Monthly Archives: March 2013

Egg Hunt Round 2

After our morning egg hunt at Grandma Sue’s, we went back to Grandma Charlotte and Poppop’s place, attempted a nap (didn’t happen!), and then headed out into the backyard to let Miss G open her Easter basket and search for the rest of the eggs we had filled for her a couple nights ago…

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A Morning Egg Hunt

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This morning we all gathered at Grandma Sue’s house for a big Sunday brunch and a backyard egg hunt with all of the cousins.  

IMG 7455IMG 7470Now before I go on, I must admit I was totally clueless about the fact that the Easter Bunny is the one who hides eggs for kids to find.  Seriously – what?!  I knew he (or she) was in charge of leaving Easter baskets, but i guess I just thought parents hid eggs in the yard for kids… Is that crazy?  Anyways, I’m glad I had this epiphany last night in the company of my brother and sister-in-law, because I totally would have been the terrible Auntie to ruin it all by saying something like, “Okay, guys.  Your daddy and I need a minute to hide all of the eggs” after breakfast this morning.  

IMG 7458IMG 7474Knowing what I now know, we asked all of the kids to go downstairs and play while we tidied up the breakfast dishes, and Gary and I snuck out to quickly stash the eggs around the yard.  That Easter Bunny sure is a smart rabbit…  He (or she) left a baker’s dozen of one colour of eggs for each child, thus allowing the slower ones enough time to uncover their treasures (and us to make sure Miss G got all of the eggs filled with Gracen-style treats).  

IMG 7450IMG 7480The hunt went really well.  The boys’  eggs were hidden well enough to keep them busy for almost the whole time, the kids were great about only collecting their colour of eggs, and everyone was excited about their goodies.

IMG 7484IMG 7499Grae’s eggs were filled some of her favourite snacks (trail mix, sunflower seeds, healthy banana chips, cashews, dried pineapple, and seedy crackers), my homemade healthy crispy rice treats formed into egg shapes, some fun glitter glue, stickers, and mystery capsules.  She was pretty excited to say the least.

IMG 7492IMG 7500I know that there are a million perks to going and that we’ll be home for 3 months of summer each year, but mornings like this make me a little bit sad that we’ll be taking Gracen away from her cousins and grandparents come August…

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My Babies.

IMG 7438Perhaps my favourite photo of the entire weekend… This bunch has my heart.

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Easter Dinner on the Farm

Tonight Brad’s parents had everyone, including all of my family, out to their place in the country for a big Easter dinner.  The Okanagan has been blessing us with some amazing weather, and because of it, we spent almost the entire night outside in the backyard.  Barefooted babies, football tossing, and ridiculous amounts of delicious food made for an absolutely lovely evening.

Here is our night in photos…

IMG 7389Anxiously awaiting the arrival of her cousins.

IMG 7404Grandma Sue and her girls.

IMG 7413Dinner outdoors.

IMG 7393Girl talk.

IMG 7409Little performer.

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Egg-Shaped Yogurt Pops

Egg Shaped Yogurt PopsHolidays like Halloween and Easter, which are most often filled with chocolate, candy, and other junk can definitely be a little challenging when you work hard to not have your child eat any of those things.  And while I’m certainly not ready to throw in the towel and pass the jellybeans her way, I also really don’t want her to ever feel like she’s missing out on something special.  My solution?  Creating treats that are fun and delicious, but healthy at the same time.  I won’t deny that it takes a little bit of extra planning, some extra effort, and some extra time, but for me, it’s 100% worth it that my little love gets to enjoy and indulge, while maintaining a wholesome, healthy diet.  Needless to say, when I saw this adorable idea on Play Eat Grow, I knew I had to try a version of my own for Miss G and her cousins.  

IMG 7589Before I could get to making the popsicles themselves, I had to prepare the moulds first.  And by *I*, I mean I had to ask my hubby to drill holes in the bottoms of the plastic eggs, to which he recruited my father-in-law’s help.  The two of them disappeared into the garage for a minute, and returned in no time with the job done.  

IMG 7375For the filling, I knew I’d have to make them a little sweeter than I normally would in order to coax my niece and nephews into eating them, but I also wanted to keep the ingredients very simple.  Grae and I popped a cup of plain organic yogurt, a cup of no-sugar-added frozen berries, and 3 tablespoons of pure maple syrup (you could easily do with less – half even) into Grandma Sue’s food processor, and blended it up until nearly smooth.  My plan was to fill a piping bag and carefully pipe the mixture into the closed plastic eggs via the drilled hole, but at the last minute, I decided to go with a less finicky and much more messy method.  Basically, I dunked the egg halves into the mixture to fill them up separately, then quickly slapped the two halves together trying to lose as little as possible in the process. It worked fairly well.

IMG 7434With the eggs full, I plugged the drilled holes with my fingertips, quickly ran them under some cool water to clean off the exterior of the eggs, then popped them into an empty egg carton and added sucker sticks into the holes.  We froze them for several hours, and voila!  A new Easter treat was ready.

IMG 7444The good news is that most everyone really liked them.  Even my 6 year old nephew who tried a piece of apple for the first time this weekend ate about a 1/4 of his before leaving it to melt in a cup (pretty much  a huge success in my books).  And most importantly, Grae loved them.  While her cousins moved on to apple pie, Jell-O dessert, and salt water taffy afterwards,  she happily asked for another popsicle. Yay.

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A Morning at the Park

IMG 7308IMG 7309IMG 7343IMG 7347IMG 7320IMG 7358Okanagan sunshine, my girl, my ma, my adorable niece, and my two sweet nephews… It all makes for a pretty great morning.   

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Let’s Get the Party Started

As of 3 o’clock on Wednesday afternoon, my brother had officially told my mom that he and his clan would not be making it to the Okanagan this weekend.  I had no idea, and when I spoke to him later that night I talked about a big Easter dinner with the whole crew, a big backyard egg hunt for the littles, and the amazing weather that was supposed to be in store for all of those in the Okanagan.  The conversation started at 8:07 p.m. and by 8:15, he’d committed to packing up the entire crew and hitting the road by 10 a.m. on Friday.  Now that’s the persuasion of a big sister.  ☺

We all gathered at my mom’s place tonight and celebrated with a big dinner, the kids running around the backyard barefoot, and Gracen staying up way past her {usually very early} bedtime.

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Silk Dyed Easter Eggs

Silk Dyed Easter EggsWhen I heard about this technique from a fellow Vancouver mama, I almost didn’t believe it was possible.  But after doing a little bit of online research, it seemed many people had had great success with it (some inspiration here and here), so I thought we’d give it a go.  And while the finished eggs are far from perfect, I think they turned out quite beautifully.

IMG 7199The first part of the project involved thrifting some 100% silk ties.  Luckily, the task was an easy one…  After scanning the rack at a local thrift store, we had over 30 different options to choose from.  

IMG 7157These are the ties we ended up choosing…  A black one covered with strawberries, green leaves, and mustard flowers, an intricate paisley{ish}-patterned blue one, and a bold raspberry-coloured polka dotted one.  Each had a tag clearly stating that they were made of 100% silk and they were all between $4.99 and $6.99 (though I think they would have been less expensive from a smaller, less popular thrift store).

IMG 7207Before actually dyeing the eggs, the ties needed to be deconstructed first.  Using some small scissors, I snipped apart the thread at the back, removed the tags, and removed the innards (saving them for later), and ended up with some nice, big pieces of silk.

IMG 7212IMG 7213With the help of my little lady, I carefully wrapped a small piece of the silk around a raw egg (printed side touching the egg) as tightly and neatly as I could. Next time we attempt these, we’ll definitely do two things differently.  First off, we’ll wet the silk in order to have it cling to the egg during the wrapping process, and secondly, we’ll use smaller pieces of silk in order to avoid all of the extra bulkiness and folding we had this time around.

IMG 7214IMG 7215Next, we took the tie innards and wrapped the silk-covered eggs like you would a mummy and secured everything with a generous amount of jute.

IMG 7217While Grae happily helped out for the first couple of silk-wrapped eggs, I must admit, it’s really not the most toddler-friendly process…  Decorating eggs with good ol’ fashioned wax crayons was much more Miss G’s style. ☺

IMG 7235With all of the silk-wrapped eggs done, we popped them into a crockpot filled with cool water and about 1/2 a cup of white vinegar, turned it on high, and put the cover on.  You could easily do this part of the process on the stove if you prefer, but the key is using a pot that is non-metallic.

IMG 7229As we waited for the water to heat up, we dip dyed Miss G’s wax crayon decorated eggs… Pretty colours, hey?

IMG 7258Once the water reached a good rolling boil (it takes quite a while in a crock pot), we turned the heat down to low and kept it gently boiling while covered for 4 long hours. Then we turned off the heat, and left the pot covered for another 4 hours (talk about patience!)

IMG 7296After nearly 9 hours of waiting, I slowly began unwrapping the layers to discover that the technique had in fact worked (quite well might I add!)

IMG 7363The white wrinkly sort of spots you can see are where the silk wasn’t laying perfectly flat against the egg, but I think it adds a little bit of character.  ☺

IMG 7365IMG 7369What I love is how apparent the tiny details are…  Even the silk’s texture and the teeny paisley patterns are visible.

IMG 7371Silk dyed eggs will definitely be anEaster tradition in our house from now on.  The preparation, anticipation, and surprise are too much fun not to make it one.  Now to begin my collection of beautiful silk ties…

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A Morning in the Sunny Okanagan

IMG 7240A book tent in Grandma and Poppop’s backyard…

IMG 7241Running on the grass…

IMG 7243Swinging in a tree…

IMG 7252Learning about lacrosse…

IMG 7254And Bella hugs.  

Add all of these to the list of things we’ll miss while in Kuwait for round 2.

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Papa’s Dahk-Tar

IMG 7203IMG 7202Yesterday I introduced my little lady to the beautiful nesting babushka dolls my dad brought back for me after one of his work stints in Russia…  Today, Bradley introduced her to his childhood guitar (which for some reason, she calls a ‘dahk-tar’).  It’s been a couple of very special days.

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