Tag: ideas

Food Design: 5 Easy Halloween Food Ideas

5 Easy Halloween Food Ideas - Boo-nanas, Mandarin Pumpkins, Ghost Eggs, Mini Cupcake Spiders, Tim Tam Tombstones | A Designer Life

Today, I’m sharing 5 easy Halloween food ideas that I made especially for the HelloSociety Halloween Potluck Pinterest Party! I’m so excited to participate in this, especially since I had so much fun making dishes for the Easter and July 4th Potluck challenges earlier this year. It’s a really great way for me to get out of my cooking rut, and get my hands (and kitchen bench) dirty in a really creative way. Not to mention, I get to share lots of awesome yummy treats with whoever happens to be nearby!

1. Boo-nanas!

Inspired by seeing Sharpie drawn on just about everything these days, I made some screaming bananas. It’s such a simple and easy idea for when you can’t possibly face another handful of candy, piece of cake, or pumpkin-flavored whatever. And of course, bananas are a great gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free, soy-free, everything-free snack. Except if you are allergic to bananas. Sorry.

Boo-nanas! | 5 Easy Halloween Food Ideas

2. Cute Halloween Ghost Eggs

So, this is not strictly something you can serve at your next Halloween party, but it is a cute little idea to surprise your loved ones when they go to make some eggs in the morning. I was inspired to use my Sharpie to create little haunted egg faces after seeing this idea on Pinterest. The only trouble is… Our eggs aren’t exactly white in Australia. So they don’t quite look like ghosts. But you get the general impression!

Halloween Ghost Eggs | 5 Easy Halloween Food Ideas

3. Mandarin Pumpkins

I was inspired to create these mandarin pumpkins after seeing this idea on Pinterest. Anybody would think that this post is sponsored by Sharpie, the way these ideas are stacking up (it’s not). However… I’m a big fan of simple, quick, healthy, and fun, and these little guys tick all four boxes! And not to mention, it’s naturally gluten-free and dairy-free. A good tip: Draw the outline of the pumpkin face shape you want with thin Sharpie, then fill it in with a thicker Sharpie. You’ll save so much time!

Mandarin Pumpkins | 5 Easy Halloween Food Ideas

4. Mini Cupcake Spiders with Pretzel Legs

So I cheated a bit with this idea, as I used store-bought mini cupcakes. But, paired with Smarties for eyes and Pretzel legs, with a dash of chocolate icing to stick the eyes on – you wouldn’t know the difference! These little spiders are bright, colorful, and combine an unexpected savory touch to an otherwise sweet dish. The original recipe uses donuts instead, but you can see how much I was inspired to make something very similar and just as visually effective.

Mini Cupcake Spiders with Pretzel Legs | 5 Easy Halloween Food Ideas

5. Tim Tam Tombstones

This one is an original! I don’t know whether folks over in the States can obtain Arnott’s TimTam biscuits over there, but they are a cult classic quintessential food here in Australia. So, my dad came home with a packet the other day and I was busy thinking up ideas for the Halloween Potluck Party. Anyway, as he was munching, I said “your TimTam kinda looks like a tombstone!” and he promptly bit the biscuit he had right in half, pulled out a fresh one, laid that flat on the bench, and stacked the bitten half-TimTam on top to make a proper tomb-like shape! Horrifically morbid, but also pretty funny at the same time. Thanks Dad!

Two days later… I prettied the idea up a little bit by using a knife to cut the TimTams, with some white-chocolate writing icing to create the RIP detail. I also used a smear of caramel icing and a couple of toothpicks to join the two biscuit pieces together. You can see something similar here.

(Oh, and by the way, did you know that TimTams only come with 11 biscuits in the packet now?! Talk about the opposite of a baker’s dozen. I felt slightly ripped off by that number, its very cheeky, since I’m sure their used to be 12 in a packet.)

Tim Tam Tombstones | 5 Easy Halloween Food Ideas

Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed these 5 Easy Halloween Food Ideas, as much as I enjoyed making them! Now, please excuse me while I go and eat one of those cupcakes… I mean… mandarins.

Jess - Find me on Pinterest

50 Ideas for a Rainy Day

Bored out of your brains on a rainy day? Here's a great list of fun, productive and useful things to keep you happy when it rains!

Bored out of your brains on a rainy day? Here’s a list of fun, productive and useful things you can do to keep you happy when it rains! I’ve compiled 50 ideas for a rainy day that will make the time pass.

Since the weather has been overcast and rainy more often then not lately, I have found myself getting a little down and moody. I suspect this is from the lack of direct sunshine – nothing beats basking in the warmth of the sun on any day, especially on the weekend. On a sunny day, I eagerly await the magic glow of golden hour in the afternoon. So when the weather is drizzly and the sky is dreary, and I’m feeling sad, I have to have a toolbox of tricks to pick me up again. So here is a list I have brainstormed (hehe… brain-storm! Sorry, couldn’t help myself…) in no particular order.


So here goes the breakdown:

1. Pick up a pretty umbrella and pop on some bright gum boots, be defiant, go outside and splash in the puddles! Take a brisk walk – it’s 100% ok to go out and get a little bit damp.

2. Make a big pot of healthy soup to warm the soul. You could put in chicken legs, leeks, parsley, lentils, turnip, celery, carrot, spring onions, and all sorts of yummy earthy vegetables.

3. Get out the sewing machine and mend some of your clothes so that you have something gorgeous and “new” to wear when the sun comes out again.

4. Put on some loud dancing music, clear a space, and shake that booty wildly around the living room.

5. Polish your shoes so that they will sparkle when you wear them out next.

6. Watch Singing in the Rain with Gene Kelly on YouTube – I promise it will at least make you smile.

7. Fold some origami from beautiful, colourful paper. Nothing beats making paper cranes. A beautiful animation can be seen here. You can then string them together to make a hanging mobile, or a garland.

8. Listen to Anda Union Mongolian throat singing. Even if you find it the strangest music you’ve ever heard, at least you’ve discovered something new! The Mongolian people live in some of the harshest environments on Earth, if they can make incredible music like this under those weather conditions, then surely you can survive a rainy weekend! This woman has a mesmerising voice, too.

9. Learn how to play Somewhere over the Rainbow on the ukelele. Guaranteed to lift the spirits, a good tutorial can be found here.

10. Have a date at the movies with a loved one or some special friends & lose yourself in the story. Last night I saw The Artist with some girlfriends – so refreshing to see something in black and white without dialogue, the perfect antidote to modern-day sensory overload.

11. Put on an apron, become a domestic goddess, and bake some muffins! I wouldn’t mind trying to bake these Apple, Rum and Raisin goodies.

12. Embrace the opportunity to sleep and have extra cuddle time with someone special – even if that’s just you!

13. Get out the vacuum and suck up a storm, because you wouldn’t want to waste a sunny day doing vacuuming, now would you?

14. Make yourself comfy on the couch, propped up with a pile of cushions, and bury your nose in a good book from your ever-increasing reading pile (make a decent dent in the pile, and then you can buy more books!)

15. If you don’t have a good book that you want to read, visit the local library and curl up in a chair there for the afternoon. Often they will have a variety of the latest issue magazines to read, too.

16. Find a cozy local cafe and sip hot chocolate and soy chai latte’s with a lovely friend.

17. Plan your next vacation – where would you like to go? Preferably somewhere hot and sunny, with a pool surrounded by lush gardens… hmmm… How about Indonesia?

18. Do your washing, so your clothes will be lovely and fresh for the following week, and hang them up on racks inside, so the house smells fragrant and clean. For added fragrance, burn a delicious scented candle or some incense.

19. Pick a favourite DVD and have a film day/night at home. Popcorn and chocolate: Optional but desirable!

20. Go shopping in your own wardrobe – dig out clothes you haven’t worn in a while, try them on, make new combinations, be your own ‘stylist’ and take photos of yourself! Have a lot of fun, experiencing the abundance of everything that you own!

21. Use the opportunity to go through your belongings, and make a box to give away items to charity which are no longer useful for you. Clothes that don’t fit anymore, accessories that you never wear, books you will never read again, knick knacks and dust collectors, unwanted gifts, anything that is in excess. Make the rain an excuse to wash away that excess, for a fresh start.

22. If you are feeling low and unappreciative, try to count to 1000 in your head and imagine that every number is actually a dollar that is going into your bank account. At this stage, I can only reach 300 without getting distracted by something else, but I’ll keep persisting. This is also a good remedy for insomnia and helping to fall asleep – because nobody sees the relevance of counting sheep anymore in this modern age, but I gurantee that everyone loves to count their money, even if it is imaginary (initially)! Thanks to Jessica Mullen for this meditative tip.

23. Catch up with the news on some of your favourite websites and blogs.

24. Give a local friend or a family member a phone call, renew the spark of contact with somebody who you haven’t spoken with in ages.

25. Get onto Skype and contact a friend who lives overseas – they’ll appreciate the love from home especially if they are living far, far away from home.

26. Write a list of things you are thankful for, not just big ticket things, but list everything that comes to mind, including the most simple of pleasures. This will re-frame your perspective from feeling sad & sorry to being grateful for and not taking for granted the wonderful things in your life. Be thankful for the rainy day!

27. Dust off the sketch book, check that the Artline 2.0 works, sharpen the pencils, and get sketching. Your creative bones will thank you for the exercise!

28. Put on a Yoga DVD or use a phone app and do a guided yoga session on your own floor. Don’t forget to breathe!

29. Make some colour charts on a blank wall, to add a bit of pizazz to your day and forget about the grey. Thanks to Eat Sleep Cuddle for the idea.

30. Hustle some friends together and huddle together in someone else’s house, laughing and chatting.

31. Make a big, warm pot of tea. How about chai, sencha green with roasted rice, lemon and ginger, or peppermint and liquorice?

32. If it’s still morning, make a big pot of fragrant organic fair trade coffee. My favourite is Oxfam fair World Blend, it is intoxicatingly delicious and feels good, too.

33. Fix something that is broken. Maybe you need to replace a blown lightbulb, re-string a necklace, glue on a broken piece of something that’s been waiting several months for a bit of TLC?

34. Sit down on the computer and edit some photos that have been sitting on your computer/phone/memory card. Make a story-board from a collection of the most expressive photos, and arrange to have them printed, make them into a Blurb book, or post them up to Facebook or Flickr.

35. Clean out the fridge and the pantry. Throw away any old food that is no longer good to eat, and give the shelves and cupboards a good wipe out. Find the orphan ingredients (Seaweed sheets? Half a bag of polenta? Sesame seeds? Random can of baked beans near the use by date? An old bag of limes?) and concoct a special dish (or three!) to use them up. Write a list and go grocery shopping, sticking to the list. Embrace the freshness of home-cooked goodness from a creative kitchen goddess – you!

36. Rearrange your finances. Sign up for a savings account and make a budget for the next month or year. What to you want to acheive financially in the coming year? Importantly, choose a realistic goal amount, commit to a date, and have a purpose, for example, “By August 2012, I will have saved $15,000 towards a first home deposit.” Focus on your intention.

37. Write a journal entry, putting all your feelings down on paper, then let them go. Now move on to the next thing.

38. Plan your week. Think of the big things you would like to achieve during the coming week that relate to the most important things in your life (eg. Family, Career, Personal Development, Health, Social Life, Spiritual Life etc). Now, schedule time to do these things, spread out over the 7 days, so you can realistically meet your goals by the end of the week. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t achieve everything, of course that’s ok, too. As long as the most important three tasks get done each day, then you should regard it as a success, and the rest is just a bonus! We all have the tendency to overestimate our available time and the span of our energy.

39. On the contrary, you could throw away the plans, and just do something completely spontaneous! Perhaps something that you have never even done before. If you are in an Australian capital city, Live Guide is a good way to check out what’s on, right now. I also like What’s On in Sydney… that is, if you are in Sydney. Concrete Playground is simply awesome for finding out what’s on in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Auckland. Embrace the chaos and serendipity of the moment.

40. Sort through your computer files and tidy things up, declutter, put items in folders, delete bad photos, clear out downloads that are no longer relevant, get rid of obsolete documents. Put everything into meaningful folders, and back up your computer so that your files are nice and safe. Tidy up your iTunes playlists, maybe burn some of your CDs onto your computer that you haven’t gotten around to digitising yet.

41. Embrace rainy day photography. Get out there with a raincoat, and a plastic bag, and take photos of the countryside or the city. The city can be especially beautiful in the rain – everything is soft and subdued and yet, shiny. The surface of the road is shimmery and reflective and acts as a mirror to the yellow headlights and the red and green traffic lights… The rain offers great possibilities for creative compositions and unexpected reportage.

42. Use humour to beat the rainy-day blues. Go to see a stand up comedy show, rent/borrow a hilarious film, or fluff around for half an hour on a humourous website with the sole intention to laugh so much that your eyelids turn inside out!

43. Give yourself a facial. Pamper yourself completely, in the comfort of your own home. You know the deal – face scrub, face steam, face mask (complete with green shrek-effect and cucumbers for the eyes)! There, feel better?

44. Invent something. Invent a fairytale, or a mythical monster, or a new time-saving contraption, or re-design a household appliance to make it better. What would you change? How would you modify it? How would you make it better or easier to use? How would you design it if was for grandma, or a young child, or custom-made for your spouse? Use colourful markers, draw flow charts and crazy sketches to describe your new invention – even if you think you can’t draw, just do it! You’ll be surprised at your own creativity. Then, make your invention real! How? Use anything you have lying around the house, including pipe-cleaners, sticky tape, rubber bands, toilet roll tubes, cardboard and fabric scraps. Basically anything that can help you to bring your idea into 3D reality will do! Take photos during the process and celebrate your invention when you have finished by sharing the idea with somebody who will appreciate it.

45. Rearrange the furniture in your house. Shake things up a bit and refresh your surroundings to refresh your mind. They say a change is as good as a holiday, right?

46. Explore an Art Gallery or a Museum to expand your horizons, your knowledge and your cultural awareness, all while comfortably indoors! Galleries and museums are usually not expensive compared to going out for a movie, and sometimes, entry is even free.

47. Soften your skin while showering… All you need are ordinary oats, by putting a handful into a square of scrap cotton fabric, and tying with a rubber band, moisten, and rubbing it all over your body, like a loofah. Make it fragrant by splashing with a few drops of lavender oil before bathing.

48. Host a high tea party at home. Put on a happy frock, tie a ribbon in your hair, paint on some bright red lippy, splash on some perfume, wear your favourite heels, and all-importantly, have cupcakes, teacups and saucers (and martini glasses?!) at the ready. Make it an all-girl event and pledge to learning knitting or crochet together on a rainy afternoon (Craft-ernoon?). Or make it a bit interesting by inviting the guys as well as the girls (on one condition – they must come as “Mad Hatters”!)

49. Go to be early and catch up on some sleep. Having a full, decent night’s sleep is totally under-rated as a mood lifter. And then, who knows, you might wake up tomorrow morning and it’ll be sunny! Just ask Annie.

50. Look out for the rainbow when the sun breaks through the clouds! It’ll be worth the wait.

There you have it! 50 ideas for a rainy day! Congratulations for making it to the end.

Jess x

I’ve also made a list you can pin! See below:

50 IDEAS for a rainy day list