April 18th, 2014

Daffodils

Posted by Laurel

Daffodils are plentiful where we live. i mean literally down the road there are a myriad of quirky little flower stands that house buckets of these cheerful blooms ready for passerby like me…who often nearly careen off the road from the distraction of fresh flowers! While some view them as common, they are a beautiful bloom…rustic and organic..and are a compliment to the Easter season. Though their symbolism differs depending on whom you talk to, i like that they are often thought to represent new beginnings.  After a season of virtually no colour or live foliage, it is like a re-birth when daffodils start to bloom.

blooms

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No Release

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Distinctly apropos for Easter. New beginnings. Don’t overlook their subtleness..sometimes simple is just right.

Wishing you all a wonderful Easter weekend xo

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April 17th, 2014

Easter Egg Hunt

Posted by Pam

Easter egg hunt supplies

 

It wouldn’t be Easter without a good ole Easter egg hunt.  But….we still have candy from Halloween and Valentines sitting in the pantry….note to self, it’s probably time to turf it!  Oh, and I’ll never forget the year that we were in Palm Springs and hid foil-wrapped chocolate eggs all over the patio.  By the time the kids found them, they had all melted…..FAIL!  So, I’ve been looking for some new and different ideas for Easter egg hunts.

1.  I love these free printables for Easter egg coupons!  Love the idea of setting aside time to do things together…..better than leftover candy sitting in the pantry for six months!

 

 

Here are some ideas of “egg-pons” you could include…

  • A Starbucks bevie of your choice
  • Go for fro-yo
  • Download an app or a song
  • Pick the main course for dinner
  • Skip clearing the dishwasher
  • Go for a hike with mom
  • Crepes for breakfast
  • Bike ride for Slurpees with dad

 

2.  Glow in the dark Easter egg hunt.  How fun would this be for tweens and teens on Easter Eve??   Warm Hot Chocolate gives some great tips for prepping for this hunt.

 

 

3.  Add a few “golden eggs” to sweeten the hunt!   I love the idea of hiding one golden egg with a larger prize….ok, maybe a few!  I found larger plastic eggs that open at the dollar store and just painted them with a few coats of gold acrylic paint. You can include things like toonies or loonies, funky socks, iTunes or other gift cards, or movie passes.

 

 

Do you do something creative for your Easter egg hunts?  What are your best Easter memories?

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April 16th, 2014

Easter Favorites

Posted by Laurel

One of my very favorite weekends of the year is Easter. The personal significance of this holiday is the basis for my faith and the reason that I can live with hope, love, assurance and peace. It is a symbol of fresh and new starts. Its also a time to spend with family, and what better way to take the spirit of this holiday and mark it with some special treats to make it all the more memorable. Here are some of my favorite links that might just make your Easter celebration all the more cheery and endearing:

easter links collage

1 These Easter Sundae Kits are so-o cute and easy to assemble. I think these would be perfect to gift to all the littles you are celebrating with…don’t forget to have ice cream on hand, too!

2 How adorable are these Peeps place card holders? I think they’d be a hit with kids and adults alike!

3 & 4 I made ombre eggs last Easter and loved them, but having less time to prepare this year, i love these easy but beautifully calligraphied eggs.

5 Easter flowers lend themselves to soft, organic and pastel arrangements. I love the simplicity of this one…using a vintage pitcher as the vessel to hold a variety of pastel  blooms.

6 &7 And what about making some charming Easter treat bags and filling them with the yummy popcorn i told you about last week?

 

This year we’re changing this up a bit and are heading into Vancouver on Easter Sunday…not before we’ve spent time with Scott’s family. You never know what’s going to unfold when we’re together! We’ve had some pretty crazy Easter memories….can you say Mantracker family style, complete with camoflauge, quads and team names?? One of my favorite Easter memories… what’s one that sticks out in your mind?

 

 

 

 

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April 15th, 2014

What I’m Serving for Easter Brunch

Posted by Pam

german pancake2

 

We are going into the city to celebrate my Mom’s 65th birthday this weekend, so we won’t be having our usual indulgent Easter brunch…we’ll be enjoying an indulgent dinner!  But I did ask the kids what I could make for Easter breakfast after church.  It was unanimous…German Pancake!  It is one of their all time faves…I’ve posted about it before here… and it really is SOOO simple!   Oh, and you HAVE to make the buttermilk syrup to go along with it!!  It really makes the dish and leftovers are sooo yummy over ice cream.  You can find the recipe here.

Ok, but it’s Easter, so I want to make this dish a little bit more special.   I was inspired by a pancake concoction called Bananas Presley that I had at The Good Egg in Scottsdale…ok, this dish is not for the faint of heart and forget about it if you are watching carbs.  But if you like peanut butter, chocolate and bananas…all I can say is WOW!!!!  Basically dessert for breakfast with the best combo of familiar flavors ever!!!  So, for a special occasion, I say go for it!

 

bananas presley

Bananas Presley at The Good Egg….Yum!!!

 

So, I’ve calmed it down a bit with my version.  Here’s what I did!!!

1.  Make the buttermilk syrup.  Be sure to use a MUCH larger pot than you think you need.  If this baby boils over, it’s nasty to clean up!

2.  Make the German pancake.

3.  While the pancake is baking, saute sliced up banana in a bit of butter or olive oil.  Cut the banana pieces a bit thick as they get too mushy if they are thin.  Heat the butter or olive oil up in a nonstick frying pan and sauteed about 3 minutes on each side.

4.  Cut up the German pancake into about 12 equal size pieces.  Pour some buttermilk syrup over each individual piece.

 

german pancake

 

5.  Top with a tablespoon of smooth peanut butter, some of the sauteed bananas and about a tablespoon of chocolate chips!

 

german pancake3

 

Make sure to add all of the toppings while the pancake and syrup are still warm. The peanut butter melts and so do the chocolate chips!  Seriously decadent!  You could add bacon pieces as well…the version at The Good Egg had bacon, but I decided to pass as this is super rich!!!

 

german pancake4

 

Heck, this could be dessert for your Easter gathering!

 

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April 14th, 2014

Sweet Start

Posted by Laurel

The dog days of summer are here… Wait. It’s not even a month into spring…i may be getting a bit ahead of myself?! But this weekend, we were gifted with weather that could be described no other way than glorious. It. was. beautiful. This weekend was also filled with a full schedule that could have made me a little nutty. What stuck out to me heading into these last couple days though, was a quote i came across on Pinterest:

beauty is within everything and everyone.  we just have to take time to find it.  humans rush too much, we need to take a break to rest our weary brains and stressed out souls.  we need to take time to appreciate everything. 

dogs life

And so, i set out to carve out little moments to do just that…and it was seriously a gift to myself. Saturday late afternoon i caught a moment that is the literal epitome of the dog days of summer… Ozzy loves the sun and he doesn’t seem to have a problem with finding the time to enjoy it. Watching him was contagious…and we soaked in some rays together.

A spontaneous evening spent with good friends was also food for the soul…the sound of kids playing outside in the warm evening? Pretty much awesome!

And catching the last light yesterday eve, sitting on my back patio steps eating a late dinner…well, i took a moment to look at my fam and just say a silent thank you to the heavens…that i could call these peeps my clan.

It was a reminder for me to look through these different lenses more often..more so a reminder to know that the beauty is always there. It’s up to me to push “pause” …being busy is a lame excuse. People have often asked me why i blog? What’s the upside? I have come to realize one of the biggest perks (unforeseen when i originally set out) is getting into the habit of looking for something, big or small, that is beautiful every day. Sometimes its something obvious…other times it’s looking at the same ole thing, but just seeing it different. That’s been a tremendous gift.

Can i challenge you to look for something within the obvious or not this week that gives you a moment of joy? Little or big..no restrictions..i’d love to hear what brings a thrill to you in an otherwise scheduled week xo

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