Social Icons

Easter Basket Ideas - If you're like me and haven't shopped yet!

I'm not sure how on top of it you are, but I am definitely just about to purchase some Easter basket items for the first time this week!  I know some people shop way in advance, my best friend (who is super organized in comparison) purchased all of her Easter goodies like a month or more ago.  I don't want to hang on to it that long or anything- so I usually just pop out once real quick, a few days before Easter, and grab a few items.

Our Easter baskets come from us, we've just never had any from the Easter Bunny- and it works well for us.  We do a big scavenger hunt with clues for the kids to find their baskets on Easter Morning and it's their favorite! I haven't decided on a hiding spot yet! (I really do work best under the last minute pressure!).  In the past they have been hidden in the oven, in the playhouse outside, and in the dryer, to name a few ideas!  We make them zig-zag to every room of the house to find their clues before they find them though!

I like to do a good mix of books, toys, candy, and some sort of practical item- so I rounded up a few of the ideas I'm tossing around for this year, or other ideas I've used in the past.  We do the same mix of treats, toys, books, and practical items for Valentine's day, Christmas Stockings, etc- so these are ideas that work for those holidays as well!

Books!  The one purchase we have made for Easter so far is a pair of Sandra Boynton board books for our youngest little guy.  My husband spotted them while grocery shopping the other day, and could not pass them up! We love Sandra Boynton- and we read "Not The Hippopotamus" like, daily around here, so when we realized there was a book "Not the Armadillo" we about died!  At the end of the hippo version, my son tells the armadillo to go with them EVERY SINGLE TIME- so I know this book will be a big hit.

We don't typically do an "Easter" themed book, we just do a book or two that they would enjoy and can read during any season.

We are thinking about getting the next books in The Land of Stories series for our 10 year old and 14 year old (they are hoping to read the series together and start a "book club" together), and the newest Owl Diaries for our 7 year old. 

Water Bottles!  We love these Contigo ones for all the kids, and they work well for our toddler as well.  Our bigger girls also love this type of metal water bottle, and would love to get these in their baskets as well!

Pajamas!  It's a good time of year to grab each kid a new pair of Spring/Summer pajamas since the weather is changing, and they could use a refresh!  I like to roll them up with a cute ribbon around them and tuck them in their baskets! 

I do like to think through a few things we need like that and add them to their baskets since I was going to probably buy them in a few weeks anyways!  So my biggest tip is to keep that in mind while filling their basket!  It's an easy way to put a few extra things in it that you were going to buy either way!

Toddler Boys' 4pc Dino Pajama Set - Just One You® made by carter's Green/White - image 1 of 1

Girls' Rainbow 3pc Pajama Set - Cat & Jackâ„¢ Pink - image 1 of 1

Spring/Summer toys! Again, the weather is changing and we can always use a refresh on some staple outdoor toys! We like to fill their baskets with sandbox toys, bubbles, sidewalk chalk and some of the fun sidewalk accessories like stencils, paint, spray chalk paint, etc.

We don't typically include things like swimwear, towels, goggles, or anything like that unless we have a vacation planned.  It just isn't going to be warm enough in MN for those for a while (we just had a snowstorm that left us with new piles that need to melt!), so those are things that I sometimes include in a "Last Day of School" gift basket or something if they need them.  This year, we got new ones prior to our traditional New Year's Eve waterpark stay, so we don't need them anyways.  However, if we lived in a warmer climate, I would totally consider those for Easter- so keep that as an option if it works for you!

Treats!  We like to buy a few fun Easter themed treats like Reese's eggs, jellybeans, Egg gum (these are such a huge hit every year!), and then something like Annie's fruit snacks and bunny crackers- honestly just because they are bunny shaped and fit with the theme!

Art Supplies!  Markers, crayons, dot stampers, paints, stickers- you name it!  These are a fun basket filler, especially if you need a refresh!  We are adding these Chunkies to their baskets this year because they seem super fun!

 My kids love art stuff, and are always requesting sketch pads and little notepads- so we may do one of those as well! I love these Bible themed adult coloring books for my girls- Color the Psalms, Color the Gospel, and Color the Proverbs.

Hopefully this list helps a few "last minute" shoppers like me!  We still have almost a week!  Good luck shopping and prepping!

Do you hide your Easter baskets as well?  Do you do an Easter egg hunt?  We are lucky, in that my parents host an Easter egg hunt, so we don't need to worry about what to stuff in eggs!  Happy Easter!

March Mini Book Reviews

I read some super great books last month, yet again!  I really haven't been disappointed in any recently. 

We had quite the library haul last time, including some super fun reads for all the kids, and a few cookbooks/food related books I browsed through!  It's about time to head back and restock, and I'm planning to share a few of the fun ones my kids have been devouring as well lately (in another post)!

Here's what I managed to get through in March- it has been a busy year so far, so getting through even a few a month feels like an accomplishment at this point!

*Please note that some of these links include affiliate links. If you make a purchase through my affiliate link I will earn a commission. This is provided at no extra cost to you.

1.) Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis- I listed to this one on Audible.  I have to mention, I preordered it, and loved waking up to a new book all ready to go in my Audible library on the day it came out!  It felt like such a fun surprise/gift, that I will definitely be preordering other books for this sole purpose!  Aside from that, the book itself was great!  I enjoyed her first one, Girl Wash Your Face, and this was a great listen as well.  I think audio books is key for me with these types of books, because I find it motivational to listen to someone telling me to get my act together and that I can do great things.  It just feels like.. direct and personal I guess?! Plus, I could listen while I was doing things, which made me motivated to do more things, and I really got some stuff done thanks to this book.  I think both books are something I would go back and listen to again, when I need another boost of positive thinking and motivation, so I'm happy to own them both. 

2.) The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt - I started this book, and then put it down for a week or so when another book came into the library.  I don't typically do that, but the beginning of this one just wasn't reeling me in quite yet.  HOWEVER- I am super glad I picked it back up, because I ended up LOVING it. The main premise is a middle school aged boy who stays with his teacher alone on Wednesday afternoons, because the rest of his classmates go to a religion class at either the Jewish temple or the Catholic church, but because he is neither, he stays in class.  It's also set during the Vietnam war.  The situations he gets into and the ideas in his head about his teacher "hating" him and all sorts of other things are super funny, and the book is just so enjoyable.  Go read it!  I highly recommend! This was a recommendation from Janssen at Everyday Reading- I'm pretty sure she claims it as one of her favorite books of all time! She has so many good ones recommended that I haven't read before, and after reading a few of her faves (see the next book on my list as well), and loving them myself, I'm willing to try a few more she recommends!  We must have a very similar reading style, which is so helpful to find in another person- so it's more likely that other books she recommends will be to my taste as well! 

3.) The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen - This was the first book I've read by this author.  She seems to write YA books mainly?  I love a good YA book (see the book before this one.. ) so this was right up my alley!  The book is about a teenage girl grieving her father's death, a "perfect" boyfriend who is away for the summer, and a new group that she meets during her summer job.  She goes through things with friends, family, and relationships, and it's all just a great book.  Honestly, I stayed up late and read the whole thing in one day because I just couldn't find a place to stop and put it down.  I was so eager to get through all of it and I loved it.  Hoping to check into a few more books by this author and see if they're all this good!

4.) Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs by Heather Lende - I figured since I had read her other two books, I might as well read the third and finish them all!  I also tend to place holds at the library based on authors when I'm not sure what to read next, so these ones came in back to back.  (I did a mini review of another one of her books last month in my February Mini Reviews.)  This one was good as well, it's about a time in her life that she is recovering from a terrible accident and the loss of her mother.  It includes more fun tales of life in small-town Alaska, which I love, and get me by until I can finally travel to Alaska for myself!  I found this one a little bit harder to follow- it just seemed to jump around a little more, but it makes sense that this is just how she was feeling during all of these big changes and events that are hard to go through.  Still a good read, and I still recommend it!

I have started a few for April that I can't wait to tell you more about!  I'm listening to Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin (who can't make a bad thing, I swear), and I'm reading The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan and loving it so far!  I need to find a good fiction read to get started on!  Any recommendations for me?  I'll have to go to my Pinterest lists and pick a few- I know I have about a thousand that I've told myself to remember to add to my holds list at the library!

Also, I listen to my audio books on Audible, and have a code for a Free 30 day trial, with 2 free audio books!  If you want to give it a try- here's the code.

If you like this post, check out these others like it:

Easter Dress Ideas: Shopping for my Girls!

We typically buy some type of new Easter dress for the girls each year.  When looking for a dress to wear for Easter, we aren't the type to buy the more fancy, large, fluffy style of Easter dresses.  I just don't like to buy a dress that they would never wear again, because honestly, we just don't have occasions that call for something so dressy.  Also, our Easter celebrations are hardly formal enough to require it!  We need a dress that allows for them to look nice at church and brunch, but then run around like crazy, inside and outside, for their annual Easter egg hunt at my parents' home.  Also, we live in Minnesota, and the weather at that time is so unpredictable.  So often, they end up with sweaters, tights or leggings, and sometimes even coats, hats and gloves paired with them!

I recently took the girls shopping at the mall, per their request for a fun thing to do on a Saturday, and spotted a few good options for their Easter dresses, that will also work well throughout the Spring and Summer for any occasion that pops up.  I'll share those first, and later this week I'll do a round up of options I've found while online shopping for myself- because let's be honest, I did not get a chance to browse for myself very much at the mall with 4 children.  

As a family, we also need something nice looking to wear to my youngest daughter's First Communion celebration this year, which is shortly after Easter, so these outfits will all be doing double duty! As a reminder, my girls are 7, 10, and 14.

*None of these are affiliate or sponsored links, I just wanted to share what I'm shopping for.

1.) This lemon dress - I'm such a sucker for anything with lemons on it.  I LOVE this dress, and I'm hoping I can convince one of my gals to give it a whirl.  It has the smocked top, which is adorable, and I love the ruffled edge.

2.) This eyelet number - Okay, I'm also a sucker for eyelet.  On myself, on the kids, you name it!  This one is so sweet, and so Easter-like.  I love that it's longer, which definitely makes it easier for church and for all the playing without accidentally showing their undies.

3.) This rainbow dress with the lacy overlay- This feels super spring-y to me, and quite honestly, the rainbow colors just appeal to my younger girls.  It's so nice when a dress is a win-win for both of us, because that doesn't always happen!  We seem to have very different tastes sometimes, in what I think is adorable, and what really appeals to their own "style" or whatever.  This one would keep us all happy.

4.) This floral dress- I love this floral dress from Old Navy.  My favorite colors, and the ones I feel work best for Easter and spring are the cream floral, the green floral, and the yellow stripe!  I love the longer sleeves, it feels more weather appropriate for us, and the jersey material makes it comfy to wear all day and run around, while still looking nice enough for our church celebrations in the morning!

5.) Another floral dress from Old Navy! - This one appears to have the same green floral pattern as the one above, and I also love the blue floral option.  So pretty!  It also has the smocked top, which I think is so, so sweet for Spring.

5.) This jumpsuit - This jumpsuit was adorable!! The sizing wasn't quite right for my oldest daughter (14), who is desperately looking for a jumpsuit rather than a dress this year. But it would be adorable for anyone who is truly still fitting into the girls' department.

She is in a tough place, size-wise, because she is kind of on the line between an XL in the girls' department and an XS in the juniors.  It comes in handy because she has twice the options as the other girls, but with jumpsuits it seems especially tricky- it needs to be long enough in the torso, but narrow enough for her tiny self!  I think the solution may be to look at a store with a true "juniors" department- I'm thinking Kohls?  An XS womens size at Old Navy was much too large on her. Otherwise, maybe just trying on quite a few at a few different stores and hoping something fits appropriately! Target, Justice, Kohls, all had a few promising options online. 

Wish us luck!  I'd love some advice if anyone has found some great jumpsuits for their teen?!  Leave some ideas in the comments please!

There really were so many other cute options, but for our weather, felt more appropriate in the summer.  I may do another round up of summer dresses for our girls, because they love a good summer dress- and there are so many cute ones that work well for playing in as well.  More to come on that!