Sunday, October 4, 2015

Egg-Cellent Tips

Welcome to The Cherry On Top.

We are keeping it short and sweet with this one because it's cut and dry easy. We'll tell you how to test an egg without cracking it.  Have you ever smelled a rotten egg?  UGH!  By far, the worst thing I've ever smelled.  Even worse, breaking a bad egg into a bowl full of ingredients!  I learned my lesson the hard way.  Break all eggs over a separate container or dish.

Plant Seeds from Amanda Creation can be found at the Digital scrapbooking Studio.

Chickens totally rock!  Even in the congested cities of Belgium, you'll hear the cock-a-doodle-doo of roosters and the clucking of the ladies.  I wondered why so many people had chickens.  They eat a lot of left overs as well as the peels and other parts of fruit and veg that we throw away.

We have two garbage bags less, per month since we got the girls and I don't feel nearly as bad giving my girls leftovers rather than disposing them in the trash.  Of course, they also give us something in return, eggs.

We've had chickens for several years now.  I've noticed that when I let the girls walk around the yard and enjoy the grass and all of the critters they can find, that they are much, much healthier and lay eggs all year round, despite freezing or continuous rain.

I have one chicken that always manages to escape and she often retreats to my neighbour's, very overgrown garden.  She often lays eggs there and I forget to get them.

All you have to do is gently drop an egg into water and if it floats, it's bad.  That's it! When an egg starts to turn it emits gas, hence the floating. How convenient that I just happened to have discovered an old egg at the neighbours for this blog?!  Hehehe...

Some other egg-cellent tips I can give are telling the difference between a raw and cooked egg that is still in the shell.  It's all in the spin!  Give the egg a spin if it rotates quickly, then it's cooked because it's solid.  If it hardly moves, it's raw because it's liquid.

There is absolutely no difference between a brown and white egg.  If ya got a white chicken, then you are going to have white eggs.  If ya got a brown chicken, they'll be brown.  Neither is more nutritious than the other.  The best eggs for you are those that are organic.

There is great debate on how to make the best boiled egg.  Here's what I found on HowStuffWorks.

"First, place fresh eggs in a pot filled with cold water and bring to a rapid boil. Then, remove from heat and cover. Let the eggs sit for 20 minutes, take them out of the water, peel and enjoy. If you like your eggs cold, place them in a bowl of chilled water or run them under the tap for several seconds."

If you click on the high lighted link for HowStuffWorks, they give tips on the perfect scrambled eggs, omelets and the most delicious, poached eggs.

There is a whole lot of information out there about eggs and the health benefits from them.  Check out this article from Huff Post.

There ya have it.  You've got the facts and the skills to get those eggs just right and enjoy eating them without the guilt that they are not good for us because they are!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Freebies From the Family Collection At The Digital Scrapbooking Studio

Welcome to The Cherry On Top.

Today, we're bringing on the serious goodies.  The Digital Scrapbooking Studio has a brand spanking new store collection out and it's all about Family.  That's just about my all time favourite scrappy subject.  Hundreds of goodies can be found in this enormous collection designed by the Studio's Design Team.

We've got lovely inspiration and free stuff for you.  Keep scrolling and see what we have.

Here's a glance at some of the marvellous elements and papers you'll find in the Family Collection.  I've mixed and matched several of the designer's goodies to design this one.  I went for bold and bright because it totally embodies these pictures I took while trying to get a nice family photo.  Never thought to take that badge off, dad.  Hehehe...


Here's a different twist in the Family Collection.   I went softer, lighter, vintage and used an amalgamation of BooLand, Valentina and Over The Fence Designs.


I stuck with one designer for this one, The Kit Cart Designs.  It's a more whimsical feel.  Show off those awesome family photos by framing them up and keeping your layout simple.


Here's a nifty pic of my mom and dad.  I think this might be one of the best pictures to date.  I used mostly goodies from LouCee Creations and a free template from Heartstrings Scrap Art.


Here's a free frame cluster that you can get over on the Studio's blog.

dss blog

This freebie is for you, for stopping by The Cherry.

 free download

If you just can't enough freebies, check out our most recent free printables pictured below and be sure you follow us here, on Pinterest and Facebook where we post freebies daily.




All of our freebies are for PERSONAL USE ONLY and our not to be claimed as yours or resold.

Thanks for making time for The Cherry.  Make sure ya do it, again!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Hold On To Summer, Free Template

 Welcome to The Cherry On Top.

We have some more free templates available for you.  Check out our inspiration and find out how you can get more free templates.

We will be providing more tutorials on how to work with templates, too.  Keep your eyes out for it. If you are interested in how templates work, check out this link.

This template was inspired by Key Lime Digi Design's collaborative kit, Summer's Meadow.  If you're living on the other half of the globe, then you are ready for summer and this kit is a great reflection of summer's best.  All of Sandy's kits are on sale at this very moment and until Thursday, the 8th!

Maybe you've got some summer photos that you still need to scrap?  Take a look at this beautiful kit full of thoughtful elements and papers that is perfect for any kind of projects you have in mind.



Here are a couple of other layouts using Key Lime Digi Design's digital kits.





If you are all about the free templates, check out these. We got loads of free stuff.  The best place to find them all is on Pinterest at our Freebies board.




Click here to download the current, free template.

Please keep in mind that our freebies are for PERSONAL USE ONLY and are not to be resold or claimed as your own.

Happy scrapping!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Free Halloween Printable Poster From MagsGraphics

Welcome to another scrappy edition of The Cherry On Top.

We are keeping things seasonally scary.  We've got MagsGraphics on the hot plate and she's cooking up all kinds of kits for your favourite Halloween photos and hybrid projects.  We have a fantastically frightening freebie for you as well as inspiration and different ways to use your digital stash.


Can you just imagine all of the cool things you can make with Halloween Horror?  Party invitations, drink labels, bag toppers.  Go nuts with all of these creepy goodies from MagsGraphics.

Do you scrap without pictures?  This is just pure digital design in action.  You don't always have to use pictures.  I scoured Pinterest for interesting Halloween quotes and got to work on this free printable poster.  Print it out on canvas, print it and stick it in a frame or modge podge it to a box lid.

Simply right click and save it to your downloads and print.  That's it!

Here's a look at a couple of other  kits from MagsGraphics.



Do you always work around the theme of a kit?  For Across The Galaxy, it's a Star Wars theme, but I didn't use it for my layout, below.  I didn't have any photos that were fitting that part of the theme so I used all of the elements and papers out side of that theme as well as a template from Brenian Designs to make this layout.


Everyone has their own preferences of how they scrap and my main reason is to remember the moments. I love using large photos.  I am all about the pictures and a little bit about the kit and goodies.


If you are looking for more Halloween ideas of all crafty kinds, hit up our Pinterest board.You can also check out some of The Cherry's projects, here.

Our freebies are always for PERSONAL USE ONLY.  Please do not resell them or claim them as your own.  If you are all about the freebies be sure to hook up to our PinterestFacebook Page and follow our blog.  We've got freebies daily!

Thanks for taking the time to check out The Cherry.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

What Not To Tell People With Autistic Children

Welcome to a special Autism edition of The Cherry On Top.

As most readers know my husband and I have two young boys on the Autism spectrum.  Our oldest is high functioning while our youngest is not.  Our mission is to find out everything we can about Autism.  We also want to find ways to help minimise the symptoms and prepare for the future.  If you know of excellent resources, share them in the comments.

A great way to help folks with their life long journey with Autism is knowing what not to say to them.  If you're not sure, don't say anything.  It's always best.  The spectrum is huge and not all Autistic folks are the same.  Not even close.  If you know just one, you don't know them all.

Consider these suggestions.

What NOT to tell people with Autistic children:

That they are spoiling their children.

For years both my in-laws and my parents continuously accused us of spoiling our children until we received official diagnosis from a team of professionals.  What a relief it was for us.  Our own family could finally stop BLAMING us for our children’s difficult and challenging behavior.  (Our very own experience has taught us that corporal punishment increases ill behavior 10 fold.  Find out why here and read about other ways to communicate besides hitting here.)

Do NOT tell caretakers of Autistic kids that it will pass.  For one, you will sound like a complete ignoramus because we are not talking about gas here.  It will not pass.  Autism is a lifetime sentence.  There will be terrible, unbelievably challenging phases where one will want to pull hair out, slam doors and cry into the pillow and there will be less traumatic phases, but every single day is a challenge and if one thinks otherwise, then they are looking at a world through rose coloured glasses where unicorns fart rainbows and leprechauns are waiting at the other end with a pot of gold.

Do NOT tell parents of Autistic children they have been blessed.  Hello!  Logical, rational, intelligent people do not believe in being blessed.  We all know that shit happens and some get more than others.  Autism is not a blessing.  We have learned a lot through our experience and we love our children to the point of physical and mental deterioration, but if we could ditch the Autism, we wouldn’t think twice.  Why else would so many desperate souls be looking for a cure?!

I’m pretty sure when people say it’s a blessing they actually mean they feel blessed by not having kids with Autism.  Now, THAT is something I can get my head around.  

Do NOT bother with the Evil Jedi Mind Trick Glare.  For one, it doesn’t work.  You will only make things worse for yourself.  When a smart, receptive parent feels the power of a negative force, they won’t even bother to try and deal with whatever annoyance that person may be having because they only have to deal with Autism for a tiny fraction of their life while the caretakers will continue until they’ve made the grave.

Another reason this is a waste of time is many kids with Autism do not GET what the people are even doing and if it were my kids, they would probably make fun of that person, point and laugh because to them, they look funny and weird.

This goes back to the whole corporal punishment tactic and why it doesn’t work.  Many Autistic kids don’t feel guilt, shame or even have the slightest bit of responsibility for their actions.  Cause and effect is just as obscure to them as to most people’s conceptualization and understanding of Autism.

Do NOT tell folks dealing with Autism that you don’t believe in Autism.  It isn’t religion!  It has nothing to do with faith or belief.   Autism is very real.  Autism spectrum is a “complex set of neurological disorders that severely impair social, communicative and cognitive functions” and “scientists have determined that Autism is a genetically based condition”. 

So what should you say to a parent whose life has been turned absolutely upside down?  Whose entire future will be dedicated to this eternal struggle?  Who will more than likely have to care for their child or children their entire life because over 90% of Autistic people are unemployed and are not capable of caring for themselves?

Nothing!  Keep the gob shut because the 5 minutes of agitated impatience and lack of compassion only makes people look like a fool.  If these are people you know and love, ask if there is anything you could do to help.  Tell them they are doing a great job and that you are there if they need you.  Be honest and say you don't understand if you don't or that you can't possibly imagine what it's like or how difficult it must be.  If it isn't constructive or helpful, don't bother saying anything.  (This goes for life in general, too. ;)

These are my musings.  It’s not a debate or open for discussion.  Just some truth laid out as I see it.  After over a decade of dealing with Autism I have been given one very important gift.  The gift of not giving a crap about what other people think about my kids and the way we are raising them.

I've got another blog entry with tips on how to host a party for special needs kids as well as tips on how to attend a party for a kid with special needs.

If you're looking for support or advise with your Autistic children, friends or family go ahead and leave a comment and we'll see what we can work out together.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Autumn Decorating Fast, Easy and Inexpensive

Welcome to The Cherry On Top.

We've put together a variety of decor ideas to give you inspiration with your fall decorating.  In typical Cherry fashion, we keep it easy and we also keep cost in mind, too.  Try our family friendly, easy on the wallet ideas to make your home feel warm and cozy this season.

This first one is ours.  A large, tin tray full of seasonal nuts, a candle, small pumpkin, pine cone and a free printable that we modge podged on a shoe box.  I just love that quirky quote.

We blogged all about our Halloween decorating last year.  In Belgium, Halloween isn't all that popular, but in our tiny village, we're trying to change that.  Here's a shot of our front yard.  I made this out of plastic bags and some current clothes.   Hehehe...Those are my rain boots and my hubby's hat.


 I got these awesome images from Pinterest, drew them on to some sturdy, old card board boxes, painted them with black craft paint and used scissors and an exacto to cut them out.  Click on the first image to get to the site where I got the images and the second to see the blog on how we made this window.


Pretty cool, eh?!  We got a lot of attention for this window.  I just put a white sheet behind it all and some lighting behind it as well.  People were snapping pics left and right and were truly impressed.  Ha!


We've also got a blog on how to make this simple witch's broom from stuff you've probably got laying around the house.  You can make this in minutes.


Here's a totally economical way to decorate with natural goodies that might be laying right outside your door.  Clean up your vases, drop in a nice seasonal candle and put the nuts or small pines cones all around the candle.  Ready in minutes and so, so cozy!  This image is hooked up to even more fall ideas.


 Click on this image to get ideas for pretty wreaths using burlap.


These next three are totally fabulous and all three images are hooked up to a site where you can find even more lovely seasonal wreaths.  I cannot choose a favourite.


Grab all of your remnants and get tying this lovely wreath.


How's this for scary chic?  If you don't have the black elements like these, paint some you do have.


How lovely is this area?  Seasonal colours reflecting the colours of the view from your window.  Bringing the outside in without that chilly air.


Check out our Pinterest boards for Fall/Thanksgiving and Halloween ideas! 

We just rustled up this lovely, free printable for you!  Use it for a Project Life Style layout, in your agendas, use the four Cute Cards as tags or grab the png version and use it digital style.  There's so much you can do with it.  Either download directly by right clicking on the image or download our png version from Photobucket.

 free printable

We hope we got the wheels turning and the feeling of fall in your fingers.  

Thanks so much for checking us out!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

How To Store Fresh Fruits And Vegetables

Welcome to The Cherry On Top.

We're back with more helpful hints in the kitchen and a bit of scrap-a-licious goodness, too!

We've recently started receiving organic fruit and vegetables delivered right to our door, once a week.  We never know what we are going to get.  So it's always an adventure.  We will be having an abundance of these fresh lovelies and I want to be sure I get as much life out of them as possible.  I went and did some research to make sure I had it right.

These wonderful strawberries are from our own garden.  The only thing our garden gets is rain water and perhaps a banana peel or egg shells.  No chemicals, ever.  If you pick your own berries and want or need to store them it's important to remember not to wash them until you are ready to eat them and if possible, lay them flat and not stacked.  Our berries never last because they are eaten almost immediately.

Here's a handy chart to help you with the rest of the typical fruits and vegetables. I had no idea that pairing particular fruits together actually promotes decay. Yikes! We've put a star next to those in the list.

Here's a glance at the lovely digital kit I used to make this chart.  It's from my gal Amanda at A-Manda Creation.  This kit is perfect for this time of year and it would be great for designing recipe cards, too.


Here's the proof, that the berries never make the jam!  Hehehe...This kit is from LouCee Creations and you can see more of Farm Fresh over at the Digital Scrapbooking Studio by clicking on the image.


 If you want to learn more about storing fruit and veg properly, check out this site.  It's really good and full of juicy details.

Thank you so much for making The Cherry a part of your day!

Our blog is full of recipes, tips and tricks and free printables that make life easier and more enjoyable.  Here are a couple of our most popular.  Simply click on the images to check out the blog.