Merry Christmas, Please Pass the Fruitcake !

Much aligned, much beloved.  It’s the Christmas fruitcake that some say could be used as a spare tire in a pinch.  But we fruitcake lovers know best.  It’s a wonderful addition to the Christmas dinner table.

Image result for fruitcake images

Just feast your eyes on that beauty, typically rich in fruit and nuts.  And quite sweet.  The fruitcake began in ancient Rome and quickly spread to Europe, then to colonial America.

Despite all the history and worldwide popularity, fruitcake isn’t everyone’s favorite holiday treat. Those cakes can be really heavy. And maybe because fruitcake lasts so long they often get forgotten, or re-gifted, and end up sitting around on shelves. December 27 is National Fruitcake Day, but then a little more than a week later it’s Fruitcake Toss Day on January 7. One town in Colorado takes getting rid of their unwanted fruitcake very seriously. Every year, Manitou Springs has a contest to see who can throw their fruitcakes the farthest and with the greatest accuracy. People build catapults, slingshots, or just hurl the cakes by hand. To make up for all the lost food, everyone competing has to bring a donation to the local food bank — anything except fruitcake!

Nonetheless, we lovers of fruitcake can’t wait for the holidays so we can enjoy this treat that has been around for 2000 years.  Ah…..not the same cake, just the recipe.  Enjoy !


Credit to What’s cooking America, and

Best Cruise-Line Private Islands in the Caribbean

Looking to REALLY get away.  How about to a private island ?  One catch, you have to take a cruise to get there.  Read about the best islands to cruise to in this article by Lissa Poirot of Far and  Then start packing your bikini !


Great Stirrup Cay

Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas may be “just” 268 acres, but Norwegian Cruise makes up for its relatively small stature with style.

Forget the barbecue lunches the other islands provide. On Great Stirrup there is a beach grill, taco bar and Caribbean-fare food truck, along with Bacardi, Patron and Bertram’s bars. When not dining, guests enjoy immaculate and groomed white-sand beaches.

Sample review: “WOW, is all I can say about GSC the Norwegian Cruise Line private island. We had a private villa for the day with its own AC, TV, bathroom with shower, butler service and living room. We had a front porch with lounge chairs and lounge chairs on the beach. There was a champagne bar and all the food you could eat. The beach was so beautiful. We can’t wait to go back.” – cathy s


I’m just going to show you one of the best.  Fear not.  Click below to see the whole article and the rest of the best.



New Year, New You !


These Are the 5 Hair Color Trends You’ll See Everywhere in 2020

Slide 2 of 18: One of the new year's biggest hair color trends will remind you of cozy nights curled up by the fireplace with a hot toddy in hand: cinnamon swirl. "Rich auburns have merged into Winter with a luxurious tone-on-tone finish," Papanikolas said. "The best versions have a deep mahogany base color with cinnamon accents."
If you have dark hair to begin with, he recommends keeping the auburn color within two shades of your natural color. "Going any lighter than this can result in brassy tones," he said. Ditto if you have lighter hair but want to go into this ashier territory: stay within two shades. "Any darker can look harsh and inky."

Slide 5 of 18: 2020 Hair Color Trend: Cinnamon Swirl

Slide 6 of 18: Buttercream frosting might be your favorite holiday treat, but it's also a huge forecasted color for blondes in 2020. "These tones can range from light iridescent gold blonds, light to medium gold, and light to medium warm gold hues," Kaeding said. "A perk to the buttery cream and champagne blond hair color is that you can easily try these hues without having to make a big change."
"A perk to the buttery cream and champagne blond hair color is that you can easily try these hues without having to make a big change"
Papanikolas echoes the sentiment that buttery blond will be a huge trend in the new year and suggests you bring certain instructions to your colorist for the most optimal results: "To get this color, lift the base one shade after your highlights to illuminate the color and give a soft golden finish," he said. Then, he recommends using purple-based shampoos at home to help maintain the color.

Slide 7 of 18: 2020 Hair Color Trend: Buttercream Blond


OK.  I know.  There are 3 more colors I haven’t posted.  But I have presents to buy and wrap so I  need to go.  However, you can see the other colors just by clicking below.

And have a wonderful Christmas !



Best Hikes in New Zealand

Need something to do this holiday period ?  Those living in the Southern Hemisphere have 26 best day and 2 day hikes right in your neighborhood in New Zealand.  Check out this hiking guide from


26 Best Hikes in New Zealand - find out where to hike in the North Island and the South Island

The best way to experience New Zealand is with your own two feet. New Zealand is a hiker’s paradise. During our three months traveling in NZ, we sought out the best trails and hiked as much as possible. We’ve assembled our favorite hiking trails below for both the North and South Islands. You’ll find a range of short and long day hikes as well as 2-day hikes. We’ve also included trails we didn’t experience due to poor weather, or lack of proper equipment (basically our wishlist for our next trip). So, if you’re asking “where should I hike in New Zealand,” or “what are the best backcountry hut hikes,” keep reading because we’ve got you covered.

26 Best Hikes in New Zealand Overview

  1. Tongariro Alpine Crossing, North Island
  2. Mount Ruapehu’s Crater Lake, North Island
  3. Taranaki Falls, North Island
  4. Tama Lakes, North Island
  5. Mangorei Track to Pouakai Range, North Island
  6. Wilkies Pool and Dawson Falls Loop, North Island
  7. Cape Kidnappers Gannet Reserve, North Island
  8. Pinnacles Track, North Island
  9. St. Arnaud Range Track, South Island
  10. Robert Ridge Trail to Angelus Hut, South Island
  11. Sealy Tarns Track, South Island
  12. Mueller Hut, South Island
  13. Hooker Valley, South Island
  14. Roys Peak, South Island
  15. Isthmus Peak, South Island
  16. Ben Lomond, South Island
  17. Tiki Trail to Skyline Complex, South Island
  18. Lake Alta, South Island
  19. Lookout, The Remarkables, South Island
  20. Routeburn Track to Routeburn Falls, South Island
  21. Routeburn Track to Harris Saddle, South Island
  22. Mount Aspiring Hut, South Island
  23. French Ridge Hut, South Island
  24. Rob Roy Glacier, South Island
  25. Key Summit, South Island
  26. Avalanche Peak, South Island

Click on this link to find location and particulars of each hike, and much more.

A Goth Garden this Spring


  1. See the source image

photo by eCrater


What Is a Goth Garden? Popular in the Victorian era, these once picturesque gardens used to be the equivalent to a fun-filled theme park in their day. Loaded with carefully orchestrated effects and morbid reflections of death, the gothic garden drew crowds then for the same reason horror flicks grab our attention today – a good scare. This, of course, need not always be the case. Gothic garden design can take on a more magical concept too, depending on the gardener.


Here are some delightfully dark flowers and foliage for your Goth garden.