Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Story Eggs

I have seen several different versions of these Easter Story Eggs in stores and on blogs and websites over the past couple of years and have wanted to make my own set for our family for a long time now. I bought all of the stuff to make them last year...then, all that stuff sat tied up in a "Family Dollar" plastic bag at the bottom of my my craft projects "to do" box until last week when I dug them out, dusted them off, and decided to finally put them together. The eggs are very easy and inexpensive to put together, and I was able to find most of the items I needed just around my house and yard. Here is what you will need to make your own set...

*14 plastic Easter Eggs.
*14 strips of paper with scriptures written on them (I used scriptures and ideas from here and here, as well as some of my own favorites that I added in).
*Black Sharpie or vinyl/sticker numbers 1-14.
*small items listed below to put inside of each egg.
*basket, grass, and any other egg embellishments you may want to use (I used small chipboard flowers that I hot glued to the outside of each egg).

How To...

1. Label each egg with #'s 1-14 and add any embellishments you are using.
2. Write each scripture reference on your paper strips.
3. Fill each egg with its matching scripture paper and small item.
4. Place eggs into decorative basket or container and you are ready to go. I had originally thought of just opening all of the eggs on Easter Sunday after dinner or something. My friend also had this countdown to Easter idea linked to her blog that I really liked as well. You use the eggs to count down to Easter by opening one a day during the 2 weeks before Easter arrives.

Scripture and Items List...

1. Matthew 26:26-28...chex or crouton and a sacrament cup or small cup
2. Matthew 26:36 & 39...miniature cup (I found one in a porcelain tea set that I bought at the dollar store).
3. Matthew 26:14-15...3 dimes
4. Matthew 27:1-2...a small piece of rope (I used some twine we had around the house)
5. Matthew 27: 24-26...a small piece of soap
6. Matthew 27:29...a thorn (I cut a small piece from our rose bush outside)
7. John19:17-18...a cross (I made one with 2 toothpick pieces and some hot glue)
8. Matthew 27:35...2 nails (thank you junk drawer)
9. Matthew 27:50-51 & 54...a small handful of little rocks
10. Matthew 27:57-60...small piece of white cloth
11. Matthew 27:60 & 65-66...a round stone
12. Mark 16:1...6 to 8 whole cloves
13. Luke 24:2-6...Leave this egg empty
14. John 15:13-14...a small heart. Why did Jesus do all of these difficult and painful things? Because he loves each of us very much and wants us to be able to return to Him.

Happy Easter!

"Healthier" Easter Egg Stuffer Option...

Sure. There will be plenty of candy and sweets at our Easter. But...I have also been trying to thin of some healthier egg stuffer options as well to help us balance out the sugar high on Easter morning. I like the idea of stuffing some of the eggs with fruit snacks or dried fruit. This year I am also going to use some of these little cuties as well...
They are "Annie's" bunny crackers and my kids love them. They come in several flavors like cheddar cheese, graham cracker, chocolate chip, and chocolate. They are made with whole grain flour and no high fructose corn syrup. PLUS...the crackers are each shaped like an adorable little bunny. Perfect for Easter. You can buy a big econo-size a variety box of them at Costco, and I have also seen smaller boxes of them at Target.
Pour some into a plastic egg, and voila! A cute, healthier Easter treat option. Hoppy Easter everyone! (Sorry. I just couldn't resist that one).

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sturdy, Inexpensive Easter Baskets

I needed to get some Easter baskets for my kids this year, but I have a big pet peeve with the Easter baskets that are kind of thin and flimsy and just break after a couple of years. So...I headed over to our local thrift store and bought a couple of good Easter-sized baskets there. They had A TON of baskets. All shapes and sizes, and most of them were nice, sturdy ones too. Plus the best part of it all is that they were only $1.oo a piece! I just sprayed them with several coats of some 'Krylon' spray paint that I found at the Dollar Store (it was my lucky day), added a couple of bows and some Easter grass and that's it. They were super easy ... now we've just got to fill them.



Tuesday, April 19, 2011

'Gina's Skinny Recipes'

Have you ever visited "Gina's Skinny Recipes' website? I LOVE it! She has so many yummy Linkrecipes - appetizers, dinner, lunch, breakfast, snacks, desserts, and they are all healthified. She lists the nutritional information for each recipes as well as the Weight Watchers points, and all of her recipes I have tried have been delish. Drop on by, you'll be glad you did.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Inexpensive Wall Decor

Our guest bedroom wall needed a little boost. So...I got out my trusty "ModPodge" and went to work on these little numbers:

They were simple and fairly inexpensive to make. Here's a list of items you will need:

* A variety of wooden plaques (I bought mine at Michaels for about $1.50 to $2.00 a piece)
* Scrapbook paper of your choice
* ModPodge
* Acrylic Paint
* Foam Brushes

Here's how I made them:

1. Trace the outline of your wooden plaque onto the scrapbook paper and then trace a that outline again just about 1/4" inside your original line.
2. Cut out paper along the inner line and set aside.
3. Paint front and back of your wooden plaques with acrylic paints and let dry.
4. Once your plaques are dry, adhere your cut out piece of paper to the plaque using 'ModPodge'. (spread 'ModPodge' to the back of the paper using a foam brush, stick the paper in place on your plaque, smoothing out the bubbles, then cover the entire area with 'ModPodge' using a foam brush).
6. Coat the entire top of the plaque and paper with 'ModPodge' a couple more times, letting it dry between each application.
7. Attach a hook to the back of your plaque so you can hang it on the wall.
8. The End. Now, just hang the plaques and enjoy your new wall art.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chicken, Cranberry, and Goat Cheese Salad

I bought some goat cheese at the store the other day and whipped up this little salad concoction with it. It was a simple, yummy dinner. Here's the recipe if you want to try it for yourself. Enjoy!

5 oz. bag "Spring Mix" salad mix
1 cup dried cranberries
1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast (or 2 small ones), cooked and cut into chunks
garlic salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup soft, crumbled goat cheese
equal parts of olive oil and red wine vinegar or your favorite vinaigrette dressing ( I like "Brianna's real French vinaigrette" dressing)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a medium frying pan over med-high heat. Cut chicken breast into bite-sized pieces and place in frying pan with garlic salt and black pepper (to taste). Cook and stir until chicken pieces are cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and set aside to cool.
2. Place salad mix, cranberries, cut up apples, and crumbled goat cheese into a large salad bowl. Add chicken pieces and vinaigrette and toss to mix. Serve and enjoy!

Friday, March 18, 2011

"The Help"

I loved this book...

One of my good friends loaned it to me shortly after I had little Mr. Man last Summer. It has taken me nine months to actually pick it up and read it ( my poor friend may never want to loan me anything again - that's just how we roll around here these days with two kids... a little bit behind schedule), but once I started it, I couldn't put it down. I just finished reading it a couple of days ago, and I already miss the characters in the book; kind of like you miss a good friend that you haven't seen in a while. Am I just weird, or does that ever happen to you when you read a really great book about really great characters? I miss reading about them when the book has finally come to an end. Anyway, I digress. I thought this was a beautiful, thought-provoking story, and I really liked how Kathryn Stockett didn't necessarily follow all of the predictable paths that you would expect the story to take. I would definitely recommend "The Help" to anyone looking for a good read. It's definitely a keeper!