Stuff I see, which you might not.

An EverydaySparks Christmas – the tree

Let me start with a bit of a heads-up: I looooove the festive season. From Thanksgiving through to Christmas and then the wind-down after that, when it feels as though everyone slows down a bit to enjoy the summer (here in Australia, that is). Oh, the thrill of getting a parking spot when the shopping centre is packed; the smell of the fruit cakes baking in the oven (my mum’s); the playing of the Christmas tunes (at this time, I even accept Mariah Carey); the wrapping of the gifts; the popping of the champagne corks; the squeals of delight from the little people; and, of course, the decorating of the tree.

I love decorating my tree. It’s a fakey-fake tree, but its creators have tried hard to make its ‘trunk’ and ‘branches’ look as realistic as possible. Which is pretty funny, because there are large brackets along the trunk where you need to insert the branches – that kind of gives the game away. Although they have painted the brackets brown, like the trunk, so I do appreciate their efforts to keep it real. I have a fair few decorations that I have collected over the years on my travels, so I’m pretty much in a dream world as I crank up the carols and take the memories out of their boxes.

Most of the decorations make me smile, some make me a bit teary, others blind me with their bling (ok, so I have some small disco ball decorations on the tree, just because). But there are two decorations that make me laugh out loud every year (or LOLEY, the cool kids might say) and as I put my tree up yesterday, I thought I would share them with you here.

The Christmas sushi was a gift from my sister-in-law Jo a few years back – a sign that she knows me well (I really dislike sushi, but I love crazy glittery decorations, the more ridiculous the better). And the Christmas pickle is from New York – I couldn’t resist its bright green colouring, with a mysterious golden sheen. It just looks so bizarre. Apparently it’s based on a German tradition to put a real pickle on the tree. I’m not sure about that tradition and so, especially in the summer heat, I’ll stick with this more magical version.

Here they are…

This pic doesn't adequately capture the true sparkle of the sushi ingredients, but you get the idea. LOLEY.

This pic doesn’t adequately capture the true sparkle of the sushi ingredients, but you get the idea. LOLEY.

The pickle (and a bit of a disco ball on the side there). Every tree should have one!

The pickle (and a bit of a disco ball on the side there). Every tree should have one!


A festive farewell

I love Christmas. I love everything about it – the lead-up (yep, even the crazy shopping times), the traditions, the family time, the thoughtful gifts and the eating and the drinking. But I don’t like the post-Christmas slump that inevitably follows – washing up, putting away decorations, taking down the tree, trying to fit the lights back into their box without strangling myself, watching what I’m eating and drinking. All that stuff.

If it were socially acceptable to keep my tree up as a standard home decoration all year round, I would do it. I have a bizarro collection of ornaments that I have picked up on my travels (whether those travels be to Prague or Florence or just a dodgy shop in North Sydney) – it’s a tree with personality, I tell you. From the disco balls to the glittering butterflies to the razzle dazzle stars, and everything in between. Some Waterford crystal, some precious metals, some felt and some Chinese plastic. Come to think of it, the tree is probably a pretty good reflection of me in many ways. A mish-mash of different styles and moods and ideas and a lot of quirky stuff that is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, but it makes me smile every time I unpack the Christmas collection.

So, this post is a festive farewell to some of my faves – ’til next year, my Christmas crackers.


Decoratin' my door no more.

Decoratin’ my door no more.

Fly away, spongey faced fairy (who appears to need a comfort break).

Fly away, marzipan faced fairy (who appears to need a comfort break).

No more lies, man.

No more lies, man.

Auf Wiedersehen, golden sheen pickle.

Auf Wiedersehen, golden sheen pickle.



Hit the slopes, crazy monkey  trapped in an Australian summer Christmas.

Hit the slopes, crazy monkey trapped in an Australian summertime Christmas.

Sayonara, Christmas glitter sushi from my sister Jo. Every tree should have one.

Sayonara, Christmas glitter sushi from my sister Jo. Every tree should have one.

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Just Dough It?

I first saw this range of fake food (uh huh) for sale on Fab.com and knew that I needed to find out more about it. Apparently, Just Dough It! has been making fake food for more than 15 years, handcrafting most of the “faux food items” featured on their website at their warehouse in Oklahoma.

But wait, is there really a market for fake food? I hear you cry. According to the company’s website, the answer to that would be a big fat YES – their fake foods have been used in several movies and tv shows, as well as stores and homes. Interestingly, they claim Pizza Hut as a company that has used their fake food, but I’m going to leave that one alone.

The range of fake foods is mindblowing – especially when I’m still not entirely sure why people would want to buy fake foods (other than for a display in a shop, when I can appreciate that you don’t want to use, say, real cheese or ice cream in your sunny window display). Basically, it seems if you can make it, they can fake it. (And that’s not a bad tag line for them, if I do say so myself.)

Care for a glass of champagne? Thankfully, it comes ‘with bubbles’ according to the product blurb. And for only $2 extra, you can ‘add condensation to the glass’. Yes, really. Or what about a decadent chocolate martini, complete with ‘chocolate drizzle on glass and chocolate shavings on top’? There is also a delicious looking fake mojito, which I’m sure would prove to be downright annoying on a hot summer’s afternoon.

There’s a fake lamb chop dinner (which looks eerily similar to hospital food – maybe this is where they get it?) and a fake plate of sushi. Fake beer, fake popcorn, fake pretzels, fake chocolate dipped fruit. Everything you need for a fake night in. There are fake ice creams, fake milkshakes, fake cupcakes and even fake chocolate frosted cake with a fake slice removed.

Apparently, you should “use our decorative fake wine, fake beer and decorative bar drinks as food props, or to spruce up your room and give that finished look”. And that gave me an idea. I’m going to buy the fake Old Fashioned (on the rocks, including orange wedge and cherry). Just so I can pretend that Don Draper from Mad Men is somewhere in my apartment.

Fancy fake food? You can check out Just Dough It! for your ‘realistic food and drink replicas’ here. Bon (faux) appetit!