Every day has a little bit of happy. Follow us as we give tips and ideas for Family Celebrations big and small! Check out our stores for our lovely hand designed personalized china dessertware, little touchstones to your happiest days!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Last Minute Homemade Gift! Fudge in a Flash!

This time of year it always seems that I need an extra present or two on hand. Here is a recipe for Chocolate Almond Fudge, that is delicious, inexpensive, and whips up fast! Perfect for co-workers, teacher gifts, or even to set out at a party! You can switch out the almonds for other add in-s, such as marshmallows, or peanut butter,or white chocolate chips. So simple and so yummy!

Decadent Chocolate Almond Fudge
Shawn Hull

3 cups of chocolate chips
1 cup of almonds
1 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
1 pinch of kosher salt
1 tsp of vanilla extract
Non-Stick Spray

In a double boiler melt down chocolate chips with vanilla, pinch of salt, and can of sweetened condensed milk.

Keep heat very low, so as not to burn. When the chocolate is smooth and has a shiny sheen, take it off the heat.

Add one cup of almonds and stir into the fudge mixture.

Pour into a 8x8 square pan sprayed with non-stick spray.

Chill in the refrigerator for two hours.

Cut into bite size pieces and package in air tight containers.

Wrap. I used brown paper bags, (I was out of wrapping paper, plus it gives a nice rustic homey feel). Tie with ribbon.

Give to friends and family!

Happy Holidays from the Hull Family!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Save on Postage, Make Your Own Holiday Video Card!

You can save on postage and licking all those envelopes, yet still let all your loved ones far and near know you wish them Happy Holidays! Simply make your own Holiday Video Card.

How to Make A Holiday Video Card in 3.5 Easy Steps.

1. Shoot some fun holiday scenes: making cookies, singing holiday songs, trimming the tree etc.

2. Upload your video to youtube (www.youtube.com, get a free acount)

3. Embed the video using youtube's free tools and email to all your friends and family!

3.5 Sip some eggnog and enjoy the season!

Check out the Hull Family's Video Card Below to jumpstart your own ideas! Let us know what you come up with!

Happy Holidays!
Shawn and Kevin (and the girls)
Hull's Happiest Days Designs

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Family Night! Trip to England with Fish and Chips

This weekend our family decided to take a trip to England. Yes, British accents, royalty, fish and chips, and trifle all set to the music of the Clash. However, we didn't buy plane tickets, oh no, that's not in the family budget and the girls need to be in bed by 8pm. We transported ourselves via food, art, and a sense of silliness.

How to take a trip anywhere in the world without leaving your home:

1.Early in the day our family discussed where we would like to go. England won the vote. However, India and China were close runner-ups. Perhaps we will visit there in the upcoming weeks.

2. We chose the menu: Fish and Chips with Trifle for dessert. Mom and Dad went about finding recipes and making an impromptu deep fryer. I've never deep fried anything in my life, and boy was the deep fryer an adventure. So for courage, Mom and Dad had Guiness Stout with the fish and chips. Yes, we know it's Irish, but hey, close enough.

3. Art was created to set the mood. Our eldest daughter made a lovely British Flag and a collage of the menu items and hung them up around the room.

4. Our youngest daughter felt this occasion warranted dressing up, since Princess Buttercup would be in attendance. Dressing properly to meet royalty takes time. So it was several hours before we saw her again.

5. Dinner was prepared, art was hung, we broke out our best British accents. The girls sounded like a Harry Potter movie, my husband the chimney sweep from Mary Poppins! Add a little Clash for musical ambiance!

6. A photo op with a princess and Dinner was served.

A Lovely Trip all in all.

Perhaps your family would like to take a trip? Let us know where you would like to go or send us pix of your travels.

Keep an eye out for our next posting. We'll be discussing how to make a VIDEO HOLIDAY CARD!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Bridal Head Table Suite..... on its way

Last April Hull's Happiest Days Designs sponsored a Bridal Headtable Suite giveaway! She chose our adorable Sweethearts Design for her Wedding!

Finally it was time to send our lucky bride, Kristinia, her lovely head table suite!

We took some pictures before we sent them off.

Imagine how much more lovely they would be with a real bride and groom in the picture.

Kristinia has promised to send us pictures of her Fall wedding!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Apple trees... and how they shaped my life

Our family has a little tiny baby cottage (really, almost an elf house) in central Pennsylvania, in the Allegheny Mountains. It’s a cute little place in the middle of the woods. Really, there is no one, nobody for at least a quarter of a mile in any direction, just trees, deer, a pond, and even bears. Which at times is tranquil and at others a little unnerving.

My daughters absolutely love the place. They love the campfire, the tire swing, the wild raspberries, and the apple tree. I love the apple tree too. Our apple tree at the cottage is huge and full of apples. It hasn’t been cut back in at least 15 years. Sometimes I wake up really early, (all that quiet makes it hard to sleep) and I’ll see deer eating the fallen apples at the base of the trunk. A simple little pleasure, a stolen moment of contentment.

One thing I love about our cottage is the fact there is absolutely nothing really to do. That has a way of sparking the imagination. Last summer, I could feel change coming upon me light a freight train. I had no idea exactly what, but I could feel something coming, just this impatience, like I better get moving. Anyway, a series of coincidences began to happen, I saw an article in a magazine about a woman who had started her own business, an art and home related business and I got really excited. It was at our cottage that my husband and I discussed the possibility of creating our own business. We had some time without the distractions of TV, internet, and the telephone to really think through this business idea. That idea has turned into Hull’s Happiest Days Designs.

When we were coming up with design ideas, I thought back to the apple tree. It’s beauty, the tradition associated with an apple tree, even the saying “ an apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.” I thought it was a great design idea. So Kevin and I decided that we would both create apple tree designs and then choose which one we would use. If any of you have ever met us, as a couple, you would know that we are incredibly different. Our differences come out in our artwork as well. So when we showed each other our designs, they were so different, we couldn’t choose. So now we offer both. A fitting homage to our apple tree.
Both are top selling designs!

Certainly, Kevin is the only one I would ever sit under the apple tree with, except maybe two little girls and a dog too!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Life's Collection of Happy Moments....

We've had a big week last week Kevin and I were in a fantastic art show with several talented small town artists, with great big talent. There is something wonderful about living in the country, in a small town, with a small community. You get to know each other really well, share in each others lives, help each other out. Community and friendship and polite exhange of ideas. Truly a room full of artists for three days is a really good thing. I so enjoyed talking with one another, throwing around philosophical ideas of art, testing them against each other, and then sharing a slice of cake. Really good times.

Which got me to thinking about friends, family, art, and all the events that bring us together. This weekend is fourth of July. Our family will have a little barbeque, go see fireworks, generally hang out and do alot of nothing together, except chat, play some, and eat. I love all of us just being together. Life is full of these tiny happinesses.

Last month it was my niece's Birthday Party! Quite a hooplay for a one year old. We had a great time. My girls running around with their baby cousin, then doing an impromptu dance recital in the yard (which they also did at the art show-not wall flowers-go figure), and of course singing happy birthday and cake for a tiaraed, smiling, and somewhat bewildered one year old. The cake however needed no explaining!

So many happinesses all little rest stops for the velocity of life. Cocoa, our dog (first picture above) has the right idea. Sometimes all you need is a little happy nap, to rest up for your next party (she doesn't have a job) .

The china cabinet was the first major purchase Kevin and I made for our first home together. Now its filled with a collection of Hull's Happiest Days Designs Dessertware. I love that the china colors are simple and restrained, yet the images are different celebrating happy moments in time, and they all go together! I can have a party using our dessertware and have little mementos of family memories all on my table. A lovely little collection of life's happiest moments! Wouldn't you like to start your collection today?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Summer Art Show

Hull's Happiest Days Designs and fellow artists are in a fantastic Art Show this upcoming weekend (see info below)! Yummy treats will be for sale to pair with our dessertware, and all the proceeds from the Bake Sale will go to Share Our Strength, a non profit organization dedicated to eliminate childhood hunger!
Kevin and Shawn will both be displaying paintings as well as our Hull's Happiest Days Designs artwork! Please come and see our work and the other wonderful art!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Summertime Strawberries

Last weekend my family and I went strawberry picking! So much fun! We go every year it’s a family tradition. We get dressed in clothes that can handle some strawberry stains and dirt, don our sunscreen, and get the sun glasses and off we go.

The farm experience itself is worth it, trudging through the farmer’s field and being directed to which patch is yours to pick from. The girls love having their own baskets, however, they eat more than actually makes it into the basket. The real picking comes from Kevin and myself. You don’t want to pick strawberries that are too red, they get mushy fast. You need to have a trained eye just to recognize the right shade of red, no bruising, no rotting, and not too big. The big ones rot faster.

8-10 quarts later we usually go play on the playground at the farm or I sample some homemade specialties at the stand. All and all a lovely trip.

When we arrive at home, always, I make strawberry shortcakes to go with our lunch. Then after the girls have their nap Kevin and I clean and hull (pardon the pun!) We make chicken salad with strawberries, more shortcake, strawberries and whipped cream, strawberries and balsamic, and finally strawberry ice cream (recipe compliments of Ben and Jerry yes, that Ben and Jerry).

Below you’ll find the recipe for the strawberry ice cream! Since summer is here Kevin and I have been working on designs to celebrate all the happiest days for the dog days of summer. Our Personalized Ice Cream Ice Cream Man bowls with handles are the perfect size for ice cream and even cobbler!

Ice Cream Ice Cream Man bowls would make a fantastic father’s day gift. We can personalize the Truck to say : Pop’s Ice Cream or Daddy’s Ice Cream! We can even put your own super short saying in the speech balloon. But order fast, Father’s Day is right around the corner!

Strawberry Ice Cream
Recipe from Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book
Ben Cohen, Jerry Greenfield, Nancy J. Steven, Workman Publishing 1987

Sweet Cream Base
2 large eggs
¾ cup of sugar
2 cups heavy or whipping cream
1 cup milk

Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about one minute more. Pour in the cream and milk and whisk to blend. (Makes 1 Quart)

Strawberry Addition

1 pint of fresh strawberries hulled and sliced
1/3 cup of sugar
Juice of ½ a lemon
Sweet cream base (above)

1.Combine strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour.

2.Mash the strawberries to a puree and stir into the sweet cream base.

3.Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze following the manufacturer’s instructions.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lookin' for a Bargain...

Well, to honor the fact we have now been on Etsy's Front Page three whopping times in our entire six month existence, I want to thank all our supporters and throw you some love.

Hull's Happiest Days Designs will give 10% off your next order on either of our sites:

www.happiestdaysdesigns.com or www.happiestdaysdesigns.etsy.com

Plus, if you refer a friend to our blog or facebook fanpage and they become a follower we will give you an additional 5% off! That's a total of 15% WOW!

All you need to do is enter in the comments section (either site: happyfrontpage10 and the name of your friend (if you decided to participate in this section) and we will refund your percentage off your bill within 24 hours.

Lots of gift giving occasions coming up: Father's Day, Weddings, celebrate new baby and oh yes, new parents, or maybe just because you want a little treat!

Savin' Money always makes my day Happy!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Personalized Express Cake Plates...Handcrafted beauties in a hurry!

Do you love beautiful handcrafted work but hate to wait? Or you need a special unique gift in a hurry? Well, Hull's Happiest Days Designs Personalized Express is just for you! We are offering three of our fabulous designs: Bridal Bouquet, Home Sweet Home, and Gazebo complete with a ceramic pen, made specifically for writing on china/porcelain. This way you can personalize your cake plate with a little message or handwrite the couple's name yourself! Then bake it in your own oven for 35 minutes at 300 degrees to make the writing permanent.

As always our designs are hand created, hand applied, and kiln fired. The plates are food safe, microwave safe, and dishwasher safe. Just imagine our lovely designs with your handwritten sentiments, what a lovely treasure! A beautiful keepsake that will remind you and them of your happiest day!

Since you do the personalization yourself, we can ship these beauties within 24 hours. We ship USPS Priority mail so your gift will arrive lickety split.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Thank-you for your support! We've donated....

Thank-you to all our customers for supporting Hull's Happiest Days Designs! Our little business that is growing and growing has been able to donate a total of $70 to a national children's charity and the fight against hunger! We've only been in business for 6 months, so that's quite a coupe! Currently we donate 3% of your purchase price to back to national charities. As our company grows we plan for our donation percentage to grow too.

It was always part of our business plan to create a company that gives back. So many people have very few happy days, and we wanted to make sure that we can help in some way to create more moments of joy with our work! Thank-you for helping us to make that happen.

Thank-you for making this one of my happiest days!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Home is where the Heart is, and I'll be working here too...

Well, my life is entering another chapter. I’ve entered the final grades for my Theatre students at the College where I have been teaching for 5 years. The Performing Arts Program performed Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and they did a fantastic job! It’s hard to believe that will be the last show I’ll direct there. I will certainly miss them and all the drama of a bustling collegiate program, but my life is heading in new directions and I guess, I must follow. Hull’s Happiest Days Designs will be my focus, of course along with my two beautiful girls who will be home during the summer too!

So, hopefully my days will take a quieter rhythm. I am excited to get to work in our home studio developing more dessertware designs and finding new opportunities and partnerships to bring them to others. I really am a homebody at heart and I just love putzing around my own house dreaming up new projects!

The economy is still working hard to rebound and many people are staying close to home these days, inviting friends over to dinner, or home birthday parties, and even weddings! I think having a home full of meaningful objects is important. I can walk around my own home and I see the stone doll house my grandfather made, and the large primitive wooden china cabinet my husband and I got at a resale store close to our first home together, even the butcher block island in our kitchen was originally from my grandmother’s home. Objects have so much more meaning when they act as touchstones for particular moments in life or connect you to important people you love. I love creating our dessertware knowing that usually it’s purchased for important life moments, like moving into a new home. The pictures you see are of our new line of dessertware featuring home! These are lovely little mementos to welcome someone to a new home or just for yourself to openly cherish the home life you already have!

We’ve been at our new (old home – its 250 years old!) for two years now this week. I haven’t yet finished personalizing it yet, there are still projects I want to do. There’s always something to do for a house! I do love it because it’s ours. It’s where our family spends time together, where we have fun, and where we come to be safe. My favorite coffee cup, that I drink out of every day is our Home sweet Home mug. The front door says: Hull Family. That little coffee mug puts a smile on my face because everyone and everything I love most in the world lies right inside my front door!

Monday, May 10, 2010

We have a WINNER!

We have a winner from our Bridal Headtable Suite Giveaway! Kristinia C. will be celebrating her wedding this Fall with Hull's Happiest Days Designs Cake service: one cake plate with glass dome and twelve dessert plates in our SWEETHEARTS Design. This is a $210 VALUE!


Monday, April 19, 2010

Hint of Color-New Design Process

Kevin and I have been wondering how to add color, but still keep in theme with our simplified contemporary yet rustic design aethestic? Plus, it needs to be food safe, microwave safe, be able to go in the dishwasher. So after months of thinking, wondering, pondering and experimenting we've come up with our HINT OF COLOR dessertware.

Above you see our Robin's Nest design. Adorable robin's nest with lovely blue eggs. These dishes can be personalized with your Family's name or some other sweet message. In the coming weeks you'll see other new hint of color designs as well, as our new house design lines coming out as well!

Spring has sprung new ideas here at Hull's Happiest Days Designs!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bridal Giveaway! Enter Today!

Hull's Happiest Days Designs is sponsoring a Bridal Headtable Suite Giveaway!

Our Headtable Suite includes One 12 inch porcelain china cake plate, personalized, with Glass dome and Twelve 7 inch personalized dessert dishes, perfect for your headtable decor and take away thank-you gifts for your bridal party! This set is a $210 value!

All Brides or friends of brides who would like to nominate a bride must check out our ETSY site either via the My Etsy Tab on our Fan Page or by going to www.happiestdaysdesigns.etsy.com and choose a design you would like to win. Then become a facebook fan of happiest days designs and comment on which designs you like best. Please email us your contact info so we can get in contact with you when you win! Email: happiestdaysdesigns@comcast.net

We will notify the winner by May 1st, 2010! Good Luck!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mother's Day is right around the corner...

Suprise Mom with treats you bake and serve them up on a lovely cake plate commemorating her family! Put Mom and Dad in the heart on the tree and then add all the little apples, siblings, grandchildren, etc. (We can add up to 12 apples per cake plate and 7-8 per mug or dessert dish!) It'll show her how much you appreciate her all the year through!

Check out the rest of the set, matching mugs and dessert plates that you can purchase to add to her set for other happy occasions! Really knock her socks with the yummy stuffed french toast recipe below! Serve on the apple tree dessert dishes with matching coffee mugs and you'll for sure be her favorite!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Home sweet Home....

Spring is here! Lots of cleaning, sprucing up, and some of us even get a lovely new home! Hull's Happiest Days Designs is rolling out several new designs over the next few weeks featuring the comforts of HOME! Check out our new etsy listing!

These designs are a perfect little gift to yourself to remind you of all the happiness of your home! They are also sweet little gifts for friends and family who may be moving into a new home!


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sunday Morning Stuffed French Toast

by Shawn Hull

Ingredients (6-8 servings)

2 Loaves of crusty day old French bread
8-10 eggs
1 tsp. of vanilla
1 tsp. of cinnamon
½ cup of heavy cream
2 cups of frozen raspberries
Tub of whipped cream cheese
Whipped Cream
Maple Syrup
Spray of non-stick spray

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 2 cookie sheets with non-stick spray. Cut French bread into 8-10 slices per loaf, discarding ends. In a large mouthed bowl whip eggs with vanilla, heavy cream, and cinnamon. Lay as many bread slices that can fit in the bowl without squishing together. Poke bread with a fork to allow the batter to seep in the bread. Then after 30 seconds to 1 minute flip, and allow the batter to cover the opposite side. Place battered bread onto cookie sheet. Then repeat with other pieces of bread. When both cookie sheets are filled with battered bread, place in oven and bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, check the French toast, if it is hard to remove allow to bake for 1-2 minutes more. When the toast slides with a spatula easily, flip and bake for another 4 minutes.

Take two pieces of French toast per serving. Top with cream cheese, some raspberries, warmed syrup and whip cream. They may be served open faced or as a sandwich.

Serve on Happiest Days Designs large cake plate for lovely presentation!

Anyone Looking for a Job?

So anyone looking for a new job? Hull's Happiest Days Designs is launching our new hostess party program. Be your own boss, work your own hours, sell people GORGEOUS PERSONALIZED CHINA DESSERTWARE, Make lots of money, go on vacation, ..... sound good, right? Yup, contact me if you're interested! Psst... Pass it along to anyone interested too! I'll send you out info!

Plus, you'd be doing something good for your community! Hull's Happiest Days Designs donates 3% of all purchase price to national charities benefitting children and hunger prevention!

Find out more, either comment, or send us an email at happiestdaysdesigns@comcast.net!

Check out our Etsy Shop!

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Thanks for joining us on an adventure to notice and celebrate life's joys, desserts, and the plates they are served on!

So others can celebrate too, we make a 3 % donation of your item purchase price to national children's charities and the fight against hunger in America.


About Me

Shawn and Kevin own Happiest Days Designs a personalized dessertware company that focuses on celebrating all of life's happiest days! Shawn an is a Mom extraordinarre, an adjunct professor of theatre, an outsider artist and a lover of historic houses! Kevin is an accomplished Dad and oil painter. He also is way too involved in math! This blog follows Shawn and Kevin's happiest days, happy days of our family and friends, and we invite you to post your own on our Facebook fan page! We also have recipes, profound ruminations on being happy for the little and big things in life, and discount codes for our etsy store: www.happiestdaysdesigsn.etsy.com Check out our lines of personalized cake plates, domes, dessert dishes, and mugs (dessertware) that are meant as collectible sovenirs from the happiest moments in your life. Life is always better with dessert and they plate its served on too!