Thinking of something to do for Easter for your child who has just turned on can be challenging. At this point they aren’t really doing all the conventional things like skipping or using chalk outside or even munching on chocolates. Last year it was easy since my son Vincent was just a few weeks old. We did a few rattles and a few books and this year we really had to think outside of the box. Here are some things and ideas we used to fill my son’s basket!
One steal that I found was I had gone to the Dollar Store (Known as Dollar Tree in the USA) and found my son an awesome miniature lawn chair. It was only $4.00 and I had to get it. I thought it would be the perfect addition to add to our deck that he can hang out with us when the sun is not too hot and have his own little seat. And only $4.00 how could I not get that for him!
Something else I thought that I would do was I decided to make him some play foods. I used plastic canvas and cut out different fruits, veggies, and foods and sewed them with yarn to be different colors and things. I thought this could be a great thing for me to do in order to save some money as well as think outside of the box. I did not want to feel like I was getting him nothing in his basket due to him being so little and options are still limited for him. Some of the shapes I had cut and sewn have turned out amazing and others still need to be tweeked. I will eventually draw the patterns in my book of them and post them to pinterest (Or maybe even here as part of an email) so others can also use the designs. I never used any patterns how I did look up different things on pinterest so I could use them as inspiration for the shapes or colors used in each one. I also am going to be putting some felt on the back with a glue gun and making them a bit neater so you cant see all of the strings that may have been cut and tied too.
Another big purchase we decided to include in his basket was a new bathing suit. We got an 18-24 month size which hopefully will fit him as he is just over a year old now. If it doesn’t then we will have to probably have to buy another one but I think this should be good! When I was younger my grandparents always gave my siblings and I our own bathing suits for the summer and I thought why not since his ones from last year are for sure too small. We also got a unisex one so that with future children we won’t need to buy another and can use this for them as well.
I also decided to get Vincent (my son) a book with his name in it! The book is called Vincent Comes Homes (I think) and this is about a cat who lives on a cargo ship. I seen someone on my Facebook who had gotten their daughter a book that had to do with their name in the title and I thought if it was possible I would like to do that to all of my kids as they come to get them their very own book with their name in it! We also got him another Blue’s Clues book since that is currently his favorite show that we watch as we unwind for bed time too. We don’t really get him books outside of holidays but they are important since we regularly read him a few stories before bed time every night.
And lastly there are a few odds and ends that are also in his basket like bubbles to play with outside, as well as a new tooth brush since his current one he is not a fan of, and some body cream too since he has been running low on his current tube too. His basket obviously will be filled with more toys once he gets a bit older and what not. Next year we can fill it with all the traditional items you could do when it comes to Easter. I did not include anymore teethers since he has a lot of those from Christmas. He still enjoys the ones he has and not that he is getting older I find he still does not use them as much as he did when he had his first few teeth breaking through!
And before I end my parents also sent him up a few things. They sent him some clothes and a few little bottles and toys for his birthday at the beginning of March and included his Easter things as well that I just split up. They included a cool outfit with a onesie, and pants and sweater, as well as a little toy car/truck that makes a noise that I will wrap in some colored tissue paper to show it’s from his grandparents. Thankfully this will be the only thing left holiday wise they will need to send since we should be home for the next major holidays!
As you can see if you kept reading this long finding something to give your song for Easter when he is just a year old can be challenging at best. I really tried to think outside of the box when it came to thinking about what to give him this year. I cannot wait to see his reaction since he is beginning to understand that presents are something you can have unwrapped and enjoy too!
Do you and your family celebrate Easter?
And what are some of the staples that the Easter Bunny puts in their baskets every year?
Let me know in the comments below and see if I can come up with ideas for the following year when my son is big enough to be outside all the time too!
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I think we can all agree that when it comes to holidays just about every single one is commercialized. From Christmas basically starting at the end of August before Halloween has even come and gone. To having diamonds and jewels promoted for holidays around romance too. But why is that? Why is a holiday such as Valentines day commercialized?
For me, growing up we did something for Valentines day in Canada. Whether that be when you are a young child frantically trying to write all the names of your classmates on a card to give on the day. And forgetting the paper so trying to guess them off. Or even telling your parents the day before that they aren’t done and stressing them out as well. Normally there was a little party with some treats and fun games too. Don’t forget finding the best cards that you didn’t think anyone else would have and giving your friends the ones that had the best picture or jokes on them too. Something that felt like ages to complete as a kid but really it may have taken a half an hour or 45 minutes of your time to do.
Fast forward to being an adult, you typically have 3 types of people who think about this particular holiday. You have the first group who goes all out, buys jewellery or gems or chocolate and candy or whatever else there is to buy on the holiday. Secondly you have people who absolutely despise the holiday. They think that is totally commercialized (And I guess they aren’t that wrong with that opinion) and they don’t partake in any of the types of things people do to celebrate it. Then you have a third group who really wings it and will celebrate but not in a bit way or they wont go all out but if someone they are with would like to celebrate or something then they will do that though. There really is no right or wrong way to celebrate any holiday it is just what you choose.
For me, I would like to say that I am a third group. I remember being a kid and my mom always did something special for us for Valentines day. She would give us a valentine in our bags which somehow we never seen her put in. She would normally give us some heart pencils or stickers or erasers and a few extra treats that day too. It was a really nice surprise that I think I will adopt and do once my son and perhaps future kids will look forward to. Heck, My mom even did this when I was in collage and away she would send something by mail with some candy and a card just that she was thinking of me.
As an adult, I still say I am in the third group. Since being with my boyfriend I more or less have gotten things that are a couples gift. If I remember correctly, the first Valentines day we were together I got us some chocolate and some candles and coloring books so we could just sit and chill and color. Nothing super expensive but something that we could do together and just relax. I even got some candy and chocolate too. I may have even gotten bubble bath but the tub in his apartment was so small I could have forgotten! Though I do like to at least get a card. For some reason I am really into cards. For what? I don’t know but they are a great memory and I have many many cards as well too. I think the art of picking out a card for someone and thinking of them as you read the saying or even adding your own means so much more than gifts. Even if I am flat broke I still will try to at least get a small gift or in the very least a card to celebrate it.
Now here is the question, Do I ever go a bit overboard? Sure. But it never is that much due to the fact that I cannot mentally justify why I would go into small debt for a holiday. If that were the case I feel like I would have to do the same for St Patricks day as well too or any of those smaller holidays. I will however if I am able to, I will more likely get decorations for the holiday to keep up for the month or the days surrounding the holidays instead. I do this especially with Easter too where I try to get certain things that can be used year after year. I guess it is my own way of justifying spending money on the holiday if I can grow the collection of decorations to be used every year.
Overall, and this goes with any holiday. Don’t ever make yourself go broke. Valentines day is a day to celebrate the love you have for other people, whether that be your spouse, or your children or even friends. It really is not work going into debt for. No holiday is worth going into debt for. If you have the means to do so, head out to any dollar store or dollar tree if you are American and get some things like my mom used to do for myself and my siblings. Sometimes the smallest of gestures can have such a huge impact on people. And if you are unable to do that, You can always make something from the heart! A piece of paper and a pencil can work wonders in making a card. It doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy. Spending more money on things does not equal a better reaction! Remember that!
Is there anything that you can remember for Valentines day that you had happen as a child? Whether in school or something you had happen at home? Do you not celebrate it at all too?
Let me know in the comments below! I am curious to hear how different places celebrate Valentines Day.
If you are no stranger to my previous blogs especially on weight loss you will find out this will be no shocker my favorite foods are nearly all junk food. I am pretty unhealthy in terms of food as there is many food groups I barely even touch. However like anyone I do have some favorite foods. Most of them I am sure you have heard of and perhaps there may be a few new ones in there that you haven’t, or ones that you also share a love for too!
Chocolate has always been a love of mine. In fact, it was so bad that I used to get patches of dry skin behind my elbows and behind my knees that would tell my parents if I was sneaking too much around the holidays. I love anything from a Terry’s Chocolate Orange to Cadbury Cream Eggs. There really isnt a whole lot of chocolate I wont eat however there are some specific criteria that I do not enjoy. I am not a fan of coconut in chocolate and as far as nuts go in it, it really depends. I can go for a Hersheys Almond bar. They are great. Even a good chocolate with peanuts I can go for. However I don’t normally choose a chocolate with nuts in it unless maybe it is M&M’s peanut or perhaps chocolate covered almonds too. I can also do without gooey and fruity treats too. My mom loves Cherry Blossoms. With the goo and cherries in them. I cannot stand those. It is the texture of them and I just cannot stomach it. As much as I love chocolate I will decline. And of course there is the weird Quality Street chocolates with the gooey flavors inside I also can do without those!
Garlic Fingers is for sure one of my top 3 things that I enjoy and probably something I miss tremendously here in Quebec since there really is no where to get any. Mind you, My culinary skills are up to par and I am able to make pia dough from scratch it still isn’t the same though. I miss being able to order out and enjoy it. My mom used to even make a few mini pans of it growing up so all we had to do was add cheese and put it in the oven. I normally just make it when I feel like it now though I don’t think I put enough love into it because it never really quite tastes the same. It always is edible however sometimes it is just extraordinary and other times it is just good. Or maybe it tastes better when my mom made it because I wasn’t putting in the effort to put it together.
Kraft Dinner has been a staple in my life since I can remember and to be fair, though I now have a child, and will probably not be making it for them as much, It still will be something that I love and enjoy for the rest of my life. Mind you if I ever became lactose intolerant I would probably have it a whole lot less I just would weight the risk when having it though! I love all the kinds of kraft dinner even the store brand extra creamy and white cheddar too. The only thing is that it can take a different cooking style if it is the store brand. It’s something I make many different ways as well. Sometimes I add more milk, other times I add more butter, some times I even dont add milk or butter and vice versa too! Sometimes we add hot dogs in or bacon bits and sometimes real shredded stuff too!
Potato Pancakes are something my mom made when I was a kid and I loved them so much it was typically the meal I choose for my Birthday meal year after year. They are super simple to make and they are always awesome. My mom and I would eat these the same, With a bit of salt and pepper and some butter. Since it was basically a type of hash brown. My dad on the other hand would eat them like french fries he would put ketchup on them. And lastly my sister which is super weird would put syrup on them! why or how it worked or tasted I have no idea. I couldn’t stomach thinking about putting syrup on potato pancakes. Her theory was they were pancakes after all.
Log Cabin Potatoes are something we only ever ate at Christmas time. Though, when my grandfather was alive sometimes he would treat us by making them on thanksgiving as well too which made them delicious though. These were mashed potatoes that were rolled into logs. They are then put in the fridge for a day so they can really harden up and by harden I don’t mean they get hard but they kind of get stuck together. After that you roll them in an egg and water mix and roll them in crushed corn flakes. After this you then deep fry them in oil. Before we would deep fry them once, and then a second closer to supper however everyone was eating scattered since you could only deep fry so many of them. Instead now we deep fry them and put them in the fridge. Afterwards we just put them in the oven to preheat them and they normally get crispy again and saves on the fat and everyone can eat them all at once together too.
Nuggets and Fries I think most people can agree is the staple of many children and low and behold it is something myself as a 30 something year old love too. I’m not super picky on kinds but man would I love the dinosaur nuggets though they are amaing. Other than that I like to bake my friend in the oven. We dont have a deep fryer and i always put it in a lot more though. My boyfriend is someone who follows the instructions on the box however anytime I do that I always find that they are never in long enough and the fries are pretty much always floppy with no crisp. Maybe for kids but not for me. I normally leave them in 40 minutes or so unless shoestring fries because they burn super fast compared to others.
As you can tell those are my favorite foods, And after reading this you may be asking yourself if I really am a 30-something year old woman or if I am an under 12 year old child. What can I say though, these are my favorites and I cannot wait to enjoy them, 1st being the Log Cabin Potatoes coming up at Christmas!
What are your favorite foods? Are they from when you were a child or are they advanced as you grew up and tried new things? Let me know in the comments below!!
As the holidays are fast approaching and I am sure they are well welcomed this year due to 2020 not being the most pleasant of years to date in my life time anyways, I think most can agree that holiday baking is one of the things we all look forward to the most. There is probably some recipes that have been handed down that you may make yourself or you just wait for a loved one to make. For me I think I kind of wing it but I also have some recipes that I make that my mom has made too! Let’s dive in shall we!
Pretzels. Pretzels. Pretzels. This is a staple for my holiday baking. I love to make chocolate bark. Normally I use chocolate wafers for this however this year due to the virus I decided to get milk chocolate since it was at my local grocery store. I always start with a layer of pretzel on the bottom and melt whatever I am using, whether it is chocolate or the chocolate wafers (Which are cheaper if you are looking to save money!). I typically make two kinds, the first one I chuck some holiday M&Ms so red and green, so it adds a bit of color, sometimes I swirl different colors on it as well like white chocolate in there. The 1st is more about salty and sweet than anything so I try to keep it simple. The second one I did this year was a peppermint one. To do that I just lined pretzels on a tray with melted milk chocolate and put some candy canes on the top. Normally they are crushed but this time I just put them hole and would break them as they would be cut, and then I took girl guide mint cookies and cut those into pieces to put on the top as well! It seemed to work well and they look great too!
Next I make peanut butter balls. Funny enough, my mom called me the other day asking for the recipe and I really don’t have one. But for the sake of this I will do my best here.
2 Cups of Peanut butter
3/4 cup of butter/margerine
3-5 cups of icing sugar (Til the mixture becomes clay? It should not stick to your finger if you touch the mixture)
1-2 cups of Rice Krispies (Depending on how crunchy you would like your balls to be!)
Vegetable oil OR paraffin wax
Sea Salt (Optional)
Start with the peanut butter and margarine/butter and melt it in a pot.
Once everything is melted and mixed start adding icing sugar, You will know when you have enough when the mixture will no longer be sticky. It will almost form kind of a ball or clumps. When it starts to get this way slowly add icing sugar as to not add too much that you are unable to incorporate it in. The point is when you start to make the balls the dough/mixture will not stick to your hands because the icing sugar will be there to keep it not sticky.
Once you hit this stage it should be a bit tough to even stir to be honest, and you can start adding rice krispies to your mixture/dough. You can add as little or as much as you like.
(My mom does this step backwards where she will add the rice krispies before the icing sugar and it just turns out fine I suppose. For me I like this way as it really makes things blended and not clumpy).
Once you have everything combined, start to roll the mixture into balls and put them on a tray with some sort of protective layer like foil, or parchment paper or wax paper. (Remember they have to be dipped in chocolate so bigger is not always better!)
Once you have them rolled throw them in the fridge.
Melt your chocolate on a double broiler on low heat. I use a touch of vegetable oil when the chocolate is melted just to slightly thin it out and make it easier to coat. After you dip the chocolates you can sprinkle some sea salt over the top (Flakes or rock). I didn’t do this as there was none in the house but it is possible to do!
Next I make a whipped shortbread cookie. This is by no means my recipe nor is it a family one or anything. It is one my mom uses from a Companys Coming cookbook. Im sure you know someone who has this book as there are legit SO MANY different collections. The recipe that I use is here:
Whipped ShortBread Cookies
1lb Butter (2 Cups)
1 Cup Icing Sugar
1\2 Cup of Cornstarch
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
3 Cups Flour
Beat all ingredients until it looks like whopped cream. Drop by the teaspoon on cookie sheet. Bake at 350f for 10 minutes. Add chopped red or green cherries on top before baking.
I think this can really go any way you wish. I dont do the cherries however I do roll them into balls. Then I use a fork to push it down too, since if you dont do this they will not level out on their own! This year I also dipped them into red sugar and sprinkles before pressing them down with a fork too. It really depends you also could probably roll them out and use cookie cutters too if you wanted to also! Use your imagination!
And lastly but certainly not least, My world famous Bits and Bites mix! Okay, Maybe they arent world famous (Yet) And they are a knock off of the recipe on the box of Crispex but I have dont the same modified recipe since I was a kid. This was one of the first things for baking that I was able to do since I loved them so much my mom let me take the reins. This is how I made it this year, Obviously things are inter changable and optional. Ill write what I put in and what I have put in also so you can build your own mix!
1 Box Crispex Cereal
1 Box Cheese Nibs
1 Box Swiss Cheese Crackers
Pretzels (To your liking)
Peanuts (To Your Liking)
1 Box Cheese Bits
1 Cup Butter\Margerine
1 Small Bottle Worsherchire Sauce
(I put a lot of each, Way more Onion Powder than Garlic Powder as I find it makes the mix a touch sweet, however if you find baking that you didnt add enough you can always shake some more of which ever you want as it is baking since you have to mix every 15 minutes)
Preheat oven at approx 325f, Once all the ingredients are added and the sauce mixed in. Place on a deep dish baking tray. Not small but enough that it can be easily mixed without making a mess too. Baked for 45 minutes stirring every 15. I also taste along the way to check flavors normally trying a piece of each I put in just to be sure coating is good.
Things that I have seen added are:
– Different types of nuts
– Gold Fish Crackers
– Popcorn (popped obviously after by adding it.. Do not add this to the oven for obvious reasons.. HAHA)
And that is the extent of my baking this year! I may make more when we hopefully move back home but right now it is basically myself and the boyfriend eating things and I didn’t want us to have so much stuff. Also have to save a few recipes for next years blog post too! Can’t spoil it all! If y9ou found this helpful or you have slight variations let me know! I am always curious about what people add for their recipes too!