can I say after.."though we adore men individually, we agree that as a group they're rather stupid"

It amazes me that we are still looking for equality for women, it's high time we realize that it isn't our sex that holds us back any longer, but our own attitude towards ourselves.  History is full of courageous, heroic woman for us to example and admire.  We are the "daughter's daughters" who recognize this day with reverence for our fore-mother's persistence and determination to create equality for all "people". 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

August 25, 2010 ~ Kiss and Make Up Day

I suppose if you're going to celebrate this day properly you'll need to be fighting with someone about something.  Due to some personal issues it's hard for me to make jokes about this one.  One thing we all have to remember is that you never know what will happen make sure you can live with the actions you take today.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

August 24, 2010 ~ Wake Up it's National Waffle Day

Again with the food holidays...I'm going to get fat(ter)!!!!

I really love waffles, as a matter of fact just the other day I had waffles for dinner.... I know there are others of you that enjoy a good breakfast for dinner.  So, guess what's for dinner again tonight!!!  Ok, I admit it, I need to make sure every little waffle cup is full of syrup...

Let's take a vote...Round or Square?  They both have their own advantages and disadvantages, but my personal favorite is round...fits better on the plate.

Going out for a celebratory dinner tonight?   Be sure to make your reservations for Waffle House early....
Jim Gaffigan - Waffle House
Big LakeA New Comedy from Will Ferrell and Adam McKayIt's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

and just hope that this guy isn't there too....

Monday, August 23, 2010

August 23, 2010 ~ National Sponge Cake Day

Yet another food holiday...  Having just celebrated eat a peach day, I thought maybe it would be great to find a sponge cake recipe that included peaches....  came across this blog called Baking Diary that has just what I was looking for.  The main sponge cake recipe can be found here.  Looks good enough to eat!!!

I also tried to find for you a video but it seems like the only people on YouTube that make sponge cakes have funny accents and measure in metric.  I did find this one though that I thought was funny enough to share...
  I'll have to remember this guy's stuff for other food holidays...very funny!

Bon Appetit!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

August 22, 2010 ~ Happy Eat a Peach Day!!!

Today I'm searching the internet for recipes including my favorite fruit...The Peach!!! 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia : "The scientific name persica, along with the word "peach" itself and its cognates in many European languages, derives from an early European belief that peaches were native to Persia (now Iran). The modern botanical consensus is that they originate in China, and were introduced to Persia and the Mediterranean region along the Silk Road before Christian times. Cultivated peaches are divided into clingstones and freestones, depending on whether the flesh sticks to the stone or not; both can have either white or yellow flesh. Peaches with white flesh typically are very sweet with little acidity, while yellow-fleshed peaches typically have an acidic tang coupled with sweetness, though this also varies greatly. Both colours often have some red on their skin. Low-acid white-fleshed peaches are the most popular kinds in China, Japan, and neighbouring Asian countries, while Europeans and North Americans have historically favoured the acidic, yellow-fleshed kinds."

In Asian cultures the peach is seen as a symbol of happiness, riches, longevity, and immortality.  As such the peach plays an important part in many folk tales and traditions.

In the US, Georgia is known as the peach state but California is actually the largest producer of peaches with South Carolina coming in second.  I can't speak for California, but if you're ever in South Carolina and looking for some great peaches you need to find McLeod's Farm in McBee, SC.  You can also order your peaches online from their website.  If you're lucky enough to go there in person be sure to check out the Antique Museum right next to the farm market.  I simply love the place and get a lot of photos that I use for my greeting cards at the Museum.  This one is my favorite wishing the recipient a happy "antique" birthday.  

But, let's get back to peaches....In celebration of this wonderful fruit and this wonderful day I've found this video to share with all my friends... Enjoy and have a peachy day!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

August 21, 2010 ~ Senior Citizens Day

Ohhhhh, moving a little slow today.  I'm fast approaching that time when this will be my day.  It's kind of sad actually that we need a day to honor those citizens who we should be venerated every day.  Those that have gone before us have wisdom and strength that they can share with us if we would only let them.

Today is a good day to sit down with an elderly family member and "reminisce" about the good old days.  Listen carefully and I'm sure you'll be able to take away some life lessons.  If nothing else, you'll realize that someday your life and times will be just a story for future generations.

And to all you seniors out there, don't be stingy...share those stories of good times and bad times, the funny and the sad, link your ancestry with you descendants, they will appreciate it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

August 20, 2010 ~ Happy National Lemonade Day!!!

What a perfect day for a hot Friday!!! Homemade lemonade is the very best summer drink, so dig up your favorite recipe, whip up a pitcher of refreshment, and enjoy the day!
If you're feeling energetic today, help the kids set up a lemonade stand.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

August 19 ~ National Aviation Day

The anniversary of Orville Wright's birthday (sorry Wilbur I guess you don't count) was proclaimed National Aviation Day in 1939 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The Wright brother's famous flight took place on December 17, 1903 in Kitty Hawk, located on the outer banks of North Carolina.  If you live close enough to make this a day trip, you can visit the actual site of this historic event.  For vacationers, North Carolina's Outer Banks are a favorite destination offering beautiful beaches.

Aviation has impacted the world in so many ways, this is a good day to stop and think about the history, advances, and future of air travel.  
Send someone a note today to remind them too... And if today happens to be the birthday of someone you know here is the perfect card for them...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

August 17 ~ National Thrift Shop Day

Of all the strange holidays this one has got to be in the top ten of  "You've got to be kidding me holidays".  Not sure why anyone would think that Thrift Shops needed a holiday all their own but I suppose the event of the day would be to buy something used.

In today's economy and environmental attitude the idea of re-used or re-cycled items makes a lot of sense.  Keep in mind that most thrift shops do not wash items before they sell them, so you're going to want to launder any clothing you buy before you wear them.  Common items that you will find in thrift shops that have always made a lot of sense to me are baby items and baby clothes as they are typically outgrown before they are worn out.  The other times my first thoughts go to thrift shops are Halloween and Christmas.  No, I don't buy my family Christmas presents at the thrift shop, but it is a great place to look for your yearly "ugly sweater" attire. 

If you need to feel a bit more upscale, you can always start out at the Consignment Shops, which although are the same premise, seem to have a bit more high end items.  Many bridal shops have a consignment section where you can find a designer dress at a fraction of the original price.

Have a great day and buy something used!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

August 16 ~ Happy Bratwurst Day

While I have found a variety of Bratwurst days and festivals around the country on many different days, my research points to August 16th as National Bratwurst Day.  I was able to find a few interesting facts about bratwurst.

The sausage became popular in the US in the 1920s in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin.  Don't you just love that name, Sheboygan...if I lived in Wisconsin that's where I'd want to live just because I like saying the name.  Indications are that the name bratwurst is a compound of the German words for "fry" and "sausage", but most often this sausage is grilled by the American consumer, and frequently it is poached in beer first.  Even that simply recipe, poach in beer and grill, can have any number of variations which can be found in proliferation on the internet.

Feel free to comment with your favorite recipe, hint, or tip for cooking brats.

Monday, August 9, 2010

August 9, 2010 ~ International Indigenous Peoples Day

Although Native Americans would certainly fall into this category, this day is not to be confused with the National Indigenous People Day (Native American Day) which takes place in October. The International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples has been celebrated since 1994 when the UN resolved to recognize this day. To find out more about this day you can visit the UN website.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

August 7, 2010 ~ National Lighthouse Day

A poem to start your "Lighthouse Day"....

The Lighthouse
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The rocky ledge runs far into the sea,
   and on its outer point, some miles away,
the lighthouse lifts its massive masonry,
   A pillar of fire by night, of cloud by day.

Even at this distance I can see the tides,
   Upheaving, break unheard along its base,
A speechless wrath, that rises and subsides
   in the white tip and tremor of the face.

And as the evening darkens, lo! how bright,
   through the deep purple of the twilight air,
Beams forth the sudden radiance of its light,
   with strange, unearthly splendor in the glare!

No one alone: from each projecting cape
   And perilous reef along the ocean’s verge,
Starts into life a dim, gigantic shape,
   Holding its lantern o’er the restless surge.

Like the great giant Christopher it stands
   Upon the brink of the tempestuous wave,
Wading far out among the rocks and sands,
   The night o’er taken mariner to save.

And the great ships sail outward and return
   Bending and bowing o’er the billowy swells,
And ever joyful, as they see it burn
   They wave their silent welcome and farewells.

They come forth from the darkness, and their sails
   Gleam for a moment only in the blaze,
And eager faces, as the light unveils
   Gaze at the tower, and vanish while they gaze.

The mariner remembers when a child,
   on his first voyage, he saw it fade and sink
And when returning from adventures wild,
   He saw it rise again o’er ocean’s brink.

Steadfast, serene, immovable, the same,
   Year after year, through all the silent night
Burns on forevermore that quenchless flame,
   Shines on that inextinguishable light!

It sees the ocean to its bosom clasp
   The rocks and sea-sand with the kiss of peace:
It sees the wild winds lift it in their grasp,
   And hold it up, and shake it like a fleece.

The startled waves leap over it; the storm
   Smites it with all the scourges of the rain,
And steadily against its solid form
   press the great shoulders of the hurricane.

The sea-bird wheeling round it, with the din
   of wings and winds and solitary cries,
Blinded and maddened by the light within,
   Dashes himself against the glare, and dies.

A new Prometheus, chained upon the rock,
   Still grasping in his hand the fire of love,
it does not hear the cry, nor heed the shock,
   but hails the mariner with words of love.

Sail on!” it says: “sail on, ye stately ships!”
   And with your floating bridge the ocean span;
Be mine to guard this light from all eclipse.
   Be yours to bring man nearer unto man.

··· Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ···

Use the link above to visit my newest online shop featuring gift items with my images and artwork. Also be sure to check out upcoming holidays on the calendar and match them up with some great greeting cards through the link to my greeting card shop.

Until tomorrow....let hope, love, and peace light your way.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

August 6, 2010 ~ National Root Beer Float Day


Another fun food day...I love the yummy days...

Did you know Root Beer's primary flavor comes from the root of the sassafras plant or the bark of the sassafras tree.  If you were a Boy Scout or a Girl Scout I'm sure you remember how to spot a sassafras tree...they are the ones that have 3 kind of leaves...the plain oval, the 3 loped, and the mitten shaped.

Root beer dates back to Colonial days when the early Americans used a variety of herbs, roots, leaves, and bark to make what was considered light social drinks.  In 1876 Charles Hires introduced a commercial root beer with his own recipe.  His family continued to manufacture the drink and sold and distributed root beer in bottle for the first time in 1983.   

Root beer can be made in the home and there are plenty of recipe books available.

Outside of the United States root beer is more often known as sarsaparilla...which honestly I think is a lot more fun to say.  So, you might want to make yourself a "sarsaparilla float" instead.

Root beer floats were pretty common place when I was a child, but they seem to have lost some popularity and believe it or not, some children have no idea what it is or how delicious it can be.  While it might seem a simple recipe, root beer and vanilla ice cream, there are some tricks to make the perfect float.  Make sure your root beer is super cold to help keep the ice cream from melting to fast.  It's also a good idea to freeze a nice tall glass to use.  The combination of soda and ice cream will cause an instant foam, so it's best to pour the soda in the glass first leaving what looks like more room than you need for the ice cream.  Serve it with both a spoon and a straw to get all that foamy goodness.

Upcoming Holidays

In 1 week -Left Hander's Day
In 2 weeks -National Lemonade Day (card available)
In 3 weeks -Global Forgiveness Day
In 4 weeks -College Colors Day
In 5 weeks -Swap Ideas Day

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

August 5, 2010 ~ National Underwear Day

I'm not making it, who started this? Would you believe a company called FreshPair? Guess what they sell on the internet...Yup, they sell underwear. And surprise, surprise, they are based out of New York... Only in New York could you walk around the streets in your underwear and not have anyone notice.

So, I suppose the question of the day is boxers or briefs?

I'll keep today's blog brief but I want to let you know that I've gotten my first pair of undies for sale on the internet too....

Find those and other fun gifts at my Artamatik store!

Count down for upcoming holidays:
In 1 week - Youth Day
In 2 weeks - Aviation Day
In 3 weeks - Women's Equality Day
In 4 weeks - VJ Day
In 5 weeks - Teddy Bear Day

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

August 3 ~ National Night Out

This isn't the "fun" night you might be thinking it is. This is the 27th annual National Night Out which is designed as a drug/crime prevention event. Communities across the country will be hosting block parties, parades, barbecues, and a variety of other celebrations and get togethers. Check you town to see what they have planned. This event is held on the first Tuesday in August.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

August 2, 2010 ~ Ice Cream Sandwich Day


What more can I say, I like this holiday.  I have two ideas for you today.  If you haven't heard of this before you're going to love this...Ice Cream Sandwich Cake.  There are plenty of  recipes out on the internet but the basic ingredients are 16 ice cream sandwiches, a large container of frozen whipped topping, a jar of fudge sauce topping, and some type of candy or nut for a bit of crunch.  Layer 8 of the sandwiches in an 8 x 12 baking dish.  Spread half the topping, half the fudge, and half the candy or nuts on top of the sandwiches.  Layer the other half of the sandwiches on top of that and then the remaining ingredients on top of that.  Freeze for a couple of hours.  Super simple!!!

If you don't need to make dessert for a large crowd you might want to try the dessert I'll be having....  You'll need some chocolate fudge toaster pastries and softened vanilla ice cream.  Spread a generous amount of ice cream between two pastries, wrap in clear plastic wrap or wax paper and freeze until the ice cream sets up....

August 1, 2010 ~ Sister Day

Not to be confused with "Brother and Sister Day" or "Sibling Day", I 'm pretty sure this one was made up by greeting card companies to help boost 3rd quarter numbers.  And, who wouldn't want to let their sister know how much they are loved and appreciated?  I have to admit though being the only girl child in my family I am a sister, but I don't have any sisters.  When I was very young I though I was missing out not having a female sibling.  As I got a little older I was grateful to be the only girl...I had my own room, I didn't have to share, there was no fighting over was good.  In my motherhood years, having three daughters, my thoughts from my own childhood were reinforced.  Let me give you all some advice...if you're going to have girls, have two, have four, have six, never have three.  Once they were old enough to argue I stopped being a mother and began being a referee.  It was always two against one, but the scorecard was constantly changing.  To this day, and they are all adults now, the only time they truly all get along is when they have a common enemy...which would be me.

Now that I'm "mature" I again think it would be nice to have a sister.  But Sister Day doesn't have to be just for birth can send a message to your best girl friend or maybe a childhood friend who was like a sister to you.  Just don't forget, there are more than likely distinct days for those people as well...  To be prepared for next year, Sister Day is always the first Sunday in August, Brother Day is always the first Sunday in May, and National Sibling Day is April 10.

By the way, in case you hadn't noticed... You can pick up great greeting cards for all kinds of unusual holidays at my Card Shop on Greeting Card Universe, and fun gifts at my Zazzle shop, all links to which can be found on this page. 

My plans for today...Since today is also my Sister-in-Law's birthday I'm going to wish her a happy day.  Reminisce about times my daughters displayed their "sisterly" love.  Maybe even call my brothers and find out why I didn't get any cards...  Have a fantastic Sunday and I'll see y'all tomorrow.