Our Easter Weekend

I am finally getting around to doing our Easter recap!
Late Saturday night when the girls were in bed, I put out some Bunny Tracks with flour.
Imagine my surprise when we woke up on Sunday morning & it was raining!
There was NO rain in the forecast!
Needless to say, my flour "bunny tracks" that were not covered by our porch turned into a flour-y sludge and it won't scrape off.
Kevin needs to powerwash our front walkway now. Oops!

The girls didn't discover the Bunny tracks until AFTER we got home from church.
Our Easter Bunny comes after we get home from church (while Kevin loads the girls into the car to go to church, I run back inside & put out their Easter Baskets. Sneaky, sneaky)
The girls were thrilled that the Easter Bunny left bunny prints.
But, Kate wanted to know why the Easter Bunny has flour paw prints.
She is smarter than I give her credit for... (and she helps me bake a lot, so I guess she recognized the flour...who knows!)
I loved their reaction when they saw their Baskets filled up:
Here is their loot:
Every year, in their basket, I give them things that I would normally buy them anyways:
(a book, stickers, chalk, a new swimsuit, a new sun dress & a pair of sandals)
And, of course....the best Easter candy ever: Reeces Peanut Butter Eggs!
This year they also got a new swim towel & a personalized placemat.
Hooray! A picture of both of them smiling! It's an Easter Miracle!
Oh yeah, and notice how my girls are wearing short sleeved sun dresses.
It was NOT a warm day. I had no idea it was going to rain & didn't have sweaters for them.
I figured since Easter was so late this year that the weather would be warm. WRONG!

Right after our mini indoor egg hunt, we loaded up the car & headed out to Kevin's sister and brother in law's house. They host a huge Easter party every year, but we only go every other year (we rotate with my family)
They have a winery & live on 10 acres of grapes...this is part of their backyard:
Lots of grapes = wine! We got to sample my brother in law's 2011 releases:
Jeff, Mike & Kevin:
It was a great weekend spending time with family celebrating Easter & all that Christ has done for us!

And, just a reminder....the Cupcake Carnival starts this Sunday, May 1st!


Let's talk Cupcakes.

I have always loved cupcakes.
I am not a fan of cake, but love cupcakes!
The past few weeks, I have had cupcakes on my brain.
Maybe it is the fact that because of Lent & I gave up dessert for 40 days.
But, now Lent is over & I can indulge in all the cupcakes I want!

But, here is the problem. I am in a cupcake rut.
I make the same ones every time, my Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes.
{recipe here}

For the past 3 years, I have made these for almost every family birthday, every party I have hosted, Rebecca's bridal shower & Bacherlorette party.
Trust me, these are amazing cupcakes, but it is time to branch out.

Here is where you guys come in!
In December, I hosted the Cookie Recipe Exchange.
It was so fun to have everyone link up their favorite cookie recipes!
There were some awesome recipes that I make all the time now!

So, I decided to host a Cupcake Carnival on May 1st
(in honor of my birthday month & Kevin's birthday month!)

(feel free to grab a button on my side bar)

This Sunday, May 1st, I will put up a blog post with a new cupcake recipe that I am making this week....it involves Oreo's! Can't wait to make them!
I will also have a linky up so you can link up your favorite cupcake recipe!

It can be a cupcake recipe you have already blogged about, or you can post a new recipe.
I can't wait to see what kind of cupcakes you share!

Be sure to comes back next Sunday to link up (or to just check out everyone's recipes!)

I will keep the linky open the whole week!

I hope you will join me....
It's time to make some cupcakes!


Fear the Bunny

Claire still has Bunny Phobia as you can see:
Kate has gotten over it (unfortunately) haha!
Last year's picture is still my favorite!
But, I am pretty happy with how this one turned out!

I made the girls Bunny shirts again using Julie's tutorial:
Hope this gives you a good laugh to start your morning!
There is nothing more I like than crying kids with Santa & the Easter Bunny!


Tie Dyed Easter Eggs

I saw this idea last year on my college friend Angie's blog and knew I wanted to try it out!
You dye your Easter Eggs using silk ties!
Last week I headed to the Thrift Store to get some men's ties.
(Or, you can raid your Grandpa's, Dad's or Husband's closet if they have ugly ties that you never want to see them wear again)
The uglier the tie, the better!
I tried using one of Kevin's ties but he got all sentimental on me & said he wanted to keep it.
I got all these ties at a thrift store for about $1 - $1.50 each.
The ties have to be 100% silk for this to work, so make sure you check the labels.
Some of the labels were just on the back of the tie:
Other labels were hidden under a flap:
Here is what you need to do to make your Tie Dyed Easter Eggs.
First, turn the tie over & cut the stitching out.
You need to open up the back of the tie.
Then, you have to remove the inner fabric of the tie.
**WARNING** If you get your ties at a Thrift Store/Good Will Store, etc....hold your breath when you remove the inner fabric. Some of the ties STANK like musty old man smell. *shudder*
Once you come to after passing out from the old man tie stench, go ahead and cut off the bottom part of the tie.
Then, very carefully, wrap your egg in the tie with the right part (shiny) part of the tie touching the egg & tie it with some string. You want to tie it tight (but not so tight that you break the egg)
Your fabric will be inside out looking. Make sense?
Here are my eggs almost ready to go!
Next you need to cut up an old pillowcase & use pieces of that to wrap around the eggs.
(I got a King sized pillowcase at the Thrift Store for $1 and I had enough to wrap up 8 eggs and I had some leftover)Place your eggs (gently) into a pot & fill with water & 1 cup of vinegar.
Cover your pot, bring to a boil and let your eggs boil for about 20 minutes.
While you wait for your eggs to boil, open up some windows in your house because the smell of hard boiled eggs + musty old man smell is NOT good!

After your eggs are done boiling, take the wrapped eggs out with tongs & place on a towel to cool.
I let mine cool for about 20-30 minutes (again...make sure your windows are open!)
After they are cool enough to touch, you can unwrap your eggs to see what your Tie Dyed Eggs Look like!
This is the first one I opened up & I was NOT impressed.
I was thinking I did something wrong, but I think it was just the pattern on the tie that didn't transfer well.
The 2nd one I opened is one of my favorites!
It was so fun opening each one & seeing how it turned out!
I realized that the bigger the pattern = not as good on the egg.
The smaller patterned ties looked much better on the eggs (in my humble opinion)
I originally bought this purple tie so Kate could have a purple egg, but it turned out pink!
This one was a little streaky (I must not have tied the fabric tightly enough around the egg)
Love this one!
So there you have it, Tie Dyed Eggs...a fun twist on dyeing Easter Eggs!
I will definitely be making these again next Easter!

Side Note: I made these when the girls were napping. This was an Easter Project for me.
We use the $2 dye kit from the store to dye their eggs :)

A word of advice:
Don't eat these hard boiled Tie Dyed Easter Eggs. I don't think it is safe to ingest silk dye and you don't know where some of those musty ties have been!
(I don't eat hard boiled eggs anyways, they are in my Top 5 foods that makes me gag)

So instead of eating them, you can just display your Tie Dyed Eggs in a pretty bowl or apothecary jar this Easter!


Empty Tomb Easter Cookies

I posted this last year, but I am posting it again so that you can do this with your kids sometime this week! I will be making these again with the girls on Saturday!

Empty Tomb Easter Cookies
(also called Resurrection Cookies)

Here is what you need:
1 Cup of Pecans
1 Cup of Sugar
1 tsp. Vinegar
3 Egg Whites
Zipper Bag
Wooden spoon
Wax Paper
Pinch of Salt
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Place pecans in zipper bag and beat them with the wooden spoon to break them into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested that He was beaten by the Roman Soldiers.
Read John 19: 1-3 and smell the vinegar.
Put 1 tsp. Vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to drink.
Kate asked me where all the pictures are in my Bible. haha!
Read John 19: 28-30. Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life.
Read John 10: 10-11. Sprinkle a little salt, taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.
Read Luke 23: 27. Add 1 cup of sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is the Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him.
Read Psalm 34: 8 and John 3: 16. Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed.
12-15 minutes is a long time for a 3 year old to wait...Kate had fun with the tape while we were waiting.
After the 12-15 minutes, your mixture should look like this:
Explain that the color white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.
Read Isaiah 1: 18 and John 3:1-3. Fold broken nuts into mixture.
(Don't let your kid taste the mixture...raw eggs! Oops!)
Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus body laid.
Read Matthew 27: 57-60. Put cookie sheet in the oven:
Close the door and turn the oven off. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain the Jesus’ tomb was sealed.
Read Matthew 27: 65-66. Go to Bed!! Explain that we may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight just as Jesus followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.
Read John 16: 20 and 22.
On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie.
Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow!!! On the first Easter, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.
Read Matthew 28: 1-9. Christ has risen, hallelujah!
May you have a great Holy Week reflecting on Easter and all that Christ has done for you!
This is the week that changed the world!

{Linking up with Heather!}


Claire's Big Girl Bed

It was time.
Time to say good-bye to her crib.
Claire kept doing THIS.
She would wake up almost every night at 2 am screaming & saying she didn't want to sleep in a crib anymore & she wanted a bed.
Naptime has been a battle & so has bedtime.
We ordered her bed last week & it came in yesterday.
Kevin's mom was watching the girls over night last night so we could have a date night.
Guess how we spent our date night?
Buying a mattress, going to dinner & then we came home to take down the crib and set up the bed. We wanted to surprise Claire when she got home from Grandma's this morning.

I may or may not have shed some tears while Kevin was taking the crib down.
First, because my "baby" was no longer in a crib & it marked the end of an era for us...no more crib in our house.
Second, I really, really, really love her crib bedding & was sad to put it away!

Here is her new bed (with Kate's old bedding from when her room was yellow)
I think it looks so cute!
I have always loved this bedding!
Everything else in her room stayed the same:
This morning when Grandma dropped the girls off, we told Claire that we had a surprise for her.
This was her reaction when she saw her new bed:
She was SO excited!
'Her first words were, "No more crib! Hooray!"
Immediately she wanted to jump on her bed.
We have one very happy little girl!
She told us she is now going to sleep all night long.
Here's hoping she actually stays in her bed during naptime & bedtime.
We are keeping our fingers crossed!


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