Vesuvius Day

Today, August 24th, in 79 AD the great volcano Vesuvius exploded killing thousands and burying the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum with rock, ash and other debris. A couple of years ago I managed to visit Napoli (Naples, Italy) for a short weekend trip. Next to the pizza at Da Michele Pizzeria, hiking to the top of Vesuvius was the highlight of the trip. From the summit you can see the metropolis of Naples, the island of Capri and the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Standing atop of a still active (but thankfully not erupting) volcano is an amazing experience as you stand in awe of the sheer power of nature.

View of the Bay of Naples from atop Mount Vesuvius - Designerella

Caldera of Vesuvius - Designerella

Where did the day go?

International Date Line - Designerella

Ever have one of those days at work where you wonder where the day went? In the middle of the Pacific Ocean you can have one of those days and have an excuse for it. The reason–the international date line. So I have a valid excuse for not recalling the day February 13, 2013 as it never happened for me. Not only that, I had the experience of crossing below the equator, so I had my first experience in the southern hemisphere. Combined, I started yesterday in the Northern and Western hemispheres and ended today in the Southern and Eastern hemispheres.

So the day that was lost is the 13th making today February 14th, Saint Valentine’s Day and the first anniversary of the Designerella blog!  While the view may not be as dramatic as some of the other locals, the beautiful blue sea is what I see most days. To all my friends, family and loyal blog followers, I hope you have a fabulous Valentines Day and are sharing this special day with your loved ones.  Happy Valentines Day!

Lots of love,

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from Funchal on the island of Madeira, Portugal.  Funchal puts on a magnificent firework display to celebrate the New Year.  While I was watching the fireworks I was thinking about my friends and family back at home.  I would like to wish you all an enjoyable, peaceful, healthy, and happy 2013!

Madeira, Portugal - Designerella

Thanksgiving at Sea

North Sea - Designerella

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy your time celebrating with family and friends.  I wanted to share with you one of my favorite sea pictures that I captured during my travels.  Everyday I enjoy the beautiful sea and it is where I am mostly at peace.  I absolutely love water.  The sound of the ripples in each wave helps me gather my thoughts and appreciate what a beautiful life we all have. This is what I am thankful for.  I wish you all a peaceful and enjoyable Thanksgiving.

You say potato. . .

Today marks the beginning of National Potato Month and I decided take a timeout from the travel posts to show you something I created for the occasion. Whether you call them pot-A-toes, pot-AH-toes, taters or spuds, this is their month. What would Thanksgiving be without mashed potatoes? What would a burger be without fries? And, most importantly, what would we do without Mr. Potato Head? So let us all celebrate the potato this month!

Someone is excited for National Potato Month! Animation by Designerella.

National Chocolate Chip Day!

On this sweetest of holidays pick up a bag of chocolate chips from your local grocery store and follow this tasty treat.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

  • 8 Tbsp of room temperature butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 C Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 C White Granulated Sugar
  • 1 t Vanilla
  • 1/2 t Baking Soda
  • 3/4 C Flour
  • 1 1/2 C Oatmeal
  • 3/4 C Chocolate Chips

Mix the ingredients following the order above. Bake in preheated oven at 350F for 9-11 minutes. Will make about 2 dozen fabulous cookies.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies - Designerella


Baking provides a creative avenue and tasty treats. Last month I created these HamCakes with fellow blogger and burger fanatic fivefeettall. Yellow, green and red frosting’s were used to simulate the mustard, lettuce and ketchup.  I thought these HamCakes were perfect to celebrate National Hamburger Month.

HamCake- Designerella

The patty is a cutout brownie and the bun is vanilla cupcake. Sesame seeds were used to provide the finishing detail of the bun. When completed they looked like mini hamburgers and, when eaten, they provided a sugar overdose. By the end we had created enough of these pint-sized burgers to fill a sack of sliders.

HamCakes - Designerella


National Hair Style Appreciation Day!

Hairstyles say much about a person’s style and identity.  For certain hairstyles, much effort is needed to create and maintain it.  As times change, the styles also evolve. In my life I spent much effort working with people in creating different styles. Today we should all appreciate the art these styles and the talent needed to create these styles on National Hairstyle Appreciation Day.

National Hair Style Appreciation Day - Designerella

Happy Easter!

My little niece has a holiday tree that needed Easter decorations. So she and Designerella teamed up to create Easter eggs that would sparkle on her tree.

Easter egg creation - Designerella

Using sequins on a string we covered several eggs and tied ribbons to use as hangers.

Easter egg on seasonal tree - Designerella

Other eggs were covered in colored glitter to provide a sparkle to her tree.

Easter tree - Designerella

Now that the tree has been properly decorated for this holiday season, both Designerella and her niece would like to say “Happy Easter Everyone!”

Happy Easter - Designerella

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Dia duit (that is an Irish welcome phrase). I wanted to make some cupcakes for everyone for Saint Patrick’s Day. I baked delicious chocolate cupcakes, whipped up some green frosting and topped it with a cute hat. I hope you enjoy it and remember have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day.

Cupcake animation. - Designerella