Happy Easter

Despite lots of sickness in our family, we had a very nice holiday weekend. It was our first Easter in the new house, and the yard proved to be the perfect site for an egg hunt. Most years, Jason and Jenna quickly snatch up the eggs and count their bounty to see who won. This year, victory definitely went to the Easter bunny. J+J gave up after an extensive search of both the front and back yards, leaving at least 3 or 4 eggs to be found later in the day.

Here are a few more highlights from our weekend:

happy easter

Glow-in-the-Dark Easter Egg Hunt

Glow-in-the-Dark Easter Egg Hunt: Tips for Hosting a Night-Time Easter Egg Hunt with Glowing Eggs

Last night we held our very first nighttime Easter egg hunt using glow-in-the-dark eggs, an idea shared by my aunt in her comments to something I posted last week. Genius! I knew we definitely had to try it out.

Glow-in-the-Dark Easter Egg Hunt: Tips for Hosting a Night-Time Easter Egg Hunt with Glowing Eggs

The concept is extremely simple – glow sticks inside of eggs – so I think I underestimated the amount of prep work involved. If you’re considering a night-time Easter egg hunt, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Proportion: Consider the size of your glow sticks in relation to the size of your plastic eggs. I purchased bracelet-sized glow sticks and tried to use the mix of small and large plastic eggs I had on hand. The sticks were nearly impossible to cram into the 2-inch eggs, but fit easily into the larger 3-in eggs. I recommend using all large eggs or purchasing these mini glow sticks (wish I had seen these at the craft store yesterday). As a last resort, tape is your friend.

Material: Similar to the size issue, I had a mix of transparent/textured eggs and the more traditional solid color eggs. Not surprisingly, the solid color eggs were better at giving off a “glow” in the landscape than the transparent eggs.

Timing: Since you have to “turn on” the glow sticks, there isn’t a lot of opportunity to prep this activity in advance. It took my husband and me almost an hour to place glow sticks into approximately 36 eggs and hide them in the backyard. I had planned on having our hunt just after dusk so that there would still be a bit of natural light for photos. But the prep took longer than expected and we ended up taking the kids out just past their usual bedtime, in full-on darkness. If you’re going for optimum glow effect, however, this is the perfect time for your egg hunt. Seeing the eggs glowing around the yard was definitely a very cool sight!


Easter Paper Decoupage Bowls

Easy Easter Craft: Create these simple paper bowls for Easter

I’ve made decoupage bowls before and I’ve always found it a pretty messy craft. I came across this technique recently for creating little paper birds nests without ending up with glue covered hands and decided to try it out with Jenna. We made a bird nest (using long strips of paper) first, and then I tried making a couple with paper punch circles. Both were very easy and turned out super cute.

Here’s how to make them:

  1. Cut decorative paper into narrow strips or use a paper punch to create small circles.
  2. Mix glue and water (2/3 glue to 1/3 water) and paint the inside of a small bowl.
  3. Cover the inside of the bowl with plastic wrap and paint another layer of glue over the plastic wrap.
  4. Add a layer of paper, starting at the bottom and working your way up the side of the bowl. Use a paint brush to gently coat the paper with glue as you go. You can add a second layer and additional coats of glue for a sturdier bowl.
  5. Let the paper dry in the bowl for several hours. Once the inside is dry, lift it out of the bowl and remove the plastic wrap. Turn the bowl upside down and let dry completely.

Easter Scenes

easter 2013

The sickness in our house continued into our weekend, so there wasn’t a lot of photo snapping the past few days. We did, however, manage to dye Easter eggs and conduct our annual Easter egg hunt. Jason and Jenna love hunting for eggs and are especially competitive about finding the golden egg. This year, there were two, so each could claim victory. Jason was especially pleased when he discovered that the golden egg contained “the Abraham Lincoln dollar bill,” apparently his favorite of all the dollar bills. I asked Jenna later what her favorite part of Easter weekend was and, not surprisingly, she cited the Easter egg hunt and finding the golden egg as the best.

And speaking of Easter egg hunts, can you spot the egg in the last photo? Even after I pointed this one out, it took a bit for anyone to recognize the egg nested near the bottom of this tree. That Easter bunny is a sneaky one …

Painted Eggs

painted eggs

We had a house full of sickness this weekend, which makes for the perfect time for simple crafts like this one. I bought a batch of paper eggs at the craft store and let Jason and Jenna go to town painting them in pink, gold and silver. I thought we would use them as decorations, but Jenna has already hidden them in her room. Guess I’ll have to find them first.

painted eggs

painted eggs

painted eggs

Weekend Top 5: Easter

Yay – I finally made natural dyes for our eggs this year! And it was much easier than I expected. I was really happy with the results, but J+J were less than thrilled with the amount of time they had to leave each egg in the dye. Jason’s face in the first picture just about sums up their reaction. I used an egg timer to try to turn it into a game, but Jason only dyed two eggs and then moved on to more exciting pursuits. Other Easter activities were more successful, including making cookies, an Easter egg hunt and, my favorite, brunch on the patio.

How much longer?

Daddy prepared french toast on the grill. Hopefully a new annual tradition.

Jason won the Easter egg hunt by a landslide.

Jenna enjoys pretty egg dishes. But eggs? Not so much.

Splashing in the rain puddles.

Friday Favorites

Easter is happening so suddenly this year. Usually as soon as one holiday is over J+J are begging for the next holiday, causing us to decorate weeks in advance and start every day by answering the question “how many days until (holiday)?”  I think we started our countdown to Easter on Wednesday night, and I have to say it was pretty nice to be able to say ’4′ instead of ’30-ish.’ Guess it’s time to put up some decorations.

Before I get started, here are a few favorites from my week:

  • After all of the recent articles about how much better the French are when it comes to raising children, I definitely enjoyed reading this.
  • I’d love to try this project with J+J, but they never seem to like messy crafts as much as I do.
  • Definitely bookmarked this post about shopping in Paris.
  • Our collection of mismatched plastic Easter eggs grows every year. Problem solved.
  • My kids would love this.

Happy Weekend!

Maps and Treasures and Easter Adventures

Between my love of Parisian maps, Jenna’s recent obsession with drawings maps and the new GPS device in our car, we seem to be a bit map-crazy at our house these days. Jenna’s maps are often of our neighborhood, documenting (in a very abstract manner) the route to school, to the pool, to our house, etc. But J+J also associate maps with treasure hunts. And so all of this thinking about maps got me thinking about our annual Easter egg hunt tradition, and I decided to turn it into a treasure hunt of sorts, using, of course, a map.

I haven’t worked out all of the details yet, but when J+J wake up on Sunday morning, they will each receive a map of our backyard instead of Easter baskets. To find their baskets, they’ll need to follow the map, and then continue on to hunt for eggs and, finally, the breakfast treasure (probably pancakes, their current favorite).

Oh, and of course I have to show you a couple of Jenna’s recent map drawings. I LOVE these!

Free Easter Printables

Are you making cookies for Easter this year? We are! And we’ll be packaging them up for our friends like this:

The Files:

Save/Print File 1 (JPG)

Save/Print File 2 (JPG)


  • Click the link/s above to save and print the file/s.
  • Once your labels are printed, you can cut them out by hand or use a 3 1/2 inch circle paper punch. Note: the circles are slightly larger than 3 1/2 inches in diameter. I find this makes it easier to not end up with white along the edges.
  • Glue the labels to your packaging (you could use gift boxes, paper bags, etc.)



In Our Baskets

We’re trying to go a bit healthier this year – fewer processed foods, more organic, and absolutely no artificial dyes. Holidays like Easter and Halloween can be a bit of a challenge in this regard, so I’m pretty happy with all of the treats I’ve assembled for J+J’s baskets this year:

1. Gummy Pandas from Bissingers

2. Lindt milk chocolate bunny, not organic but dye-free and I know it will taste good

3. Yummy Earth lollipops. My husband made a scrunchy face when I suggested he try these but they are absolutely the best lollipops ever – the pomegranate are my favorite.

4. I love Justin’s honey peanut butter and can’t wait to try their peanut butter cups. Ok, these are really for me and not J+J.

5. Clementine Art crayon rocks

6. Flower Kit

7. Organic Fruit Slices Candy

8. Organic Lollipops in Easter shapes

Easter Lollipop Covers

I bought a batch of Yummy Earth lollipops to put in J+J’s Easter baskets this year. Lollipops probably don’t need to be made more enticing, but in keeping with the holiday theme, I decided to make paper sleeves for them.

Here’s how I made them:

Step 1: Cut 2 identical eggs shapes out of decorative paper. I made these about 1 1/2 inches in width, but you could make them larger depending on the size of your lollipops.

Step 2: Cut tissue paper into small squares, scrunch them into balls, and glue to the inside edges of one of the eggs, leaving the bottom section open.

Step 3: Decorate the front facing egg. I used washi tape and ribbon, but you could use stamps, stickers, etc.

Step 4: Glue front egg to the tissue paper of the back egg.

Step 5: Insert 1-2 lollipops in each cover.

Sprinkle Glitter Eggs

As part of our decision to remove all artificial dyes from J+Js diet this year, we’ve been finding many alternate uses for the food coloring and cupcake sprinkles in our pantry. This weekend, I let Jenna decorate paper eggs using sprinkles as glitter. She was perfectly content glueing and glittering, unaware of all of the candy treats that surrounded her. Unaware, that is, until Jason came over and started eating the glitter. So much for an all-natural diet.

Easter Weekend

We had a great Easter weekend:

Jenna dyed Easter eggs for the first time and learned about the “Easter Beagle” (Snoopy), whom she calls the Easter Puppy.

We took the kids out for their first hibachi-style dinner. Not very Easter-y, but the kids loved it.

It didn’t rain on Easter day and we were able to hold our first backyard Easter egg hunt. The hunt ended at a tie of 16 to 16. But later in the day, Jason found the last egg, making big brother this year’s champ. But next year, my money’s on Jenna.