Eurovision Party Playlist

As in years past, I’ve been curating a playlist of artists who hail from Austria for our pre-Eurovision party… mostly because I rarely think about Austria, and I feel like it’s important to recognize that there are struggling musicians everywhere who have a song in their hearts. Some of this is outside my normal tastes, but I’ve found a way to appreciate almost all of these songs in their own way. (Disclaimer: I don’t speak German, so I can’t be responsible for the lyrical content therein. Although half the fun is not knowing the words for some of them!)

Oldebroek, Gelderland, Netherlands – Volkstelling 1830

I’ve been doing some family history, which brought me to the images of the 1830 census in Oldebroek, Gelderland. There isn’t an index for those images, so I was going through page by page looking for my people. While I was at it, I decided to make a quick document with the surnames that I came across. The images weren’t always easy to read, so I know the names aren’t all correct. But hopefully this helps someone find their own ancestors easier than going page by page like I did.

Oldebroek, Gelderland, Netherlands – Volkstelling 1830 Surname Index (Achternaam index)

Let me reiterate, I know many of the names are probably wrong, but I didn’t have time to scrutinize the images. But by thinking of the shapes of the letters, you can probably tell what variations that might match your person. I’m also happy for anyone to use this document as a basis to flesh out the rest of the information there. Feel free to modify this to help more people!

#IceBucketChallenge – Who Nominated Whom?


I watched my first celebrity video of the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS charity. It was Gwen Stefani dumping water over Gavin Rossdale, Jessica Alba, & Nicole Richie. I was curious about the spread, particularly amongst the famous set. It is quite a who’s who of Hollywood and beyond. There are actors, musicians, politicians, athletes, (edit: authors too, thanks to Stephen King) and complete randoms all connected by this clever campaign to raise awareness for this terrible disease. #StrikeOutALS

I couldn’t help but make a family tree of this celebrity web. Who doesn’t love a good chart for this kind of thing, right? Celebrity #IceBucketChallenge: Who Challenged Whom.

A few notes about how I chose to set it up:

  • The parent is the nominator, the children are the nominees. In some cases a person did the challenge but acknowledged a different nominator, in which case I added that person as another parent. (In the case where there were a bunch of people nominating the same person, I just went with who I chose as the most notable.)
  • This particular tree, started with Gwen and went back through Cody Gifford (Kathie-Lee’s son) to Kevin Roundtree, who may be some sort of sports person with minimal googling. (I couldn’t find his challenge, so it stops there for now.) Other celebrity trees would probably tie into this one as duplicate nominators, I’m just waiting to see if I need to start another tree or if they’ll link together somehow. (The website limits how wide the tree can go, but I’d love to know who got Anna Wintour to do it!)
  • Some people did the challenge with another person, in which case, I added the second person as a partner.
  • As it spreads, more people will nominate people who have already done it. (Mark Ruffalo was the first multiple nominee, I believe.) So I’ll put their names in again, but mark them as dead which gives their text a more greyed out appearance.
  • If you click on the person’s name and then go to the contact tab on the left, I have put a link to their video. Have to copy and paste, unfortunately.

I find the whole phenomenon quite fascinating, especially when it comes to the peer pressure behind it. Will Pharrell do it or won’t he?

Eurovision Denmark Party Decoration Ideas

I’ll admit that very little came to mind when it came to decorating for a Danish-themed party. Denmark flies a bit under my radar in general, except for Princess Mary, Australia’s royalty. The only other icons that come to mind are Hans Christian Andersen, author of many beloved fairy tales, and Victor Borge, the first comedian I was ever allowed to watch. But then there is LEGO and a whole host of Danish design icons to explore… so with that in mind, these are a few of my Danish Party decorations.

Lego Crayons
I found some LEGO crayons at Officeworks which will be used to fill out our judging forms (see next post).

For artwork, I love these minimalist book covers for Hans Christian Andersen stories: The Princess and the Pea, The Little Mermaid, The Emperor’s New Clothes, and The Ugly Duckling.

I’m also using these love birds by Danish designer Kay Bojesen somewhere.

We’ll have Mary in a framed place of pride as well.

JoinUs Gems
I’ve been trying to avoid spoilers, but I’m hoping the #JoinUs and diamonds of their theme art will play a big part in the show. So I’ve made these sweet origami paper diamonds with the hashtag to frame the television.

Straw Shapes
I’ve also hacked together some geometric pyramids and diamonds out of straws. I don’t know if this will come into play with the set or not, but they were in some of the website backgrounds… so we’ll see.

Then as a bit of inspiration, I’ve put some Hans Christian Andersen quotes over photographs of mine. I’ve got these hanging around the house, and you’re welcome to use them too. (Click photos for larger images.)
Miracles called Ordinary quote by Hans Christian Andersen - photo by

To Travel is to Live quote by Hans Christian Andersen - photo by

One Must have a Little Flower quote by Hans Christian Andersen - photo by

Eurovision 2014 – Judge Along Printable Booklets

Eurovision Semifinals Judging Form
Like last year, I have put together booklets for the semi-finals so you can judge along at home. We give a score out of 5 for song, outfit, & performance and use that to determine who would get our douze points. Each semi-final is printed two-sided on one piece of paper and then folded into a neat booklet with no need for glue or staples.

Folding instructions here.

Eurovision Semifinals Judging Booklets

Counting down to Eurovision – #JoinUs


Eurovision 2014 is nearly here. Australia actually gets to participate in a non-participating way. And we are busy planning our party.

I’ve got my Pinterest inspiration board in full swing, and this year I’m making a YouTube playlist of current popular Danish music to play before/after the broadcast. (And I’m actually really digging some of the artists I’ve come across.)

More decoration ideas and printables coming in the next couple of days!

Again, don’t miss this year’s Minipop Icons of the contestants. And the Chow Down to Eurovision series over at Don’t Boil the Sauce.

A bit of Russia

The past two weeks have been all about winter, Russia, and sports. I’m a bit sad that the closing ceremony is only a day away, but then it’s on to Rio!

Our Russian food attempts worked out pretty good for the most part. The dessert may have been a bit of a fail, but I think we’ll keep a few of these in our regular food repertoire.

Beef Stroganoff
PelmeniSalad Russian Salad
Birds Milk Dessert Oladi Russian Pancakes

Our Russian-themed decorations were mostly all from things from my Pinterest inspiration board. (Bad nighttime mobile photos ahead…)

Russian Ballet Russian Dance Russian Icons
Passport to FUN
Go AU & NZ! Go AU & US!
Matryoshka Banner
Sweet Matryoshka Tolstoy is my Homeboy Get in the Russian Mood