Friday, March 29, 2013

Egg Hunt on the Farm

Passing Notes Today:  Mrs. Williams


When I was a little girl one of the reasons I looked forward to Easter was because I knew that each year we would be headed to a family friend's farm for an awesome egg hunt.  That egg hunt was no joke.  They boiled and died thousands of eggs, hid them in different areas around the farm for different age groups of kids, offered tractor rides, and hosted good old family fun.  There were even horses on the farm.  One year as I leaned in to look at the horses, I learned what it felt like to touch an electric fence...wouldn't recommend it.

Last year, I lectured my boys on the dangers of electric fences as we drove them to that very same farm that I went to as a child to hunt for some eggs.  Cars lined the road for miles as family after family piled out of their cars and headed to the barn for the egg hunt instructions to begin.

Every child gets a candy filled egg after they check in.

Then, the kids and families head to their age-group-egg-hunt-location and the hunting begins!

Even with all the kids, there are plenty of eggs to be found.

After all the eggs are found, we took the muddy path to the tractor.
Just waiting for the tractor to get moving.

There's a pond on the farm.  So, of course, we had to walk across a field to check it out.

Time for some serious puddle jumping.

And then...we headed home.

Perhaps there's an egg hunt in your near future...whether it's in your living room, backyard, or on the farm, my only advice is this...avoid the electric fence.

Happy Hunting,

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Rabbit Redo

Passing Notes Today:  Mrs. Williams

Hey Ladies, 

I have to admit that my Easter decorations are lacking around my house. Every year I promise myself that I'll scoop up some decorations after the holiday when they are all on sale.  Then, every year when I check out the sale items the selection is so picked over (go figure) that I don't buy anything.  But, not this year.  This year, with Mrs. Kelly as my sidekick and shopping partner, I bought this bunny at Goodwill (before the actual holiday):

Mrs. Kelly spotted this bunny and suggested that I spray paint it.

At under $3, I quickly grabbed it and dreamed of all the Easter colors I could paint this bunny.

I stopped at Michael's and settled on blue paint.  It has a glossy finish (also Mrs. Kelly's suggestion).

When I got home, I got my Young House Love on and started spray painting this ceramic animal.  The bunny took several coats.

After I was done transforming the bunny into a shiny blue rabbit, I got to thinking... how would she look with polka dots?  So, I grabbed my son (you could do this yourself if you don't have one of those), a hole puncher, and some white sticky labels and instructed him to start punching (usually, I instruct him to STOP punching).

And then he just stuck on the dots.

In the end, she looked like this.  So cute and fun.

But, then I decided I didn't really want my first Easter decoration to be a cute and fun bunny.  This Easter, I was in the mood for a sleek and shiny bunny.   So, can you believe it?  I took all the dots off.

Now I have one solid Easter decoration (unless I can count the plastic eggs).  Hey, it's a start.

Some bunny loves Goodwill bunnies,

Mrs. Kelly Note:  Whoa, I sound pretty bossy huh?  :)  I like the blue bunny!  "Then Mrs. Kelly said to give her the bunny."  Kidding.  

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Peter Rabbit Party

Passing Notes Today :  Mrs. Kelly and Guest Mrs. Sedaris

Hey girls - 

Easter is coming and I've got bunnies on the brain.  Because of this, I thought it would be a great time to show you my friend Maureen's (you may remember her better as Mrs. Sedaris) Peter Rabbit party for her daughter's first birthday.  I begged asked Maureen if I could share because I loved all the details and I thought they would work perfectly for spring and Easter.

Let's start with the centerpiece.  Don't you dig (pun intended) how rustic this centerpiece is?!  It's simple and garden chic and looks like it was pulled straight from Mr. McGregor's garden.  Also, it's pretty affordable!  (I think we have a little Barefoot Contessa in our midst)


In keeping with her garden theme, Maureen made sure to load her table with plenty of fruits and vegetables.  Check out these sweet cabbage dishes too.



Her menu included:
  • Veggie Pinwheels
  • Raspberry Swirl Bundt Cake
  • Fresh Veggies and Hummus
  • Blackberry Pie
  • Ginger Peach Poundcake
  • Deviled Eggs
  • Fruit Salad
  • Blueberry White Iced Tea
  • Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting



Maureen said these pinwheels were a huge hit!  Here's a recipe.


For gift bags, Maureen used brown craft bags decorated with Beatrix Potter illustrations and green ribbon.  I like how each one is different.


Maureen kept it simple with gift bags:  a homemade cd, playdoh, pirate booty and Peter Rabbit jelly beans. What?  You know Peter Rabbit totally loved him some Pirate Booty.


I love the sweet Peter Rabbit dresses Maureen found for her girls at Janie and Jack.  Look at that little munchkin!


The picture below was not staged.  That is Maureen's oldest daughter watering flowers from the garden. Moments later, a tiny rabbit in a blue jacket with brass buttons, hopped over and sat lovingly at her feet.


And finally, one of my favorite things about this party was that the games were just good, old-fashioned outdoor games like Leap Frog, Simon Says and Red Rover.  The kids played out in the garden just like Peter.  In fact, here it looks like they are darting away from Old Mr. McGregor.  No need for fancy video games or electronics...look at the pure joy on those faces!


"Peter never stopped running or looking behind him till he got home to the big Fir tree."

Thanks for sharing Maureen.  If anyone serves up raspberry bundt cake at the Easter table I will be much like the children in the picture above--dashing to reserve my slice.

Hippity hoppity Easter's on its way,

Note from Mrs. Williams:  This was the cutest party ever, and you're right Mrs. Kelly, this could easily be altered for a fantastic holiday brunch.  I love all the ideas, but I'm crazy about that last photo.  It makes me so happy to see all those happy faces.  Thanks to Mrs. Sedaris for sharing!

Note from Mrs. Gosling: Thank you Mrs. Sedaris for your Easter Extravaganza party. I am loving on cutie #2's outfit and her watering skills. It looks like it couldn't have been a better day! What a beautiful family and circle of friends!!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Passing Notes Today:  Mrs. Williams

Hi Girls, 

Easter is hands down my favorite holiday.  I love the colors, the candy, the egg hunts, the baskets, the dresses, and best of all … the cascarones.  Cascarones are confetti-filled eggs that my family and I have made for years.  


We first learned about them when we lived in Laredo, Texas, bordering Mexico.  My brothers and I made them in our classrooms for the three years we lived there.  

Here I am with my two older brothers (my youngest brother wasn't born yet).  Check out our Texas tans!  I think the photographer said, "Who wants to smash some cascarones?"  right before he snapped this photo.

Then every year after, we made cascarones.  I loved Easter morning when we would go searching for the confetti-filled eggs in our yard.  Each time I found an egg I would chase down one of my brothers and smash the egg on his head.  A waterfall of confetti would stream down his head and body.  It was always a mad dash of hunting and regulated smashing.  When it was all over, the yard was filled with colorful confetti and everyone was always laughing.  I have fond memories of hunting my brothers down each Easter (isn't that the holiday spirit?).  

These days I look forward to making cascarones with my young boys. 

 Here’s how you do it:

1.  Make a small hole (about the size of a dime) in the top of some raw eggs.  (Make a lot. They become pretty fragile, so you’re bound to lose a few along the way.)

2.  Empty out the eggs, wash them and let them dry.

3.  Dye the hollowed out eggs along with your other traditional eggs.

eggs dye

4. Let them dry again.

egg 1

5.  Make some confetti.  (I usually just put colored paper through a paper shredder.)

6.   Cut some squares of tissue paper large enough to cover the holes in the eggs.

7.  Fill the eggs with the confetti.

Cascarone 1

8.  Line the edges of the hole with glue and paste the tissue paper over the hole.

9.  Hide the eggs in the yard.

10.  Find, chase, and smash!

egg confetti

I hope this Easter finds you and your family enjoying holiday traditions.  Perhaps you’d like to add this tradition to your Easter festivities.  May you find more cascarones than your brothers. 

Happy Smashing,

Note from Mrs. Gosling: your tan - so jealous! Thank you for sharing such a great Easter idea that celebrates your childhood. Your boys are so handsome!

Note from Mrs. Kelly:  Loving the family pic. Can just picture you all running around smashing eggs.  Maybe we'll make a new tradition...cascarones in the snow.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Who's Afraid of the Big Mall Bunny?

Passing Notes Today:  Mrs. Kelly

"Where are the leprechauns?" 

That is the question my daughter asked as we were driving home from the mall today.  My husband and I looked at each other. “Um, what?”

"Well," she replied, "There's a Santa and an Easter Bunny.  But where are the leprechauns for St. Patrick's Day?"  

Girlfriend has a point.  Where ARE the leprechauns? 

The holidays are so heavily marketed these days I'm surprised we don't have wee little men in green, dancing jigs through our malls in March.  It's only a matter of time.

So in lieu of leprechauns (to my daughter's dismay), we sought out the Easter Bunny.  We found him seated in a folding chair under a large purple parasol.  Apparently the Western New York bunny likes the shade (or is a vampire).  He also had a fan blowing directly into his brown matted fur face.  In a word, he was squirrelly (no rodent pun intended). We asked our kids if they wanted to meet the bunny, but they both quickly shook their heads no.  My oldest told us he was feeling shy. Good decision!

I don't like Peeps either!

I have to be honest here - I don't get the mall Easter Bunny.  I can understand Santa Claus.  I get that conversation: "Hi Santa, my name is Suzie and I'd like the Gene Kelly DVD boxed set for Christmas.  And yes, I've been a good girl."  The Easter Bunny though--what is that conversation?  "Hi Bunny.  Yea, so, um..I'd like a chocolate version of you.  And eggs.  And my mom says you can skip the faux grass because it gets everywhere and it's a real headache to vacuum.  Okay, great.  Soooo get hoppin'."  

The mall bunny kind of gives me the creeps.  It might have something to do with the fact I can't see who is in the costume.  I also don't love the whole sitting-on-a-stranger's-lap part of the deal. I mean, I'm okay seeing the Easter Bunny, but I don't need to sit with him.  I'm also fairly certain that the mall bunny isn't fooling anyone--especially when he checks his watch between snapshots to see when his shift is over.

My daughter's question made me smile.  Then it made me ponder the existence of the mall Easter Bunny.  When did EB make his first mall appearance, I wonder?  And if it's just an opportunity for a photo shoot, won't cupids, leprechauns, uncle sams and giant-sized pumpkins be soon to follow?  Sorry Bunny.  I'm sticking with Santa on this one (at least we can make eye contact).  We will politely wave from afar and enjoy eating a chocolate you on Easter morning. All while looking for leprechauns.

 Now that I've sufficiently ruined your Easter mall trip today, feel free to take a gander at these to make you smile.

Note from Mrs. Gosling:  I'm with you.  This family actually has never sat on Santa's or the EB's lap.  Now that I think of it ... it's been quite awhile since I have been to the mall.  ARGH!  Blondie is so smart!!!!

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