Happy New Year 2011!

New is the year, new are the hopes and the aspirations, new is the resolution, new are the spirits and forever my warm wishes are for you.
Have a promising and fulfilling new year.
Happy New Year 2011!
Well, I've tried to stay out of the picture but I need a better camera for that.
Clock reflected in a Christmas bauble
Weekend reflections

Remove the sidebar on Blogger new templates-static pages

Hide the sidebar on new, designer templates, on static pages or any other page.
On some static pages (and not only) you may want to hide the sidebar on your Blogger blog.
In this tutorial I'll share how to hide the sidebar on designer templates on only specific pages or page types.
For Layout templates (older templates), please read the previous tutorial.
If you are not sure what template type your blog is using check your template type first.

I applied this method on one of my blogs using an Awesome Inc. template. Demo
It displays correctly in all major browsers (IE including).

Designer templates are relatively new and there are a great variety of them. Therefor, your template codes could be different from this, bellow.

1. Check your template type

Open the source code of any page of your blog, from the view menu of your browser: View|page source - in Firefox and View|Source in IE.
Look for the following, yellow highlighted section of code with your browser (Find or Ctrl+F), !! they are visible only in the source code, not in your template Edit Html:

If you find these two pieces of code in your source code than you have a new, designer template and can continue with this tutorial.

.main-inner .columns {
padding-left: 0px;
padding-right: 340px;

.main-inner .column-right-outer {
width: 340px;
margin-right: -340px;

The red highlighted 340 is the width of my sidebar. You will have some other value here, it doesn't matter.

2. Remove the sidebar-insert this code

No matter what is the width or your sidebar, the following code will hide the sidebar, anyway:
Step 1. Back up your template!
Step 2. Go to Dashboard | Design | Edit Html.
Step 3. Copy one of the following codes according to your needs and paste it right above </head>

3.1. Remove the sidebar from a specific post page or static page:

<b:if cond='data:blog.url == &quot;http://your_page_url&quot;'>
<style type='text/css'>
.main-inner .columns {
padding-left: 0px;
padding-right: 0px;
.main-inner .column-right-outer {
display: none;

There is an easier way to hide the sidebar, footer and/or header on individual static pages only, not on all pages. Please click that link if interested.

3.2. Remove the sidebar from all static pages:

<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == &quot;static_page&quot;'>
<style type='text/css'>
.main-inner .columns {
padding-left: 0px;
padding-right: 0px;
.main-inner .column-right-outer {
display: none;

3.3. Remove the sidebar from your home page:

<b:if cond='data:blog.url == data:blog.homepageUrl'>
<style type='text/css'>
.main-inner .columns {
padding-left: 0px;
padding-right: 0px;
.main-inner .column-right-outer {
display: none;

3.4. Remove both sidebars (left & right) if you have two of them:

- From the above three codes choose the conditional tag corresponding to your page type.
- insert in that code the two, yellow highlighted extra lines for the second sidebar, like so:
<style type='text/css'>
.main-inner .columns {
padding-left: 0px;
padding-right: 0px;
.main-inner .column-right-outer {
display: none;
.main-inner .column-left-outer {
display: none;

Step 4. Replace the code in red with your own page url, in case you use the first code (3.1).
Step 5. Change the code in blue to "left", if you have a left sidebar in code 3.2 and 3.3.
Step 6. Preview the page to be sure there is no mistake and save your edits.

4. Center the page title

  • The post/page title is aligned to the left by default, in the template. On this new, wide page you may want to center it for a better look.
  • As static pages have no date header you could create some space around the title as well, for a more pleasant look.
  • If so, insert this extra line of code after the yellow highlighted lines.
    .post-title {text-align:center; padding:15px;}
Enjoy the result!

There are probably many ways to hide the sidebar. I find this method easy and fast, I hope it works for you too.
Related posts:

Christmas icons-Decorate your blog!

Merry Christmas!

Christmas bellsDecorate your Blogger for Christmas and New Year's Eve!
Short before Christmas, we are done with decorating our homes. Now we should decorate our blog too and welcome our blogger friend in holiday spirit.
I've gathered a few beautiful icons here, they are all free to take, except my small bloghelp logo.
These icons all have transparent background, you can use them anywhere on your blog, no matter what color your background is.
To save a picture, simply right click any icon, than choose save as or copy.
However, when saving, you have to use a photo editing software that is capable to handle transparency.
Free photo editors, like Paint net or InfranView will do it and of course, Photoshop.
Also, resize the images to fit in your free space.

How to install the icons

To install the photos on your Blogger blog the way you see them on this blog (left and right), and to get rid of them later, follow these steps:

Step 1. Upload your photos to Blogger, in a new post. Later you can delete this post, but not the pictures.
Step 2. Go to Dashboard |Design (Layout) and add a Html widget, no matter in what section.
Step 3. Copy the following code and paste it in the widget box:

<!--xmas-icons-start--><a style="position:fixed;top:100px;left:10px;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7pEUAD6CGo8/TRMkCQabYUI/AAAAAAAAIEw/w7Oxfq4H2hE/s1600/Merry%2BChristmas%2521.png" title="Merry Christmas"><img width="150" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7pEUAD6CGo8/TRMkCQabYUI/AAAAAAAAIEw/w7Oxfq4H2hE/s320/Merry%2BChristmas%2521.png" /></a>
<a style="position:fixed;top:5px;right:10px;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5lrNqYGhywc/TvEDbSNALkI/AAAAAAAAKkY/Y2BQKQ0bo_U/s1600/Christmas%2Bbells.png" title="Christmas bells"><img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5lrNqYGhywc/TvEDbSNALkI/AAAAAAAAKkY/Y2BQKQ0bo_U/s240/Christmas%2Bbells.png" /></a> <!--xmas-icons-end-http://colormagicphotography.com-->

There are two icons in this code; one to the left (code with green background) and one to the right. You can use both or just one of them.
Step 4. Replace the code in red with you own photo url, uploaded in step 1.
Step 5. Save the widget and go back to Design (or Layout, in the new editor).
Step 6. Drag the widget to the bottom of your sidebar and delete the widget title, if there is one and preview (see also the note at the end of this post).
Step 7. Change the image size (in white) to your preference, if needed.
Step 8. Change the image position (fuchsia), as to your space, according to your template width.
That's all.

Too much work? Use the widget installer at the end of this post and your decorations will be up and rolling in two steps.
After the holidays you can easily remove the widget.

author: www.icondrawer.com
Snowman iconSanta-iconChristmas tree
You can download more of these beautiful icons by clicking on each author's link.
author: Cyberell @ www.archigraphs.com
Candy house-iconXmas Globe-iconLittle House-icon
The following icons are my favorites, on a dark background.
Design by Peter Cui

Gift box-icon

Christmas bauble

Christmas bell-icon

Christmas star

Christmas tree-icon

Have a look at my small png images too, Christmas bells and gift boxes.

The next gif images are at 1:1 scale with transparent background too. They are not professional beauties, but you are free to use them, if you like.
SnowflakeRed bowRed starRed bow
Christmas decorationChristmas decorationChristmas decoration
Christmas decorationPoinsettiaChristmas decoration

Spice up your computer desktop with new, festive desktop wallpapers for Christmas!
See also all my royalty-free Christmas images.

After the winter holidays, you can change these icons with other ones, according to the season.

I wish all of you a blessed and Merry Christmas!

Fruit cake recipe-Christmas cake with festive decorations

Christmas fruit cake with moon and star festive decorations.
Try out this delicious Christmas cake with fruits-almonds-vanilla-chocolate and interesting spices!

This Festive Christmas Cake, decorated with the moon and star, can serve as a centerpiece of your holiday dinner, on Christmas or new year table.


  • For the cake:
    • 125g dark chocolate or bittersweet chocolate
    • 125g skinned almonds
    • 50g dried orange
    • grated lemon peel from 1 lemon
    • grated orange peel from 1 orange
    • 5 table spoon Maraschino (cherry) liqueur or rose water
    • vanilla beans or Vanilla sugar
    • 100g powdered sugar, (confectioner's sugar or icing sugar)
    • 6 eggs
    • 200g marzipan
    • 2 tbs cardamom
    • juice of 1/4 lemon
    • 50g sugar
    • 125g flour
  • For icing and decoration:
    • 200g bittersweet chocolate
    • 1 tbs powder sugar
    • 100g yellow marzipan
    • edible gold pearl

Preparation method

Holiday fruit cake
Step 1.
Ground roughly the chocolate, the almonds and the dried oranges.
Cut the orange and lemon peel in narrow band.
Put all these in a bowl , poor the liqueur or rose water on it, mix and let it mature for an hour.
Making holiday cake step1
Step 2.
Split the vanilla pods in two and take out the seeds (the inner part). We will use just this softer part of the pods. Mix it with the powdered sugar in a food mixer. When using vanilla sugar, just mix this manually with the confectioner's sugar.
Making holiday cake step2
Step 3.
Mash in small pieces the marzipan, add the egg yolks to it and mix to obtain a smooth cream. When ready, add to this the chocolate-almond-orange mixture and the cardamom.
Making holiday cake step 4
Step 4.
Beat the egg whites and, while doing this, add the lemon juice and the (50g) sugar, bit by bit. When ready, add it to the mixture from the previous step. Also add the flour and stir it gently. Work out the dough and place it in a round cake pan, of about 26cm diameter. Previously, grease lightly and coat the base and sides of the pan with baking paper. Bake at 175 °C (gas 2) in a preheated oven, for about 45 minutes.

Icing - decorating

Making holiday cake step 5
Step 5.
In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and pour it over the cooled cake. Let it dry. In the meantime, cut out the forms from step 7.

First, place the moon on the top of the cake and sprinkle powdered sugar at the uncovered surfaces. You can use either part of the moon drawing; make the moon white and leave the rest with chocolate or vice versa. Compare image 5 with the main picture at the top of this page, to see the difference.
Holiday cake decoration
Step 6.
Place the yellow marzipan on a sheet of baking paper, place another sheet over it and roll out the marzipan. Put the star shape drawing atop of it and cut out the form. Place the marzipan star at the top of the cake. For a more festive look, add a few edible gold pearl dragees at the edges of the star.
Star drawing for cake decorationStar drawing for cake decoration
Step 7 & 8.
Click at the drawings to enlarge, save, print and cut out these last two drawings (7 & 8) to decorate the cake. You may have to modify their dimensions to suit your own cake's size.

- The cake has to rest in a cool room, for 2-3 days before serving. Thus the spicy aromas becomes more prominent. Pack it in aluminum sheet or wax paper.
- Cardamom powder is used as a spice for sweet dishes and has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic, resinous fragrance, with a coolness some consider similar to mint. If you don't have it or don't like it, just leave it out.
- for other mass and weight units, please use this online converter.
Check out these colorful marzipan fruits too.
Enjoy the Holidays!

Cooking for a homeless dog

Cooking for a homeless dog is, for sure, more rewarding as cooking for yourself.

I was watching this dog from my window since yesterday. I've often seen it on the street these last days but now it is on the property across the street, belonging to a company. They probably accepted the poor dog to stay.
Last evening the dog was just lying there; at first I thought it's a sack, a plastic bag or something alike.
Homeless dog asking for food
There is also a church on the land of this company and on Sundays, like today, many people come to the church.
The poor dog wages its tail friendly and follows every passer-by, but no one has some food for him.
Whatever I was doing in the house, I found myself looking out of the window, over and over again.
Dog foodIt is so unfair that, while cats can provide food for themselves, dogs can't.

As I couldn't watch any more that poor animal begging for food, I started cooking for the dog. I don't cook for myself, I'm too lazy for that, but a hungry dog is different.

There is a good piece of smoked ham (jambon) in the freezer; I don't like eating from the freezer anyway.
Cooking for a homeless dog
I added a potato and the dog soup was ready.

Now, I just have to smash these potatoes and add some black bread (to my taste).

Yammy! It smells so good!

I hope I can pass this container underneath the fence, because I don't want to go in there.
Homeless dog story
That was quick; in a few seconds the container was empty. But it was definitely worth the effort, it had a stronger effect on me as a pain killer.
The poor animal is so dirty that the water turned brown as soon as the dog began to drink.
Unfortunately, I can't take them all home. I tried that too, once, and it was a expensive lesson to learn not to do it ever again.

Mallard island

This little island with the old Casino building in the background is one of the emblems of my town.
The island is Mallard land, all over the year, except winter.
Last weekend, when I took these photos, I thought these beautiful autumn days will last a little longer. The ducks were in no hurry to leave either.
Guardians of the lake
(Click the pictures to enlarge.)
Lake in autumnThis is a unique Mallard mail, with a black head. All the rest have the usual green or blue coloration on their heads.
Mail Mallard with black headTomorrow, on my Sunday walk I'll check if the are still here, now that winter came so suddenly.
Mallard ducksThis is the well known scene of retired mails playing card or some other games, in the hut of the park. I wonder if these mails are still there.
Relaxing in the park hut
Visit Camera Critters , kindly hosted by Misty Dawn, for beautiful animal photos.

Softly the evening came

And softly the evening came.
How bravely Autumn paints upon the sky
The gorgeous fame of Summer which is fled!
~Thomas Hood

Softly the evening came
How like a queen comes forth the lonely Moon
From the slow opening curtains of the clouds
Walking in beauty to her midnight throne!
~George Croly, Diana
The lonely Moon

Beautiful autumn-lake scenes

We should have autumn now but, except the rusty colors, everything looks like in spring.
I wonder if the ducks can be fooled by the weather, though their biological weather man is more accurate as ours.
Autumn at the lake
Rusty trees-autumn scene
The ducks are enjoying the beautiful days at the park's lake and make a terrible noise with their happy quack.
Happy ducks in the autumn sun
See more autumn colors in the silence of a peaceful autumn field.

Search for photos, macro photos or paintings.

Do you want to create a separate archive page for your blog too?
If yes, click the link above to go to the tutorial.