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Happy Easter! Egg edition.

So I didn’t do all the Easter-y crafts I had set out to do. That’s life though, isn’t it? And my kids are clean and fed (ish), so that’s really all that matters. I did want to share what we did accomplish though :)

Dinosaur Eggs

dino eggs

very neat alternative

I got the idea for these at Our Best Bites another fantastic website that keeps me up at night. You boil the eggs as usual and then roll them or squeeze them a bit to create little cracks in the shell. You don’t want to peel it or have large chunks missing, just small, spider webby (i do what i want) cracks. Fill some cups with liquid food coloring (these keeps them still edible so you can make dino mash egg salad), about 20 drops, and then drop the eggs in and leave them overnight. Peel as usual :)

Egg Garland

easter garland

love

This idea came from yet another cool blog (there are SO many!) called Eighteen25. This was actually also really easy and cheap. We bought a bunch of little eggs and some clear, elastic jewelry…twine..no, string? Rope? You know, the stuff out of which people make necklaces (i like challenging myself not to end sentences with prepositions). Moving on, this was something that Abby was able to help with too. You just string the…string through the holes already in the eggs, tie off and there ya go. Abby could only do an egg every 6 minutes or so because they are small holes and she’s stilling working on her hand-eye coordination, but practice makes progress yo.

I actually think you could make this quite chic. I also liked the look of leaving the eggs not snapped together. You could even spray paint them during the holidays and reuse? Maybe gold and silver? Go crazy. And I have something to tell you. That picture up there is not a picture of my garland. It’s dark out and there’s no way I’m gonna get a good picture now.

Resurrection Eggs (Easter advent calendar)

Probably my favorite. No, definitely :) The original props go to the How Does She blog. This was my favorite because a) its about the true meaning of Easter and b) because  Abby and I got to have a scavenger hunt looking for the stuff!

resurrection egg items

1. And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39) –>we used a medicine cup that would fit in the egg

2. Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty silver coins. (Matthew 26:14-15) –>3 dimes

3. Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people came to the decision to put Jesus to death. They bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate, the governor. (Matthew 27:1-2)–>piece of twine or string

4. When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!” All the people answered, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!” Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified. (Matthew 27:24-26)–>the only soap we had that would fit in the egg was a dishwasher packet, but you could cut a chunk off of a bar of soap

5. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again.  (Matthew 37:28-30)–>we went outside and cut an inch section off a plant with thorns on the stem

6. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him. As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. (Matthew 27:31-32)–>a nail. press the nail into your hand; imagine the pain

7. And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. (Matthew 27:35-36)–>dice

8. And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, (Matthew 27:50-25)–>rocks

9. When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. (Matthew 27:57-60)–>we used a piece of paper towel

10. Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard. (Matthew 27:60, 65-66)–>large stone

11. When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him….And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.  (Mark 16:1, Matthew 28:2-5)–>spices in a snack bag

12. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. (Mark 16:6)–>empty! :)

There are few different versions of this out there using different items, different verses, a little bit of a different order, but the message is not lost! We also did one at MOPS the day after I found this one so we’re going to open those eggs, each one, Easter morning (tomorrow!) and then read the account of the crucifixion from Abby’s children’s Bible before the Easter basket hoopla. I’ve also heard you can buy a ‘resurrection egg kit’ at Hobby Lobby :)

Here is the particular recipe for the resurrection rolls we’ll be making. You can also make them with biscuits, but I have crescent rolls on hand ;)

Happy Easter. He is risen. We win. The end.

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Sites that Keep me up at Night

It’s been awhile. I’m so sporadic these days, about everything. It’s a bit ridiculous. I know that my life will once again settle down eventually some day upon a time when my little almost four-month-old (what’s the rule about hyphens? I <3 grammar) is not a wee one anymore. I am trying to enjoy both the fairies together and individually because time is precious and life is short and I’m pretty sure we’re done in the baby-making (I <3 hyphens, only when used correctly and I never know when that is) department. Unless of course, God does something radical. So that means less baking (I miss it SO. And coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.) and less fun cooking adventures. For now. BUT, I do have time to spark my inspiration during those late nights when I can’t sleep because I just got off work or I’m going to work or I’m waiting to feed the tiny one (she ain’t tiny. she should be nicknamed Bruiser. Or Hoss.) and I wanted to share with you the current sites I’m crushing on and some of my favorite posts.

Bakerella I’ve mentioned her before. She is the cake pop queen. All of her posts on cake pops are great and these are what I’ve currently got my on specifically.

Spring pops

Easter pop heaven

Easter dos

i am baker This woman’s cakes are UH-mazing. I mean, that’s all there is to say about them. I have my eye on several, but they would be very time-consuming (hyphenage! made-up-word alert). For me anyway :) I’m obsessed with her cakes. And she also has some beautiful cookies. I have lots o’ bookmarks with her name on them.

Faith Cake I think she is kind of ‘known’ for having surprises in her cakes. I’m in love. And awe. I think this would be a neat baby shower cake if you made the inside pink or blue. Also a neat way to announce the sex?

Christmas Cake

Shamrock Cake

Halloween Cake

4th of July Cake

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake This, to me, is like the Mt. Everest of cakes. Oh my.

Vertical Layer Cake I will make this. When I have a dozen or so free hours.

Baby Shower Cookies

Courier Cookies

Ok, that’s enough. I’m truly obsessed. Two more.

Sugar Cookies #1

Sugar Cookies #2

This website really does keep me up at night. Truly.

Baked With Love and Butter A great site with sweet and savory recipes. Two that I’m going to be giving a whirl:

Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins Perfect for MOPS.

Poprocks Cake Pops As stated, previously these will be fun for the 4th!

Cheeky Kitchen Perfect website for easy desserts and dinners.

Pizza dough Quick and homemade. I made the veggie calzones once, but no one liked them :( They just don’t dig veggies. Also, I add about a half less olive oil than the recipe calls for and less salt too. I add oregano and basil.

Chinese Chicken paired with Chinese Noodles One of my favorite dinners. A bit involved on the chicken part, but its certainly a crowd pleaser. You just can’t go wrong with Ramen.

Cookie Log I was really obsessed with these for a while last year and even made an Easter version.

The Pioneer Woman This website has recipes, confessions, homeschooling, photography, and even home and garden. It’s my one stop shop. I haven’t gotten too into any of her recipes yet, but there are a lot of things on my list :) I did make this:

Meatloaf I love meatloaf. It’s super easy (throw some meat & junk in a bowl and stick it in the oven) and filling and can be as healthy as you like; I’ve been known to put carrots in celery in mine. It was divine. I won’t add the bread next time though. Just not my thing.

The Coffeeshop Blog This is a fantastic resource for all your Photoshop or Photoshop Elements needs. She has a ton of free actions to help make your pictures the very best they can be. She accepts donations :)

lookie what I learned

before

after

before
after #1
after #2

Actions and Pre-sets

Tutorials

Clipping Masks (for storyboards)

That’s all she wrote. I gotta go to work mayne! Let me know what y’all think!

A Fairy Party

Abby turned four. I can’t even believe it. She’s growing into a little girl right before my eyes. I still refer to her as a toddler though. Toddler she is not, however. She is…a force to be reckoned with. For good, bad, and otherwise, she is a strong little person and I’m so blessed she is in my life. Having Lily actually made me appreciate Abby even more, if that makes any sense. I’ve told many people in my real life this, but I think I’ll tell the general blog population too: very early on in my pregnancy with Abby I prayed for her to be a joy and blessing. Those exact words. That exact phrase. Many, many times. Well, can I just tell you how awesome God is? You couldn’t even guess how many people (strangers included) have told me exactly that, that she is a joy and a blessing. And that she truly is. She’s just amazing. She is dynamic. She is loud. She’s hilarious. She’s outgoing. She’s absolutely smart. Sometimes too smart (she takes after momma ;)). She is cuddly, but only at bedtime now because she knows we will take any chance we get to cuddle with her, delaying bedtime. During the day though, she tells me that she is four and doesn’t want to cuddle anymore. Enter my broken heart. She’s a parrot. I love the way she smells. She smells like a kid. You know? Like peanut butter and honey sandwiches and all the other food she eats with her hands :) She’s trying to figure the world out and it’s scary.

Anywho, I’ve gone on long enough. I’m absolutely in love with her though. On to the party! Her interests change from day to day all depending on the movie or show she’s watched most recently. So, we had a fairy party! After watching the Tinkerbell movies 78 times, I decided that I wanted the food to go along with the movie. I made fairy friends for all of us to munch on. Nice, huh?

I’ll start with the bees.

what they should've looked like

what mine looked like

First off, I’m not even 100% sure there were bees in the movie, but Abby didn’t mind. I had high hopes for these little suckers. They looked so easy. On paper. Everybody and their uncle are making cake pops these days. They’re everywhere. My particular inspiration was taken from Bakerella. Her stuff is true art. It’s amazing. Cake pops are no easy thing though. I would like to ask her how she got her chocolate so perfect looking. As you can see from my picture, my bees are hardly uniform (creative decorating aside). I was making these suckers at 5am, but still! How did she get her yellow chocolate so PERFECT?! I gave  up on actually having the bees fly after forming the balls, errr bodies. My mixture was a gloppy mess, and I used flour to dry things up. Didn’t seem to affect the taste any because these bad boys were the first to disappear. Delicious? Yes. Ridiculously time consuming? Yes. If anyone has any cake pop tips, I want ’em! There are so many cutesy things on the Bakerella website I want to try. But not if mine are only going to look like a kindergarten attempt compared to hers :(

Next we had acorns. Why acorns? Because of Terrence.

acorn hat

acorn snacks

Terrence wears an acorn hat and Daddy dearest is always Terrence when we play pretend, so we had to pay homage. And because I like healthy, fun snacks :) These are just almonds dipped in chocolate! They really do look like acorns, no? Here is where I got the inspiration. There are actually a few different options to make acorn snacks, should you ever have a need to make acorn snacks.

Moving on to more healthy and delicious and my personal favorite.

insect snack food

yummy ladybugs

I wish the picture was better. But I was learning to wear Lily (incorrectly) and I only had one hand to hold my big ol’ camera. These were so delicious I want to go make some now. A strawberry with mini chocolate chips stuck in the top and a blueberry skewered on. How stupid cute is that?! And healthy?! Bonus? Ladybugs were featured a lot in the first movie. Score for me and my themed party. Jk.

This next snack was good, but could’ve been better. Next time I’ll know.

butterflies

Another crappy picture. Whoops. These are pieces of celery with tinted cream cheese, raisins, and pretzels. Now, a friend and I made these the night before and stuck them in the fridge. Mistake. It made the pretzels reaaallly gross. Mushy on the bottom and hard on the top. Skip the pretzels until serving time. The raisins too, just to be safe. But what a fun way to get kids to eat this stuff? Food coloring makes everything more fun and apparently so does making it into an insect.

What’s a party without favors? My party apparently. I swear I made them folks. But when it was clean up time, the bag they were in got put in the car with the rest of our miscellaneous stuff. Sorry :(

woulda, coulda, shoulda

oreo suckers

The oreo suckers were also more difficult than anticipated. Delicious? Without a doubt. But man, Oreos sure are fragile. I had about 18 of them break on me trying to twist them open to stick the sucker stick in there. I normally don’t twist them open though, so maybe my technique was bad. My friend helping me make them had a hard time too though, so I blame the Oreos. Stupid good though.

The cake.

tinkerbell cake

stripper cake

Oh the cake. It is truly only by the grace of God I managed to get this thing made in 8 hours with both girls by myself. I made the skirt (although Daddy dearest was kind enough to point out that it doesn’t look much like a skirt but rather something one pops out of) using a metal mixing bowl and the top half of another bowl. It took an obscene amount of time to cook, and I’m not sure if it was even good. I put it on top of a regular 9×13 cake. I wrapped Tink in saran wrap because I knew if something happened to her skin Abby wouldn’t play with her. Boo.

doll cake

glad she put some clothes on

Then I squished on some icing to cover her up. It was a children’s party after all. I’m no good with the star tip. I don’t know if my icing was too soft or what. It looked fine and nice even, but up close it was a hot mess. Not the nice starry, strapless shirt I imagined.

doll cake

tink and her friends (and herself again)

The crown jewel of the party. For me anyway. What’s a Tinkerbell cake without her friends?!

So this is my fourth major cake. I started when Abby turned one and have continued with an outside of the box cake ever since. I’m thinking of stopping after five though. Unless I take a class, which I will probably do once Lily is older. Peace. It’s late. And I need to stop eating Sour Cream & Cheddar ruffles. That is no way to lose baby fat. That’s your free tip for the day.

Welcome Back, Blogger

my totally legit reason for hiatus

Ok, so it’s been a hot minute. I know. I’m sorry. But it’s true, the husband and I are pregnant. About 12 weeks.  At first I was feeling totally zombified, between working nights and being home all day with the buggaboo. So blog time was replaced with nap time. Then I started watching LOST on Netflix. Probably a really giant mistake because now that the second trimester is happily upon us and I’m not feeling like the walking dead, nap time got replaced with ‘rest’ time, which is really code for laying on the couch and watching LOST. Sometimes I fall asleep, sometimes I don’t.

Writing blogs takes up a lot of brain power though, which is most definitely in short supply these days, but I have found myself getting back to thinking things like, “Oh, that would be a funny blog,” so that’s progress. For a few weeks nothing was coming to mind. It’s hard to be clear, witty, and pensive all at the same time. It takes a lot of energy to actually think about things and put them in writing. Most of the time it simply takes too much effort to think about stuff. Even funny stuff. So LOST it is. Which is another post I need to write that I can’t get out of my head: The Devil is in Distraction.

So anyway, that’s where I’ve been. I’m actually in kind of a horrible mood today and certainly won’t win any parenting awards for the morning. The short fuse that is my patience was lit before the sun even came up.

So hopefully I will be around more and be more disciplined. I always think I really want to be dreadfully lazy whenever I get the chance, but usually end up feeling like crap later. I have resumed my daily Coke Zero; not the three a day I was downing, just one, so maybe that will help. I just love them. I’d given up caffeine completely for about four and a half weeks, but my doctor isn’t worried about one coke or coffee a day, so neither will I. Which is another post I’ve got swimming around up in my head: Confessions from Pregnancy.

And yes, I was pregnant when I wrote my Restless post. I found out five days after writing it. God’s pretty wonderful like that. I mean, when He does stuff like that it kind of just blows my mind. His grace and mercy never cease to amaze me. The tenderness of it all. It was like, “OK Stacey, I’m going to let you feel this and let it hurt, but when you give it up and give it to Me, then you will see what I can do.”  Pregnant or not, when I gave it up, it was better, but then He does things that just surprise the pants off you. So, God’s pretty amazing like that.

Best Bean Dip. Ever.

This bean dip will change your life. Really! Ok, well, maybe not your life, but it’s certainly changed my life by causing me not to fit into last year’s capris in the most awesome way! I’ll never eat chips with just plain salsa again. It’s ridiculously easy too, and cheap, which makes it taste even better. I can’t take credit it for it though. Like the cheeseburger soup, it’s a Bible study recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Refried beans
  • Salsa
  • Mexican Cheese (Or just fat free cheddar, which is all we had)
  • Olives Note: Optional
  • Sour cream  Note: Optional and we use fat free

Then you just layer! Spread the beans in the bottom of an 8×8 baking dish, then the sour cream (if you so choose, but I LOVE sour cream, even though apparently it’s just curdled milk?!), then be generous with the salsa, sprinkle cheese, and then top with olives. I’ve had it with and without olives. Me and olives aren’t BFF’s, so their presence or absence doesn’t really bother me. I will tell you that I ate 3/4 of dip in less than 24 hours and I also had some for breakfast, so maybe I should buy fat free refried beans too?! OH.MYLANTA!  It’s so good!