Spring Holidays: Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs and the BEST Chocolate Peanut Butter Egg Treats

We’re in the middle of mega festivities with Passover, Easter, and Earth Day all in the span of a week…

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

Passover was a hit. With our daughter leading the Seder, I had flashbacks to my childhood. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Ahem.

Now we’re gearing up for a low-key, non-plastic Easter, which entailed dying almost two dozen hardboiled eggs for Sunday morning’s egg hunt.

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

(Recently I learned that dying eggs is a spring tradition for both Jews and Christians, although the custom predates both religions. (Thanks Ruth for the link!) Pretty fascinating stuff.)

Easter Eggs

We colored our eggs using this nontoxic kit and got such beautiful, saturated results! We will definitely be using this kit again next year. (Want to make your own dyes with foods from your kitchen? Then this post is for you. We’ve done that before and that’s fun too.)

We also made the most delicious chocolate peanut butter eggs inspired by this post, but made with only (two types of) chocolate and peanut butter — simple, quality ingredients:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Easter Eggs
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Easter Eggs
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Easter Eggs

The results were incredibly tasty. In fact, I think that was probably the best peanut butter cup of my life! I’m so looking forward to indulging more on Sunday. ;)

By the way, we don’t have plans or resolutions for Earth Day yet, but if we do something fun I’ll try to share a photo via Instagram/Facebook.

Happy spring!

Handmade Holidays

I feel like I can finally take a deep breath: the baby and our Christmas Tree have peacefully coexisted for over two weeks now. I just wasn’t sure how that was going to go down.

Getting ready for Christmas

To make the tree baby safe, we only placed ornaments on the top two thirds. True, our tree does look a little wonky top heavy, but it’s still standing and only one ornament has been pulled off. The baby reports that the red, hand-blown glass ball ornament tasted delicious. (Mama is truly relieved it’s still in one piece.)

Getting ready for Christmas

Each year we decorate our tree with handmade ornaments, some made by us (like these felt stars, tree, and birds), others made by artisans and friends. Several are heirloom ornaments from my mother-in-law’s childhood. We treasure each one.

Getting ready for Christmas
Getting ready for Christmas

We also like to throw on a home-strung popcorn garland and dehydrated citrus slices reminiscent of stained glass windows. Both of those projects are still in-progress.

Getting ready for Christmas

I think the whole thing looks rather lovely and simple this year. I love perfectly imperfect things.

Getting ready for Christmas

The gifts haven’t been quite as organized or handmade. We’re running late with everything. No cards have been sent out. Holiday presents are halfway made and scattered. (While homeschooling activities are piled high across the kitchen table.)

Getting ready for Christmas

It’s just one of those years where I need to be gentle and forgiving with myself because reality may fall short of my (evidently extremely unrealistic) expectations.

Getting ready for Christmas

Right now I choose to spend my energy and time with my kids, reading holiday books together on the couch, baking almost healthy treats, spending as much time as we can outside before the rains of winter (hopefully) come. We’re making memories that will last a lifetime.

Breathe in, breathe out. Hello, holidays. It’s almost Christmas.

Simple Hanukkah Crafts

Hanukkah falls early this year, starting on Thanksgiving (and the day I met my husband eleven years ago!). Suddenly that’s less than a week away.

Over the years we’ve done some fun kids Hanukkah projects including:


A quick and easy no-sew felt menorah,

Hanukkah Activities and Crafts
Simple menorah decorating project with items from the pantry that our toddler loved (from Kids Craft Weekly).


Plus I blogged this roundup of Hanukkah projects to try (that’s been popular on Pinterest lately).

This year we kept it simple. We used stencils and carved stamps to decorate Hanukkah-themed wrapping paper.

Instead of buying wrapping paper, I cut the bottoms off brown paper grocery bags (that we shamefully accumulate when we forget our cloth bags 50% of the time). After cutting one side open, we’re left with a long rectangular piece of brown paper.

Decorating Hanukkah Wrapping Paper
Decorating Hanukkah Wrapping Paper

We used silver, gold, and blue ink pads, stencils, crayons, and colored pencils to decorate the wrapping paper. We even carved a star of David to stamp on the paper (using this simple stamp carving method)!

Our daughter then wrapped some of her brother’s gifts:

Decorating Hanukkah Wrapping Paper

She tried to convince me to let her wrap her own presents too. Ha! She’s a sneaky, fun one, that girl.

Happy Hanukkah!

Happy Halloween

Halloween Fun 2013
Halloween Fun 2013

Our caterpillar and Monarch butterfly wish you a Happy Halloween!

Halloween Fun 2013
Halloween Fun 2013

We had such fun celebrating with friends! Hope you had a wonderful day too.

Angelina Ballerina Halloween Costume

Our family loves literary Halloween costumes.

Angelina Ballerina Halloween Costume

When our daughter announced that she wanted to dress up as Angelina Ballerina from Katharine Holabird and Helen Craig’s classic children’s books, I was thrilled. We already have the white ears and tail from last year when she dressed up as another white mouse from literature, the feisty Lily from the Kevin Henkes picture books.

Angelina Ballerina Halloween Costume

We found a pink, frilly princess costume at a second hand store and replaced the princess cameo button with a picture of Angelina dancing. I would have liked to seal it on with Mod Podge Dimensional Magic, but our daughter insisted we use double sized removable poster tape, so she could see the Princess cameo underneath again in the future.

Angelina Ballerina Halloween Costume

We laced her white tight clad legs with pink ribbons:

Angelina Ballerina Halloween Costume

and painted her face:

Angelina Ballerina Halloween Costume

and voila! Our daughter transformed into the great ballerina Mademoiselle Angelina!

Angelina Ballerina Halloween Costume
Angelina Ballerina Halloween Costume

Happy Halloween from our family to yours!