Our Easter Egg Hunt Tradition

Our Easter Egg Hunt Tradition

This season of Lent – a forty day season which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday, is a time for many things. It’s focusing on my relationship with God and a time when the older children will be encouraged to freely offer to give something up – often times this is a favorite stuffed animal/toy, barbie or Lego man.

In light of the joyful Resurrection of Jesus and because I have children, I celebrate the Resurrection by also preparing for our ‘Family Easter Egg Hunt’ a tradition we started about seven years ago. I will do the preparations for the Easter egg hunt before Holy Week – because I am a bit of a planner.

Also, know that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make this day extra special and memorable for the children. My kids don’t know an expensive plastic egg from the next, so it’s OK. If you decide to visit your local Dollar Store or anywhere else, trust that everything will turn out fantastic.

>  As for food, I’ll do something that won’t take too much time to do, we’ll serve the kids pancakes and assemble a type of bar toppings, with mini chocolate chips, fresh blueberries, strawberries and whip cream, chocolate milk and orange juice.

>  I will assemble the eggs, store them in shopping bags and place them in the fridge to preserve the candy – as far back in the fridge as I can! Tip – since you will be tossing the eggs on the grass – gently, at times they will open apart, to avoid this problem on Easter day, simply place a tiny piece of scotch tape on the opening edge.

>  Easter Sunday afternoon we will go to our local park – one with more greenery area as oppose to an actual playground-ish area, sit the kids facing the opposite direction of where the hunt will be and we will then spread the eggs on the grass area for them. The excitement in the children is like no other.

I have in the past went to stores like my local party store for candy or decorations and have always gone back to Target for better deals – so this year, it’s where I’ve gone back to. Tip – save your decorations and/or kids baskets for later years, it’ll save you time and money. Also, keep in mind that with Target, you can also order online and pick up in-store for free. And for this mama of 6, this is a time saver!

 

For a Home Front Window  ⁄ ⁄  Easter Window Gel Cling for $1.50

For an Indoors Banner  ⁄ ⁄   ‘Happy Easter’ Banner for $5.00 or this Easter Floral Paper Garland for $5.00

Easter Plates  ⁄ ⁄ Easter Plates 10ct for $3.00

Matching Napkins  ⁄ ⁄   Easter Napkins 20ct for $3.00 and

Easter Drinking Cups   ⁄ ⁄   Easter Drinking Cups 10ct for $2.00

Candy   ⁄ ⁄   I try to stay away from chocolates like Snickers, as one of my boys has a nut and peanut allergy. These are a few of our favorites Easter ‘Airheads’ Mini Bars for $2.69 or Starburst Easter Jelly Beans for $2.69 or Original Starburst  for $2.69 or ‘Crunch’ Chocolate Easter Nest Eggs for $3.69

Kids Easter Baskets   ⁄ ⁄   I have a few Easter baskets from years past that are still in great condition however I still manage to buy one or two new ones each year – either because we invited someone, etc. This is the Pink Easter Felt Bunny Basket for $3.00 so, definitely check their kids Easter basket inventory

Easter Eggs   ⁄ ⁄   Easter Fillable Plastic Eggs 48ct for $2.50 – I will usually count one dozen eggs per child. It seems like a lot, but the kids truly enjoy running around filling their baskets with eggs. So, if you can, count the number of children participating, family kids and/or friends before purchasing the Easter eggs. And of course, there’s no Egg Hunt without a Golden Egg. There’s this Jumbo Golden Egg for $5.00 or you can also have a Regular size Golden Egg – or two. I’ve had two Golden Eggs at a time in past years because the kids just enjoy looking for it so much. Just place an extra special something inside, say two candies instead of one or $1.00 Tip: Don’t just fill these up with candy, stop by the Target Dollar Section and place small trinkets, like small toy cars, last year I found tiny rubber chickens – can’t even tell you how fun these were!

Games   ⁄ ⁄   Since the children always want to spend more time at the park, I take games. I have the potato sack game + an egg and spoon game – I found these at Target Sack Race Lawn Game and the Wooden Egg + Spoon Game they’re so fun and the kids can’t get enough of these!

I have enjoyed sharing our family Easter Egg Hunt tradition with you and hope you have gathered some fun ideas for the start of your very own family Easter tradition with your kids. Because it’s never too late to start something new! Happy (early) Easter.

-Ana

 

Photo: Annie Spratt

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Sweet Weekend With Whip N’ Dip + Raspados Loly’s

Our little ones have a bit of a sweet tooth and this weekend they wanted to go out for ice cream. Our favorite go-to spot is Whip n’ Dip Ice Cream Shoppe located in South Miami I don’t know which they enjoy more, the shops pet fish or the ice cream, nevertheless they love this place! And though the atmosphere inside isn’t anything to fuss about, their homemade ice cream however is! It’s always delicious and fairly priced. They serve both soft serve and carry an array of ice cream flavors – such as Watermelon and Mango, as well as plenty of toppings like marshmallows and gummy bears. They also offer yummy milkshakes. If you do opt for a milk shake, choose to make it with regular ice cream – it comes out creamer. The milk shake made with soft serve just has less calories. You may also know or have heard of this spot from the well known people in the limelight that visit – although it’s not my reason to visit. My motivation is that so far this has been a peanut allergy friendly ice cream shoppe. It’s safe enough for my peanut allergy son to eat and enjoy. As a parent, this is huge! Because he’s had allergy episodes – never a good thing, at other places, such as Cold Stone and Dairy Queen, and other well known places. I believe this is because the Whip n’ Dip shop employees will not use the same spoon to serve their toppings, like other places do.

Our other sweet endulgence this weekend was Raspados Loly’s . They have stores in Managua, Nicaragua and Miami, Florida. This is a Nicaraguan dessert shop that serves traditional flavored shaved ice that is packed in a cup – be sure to break up the ice and spread the syrup before eating. Our favorite is their ‘Leche’ or ‘Dulce de Leche’ syrup. You can also ask to have it with ‘Relleno’ in which they’ll put some pound cake inside. They do also offer other delicious flavors such as Tamarindo (tamarind), Leche (dulce de leche), Jocote (a type of plum), Nancite (a type of yellow cherrie) and Piña (pineapple) amongst others when in season.

If you’re in the area and haven’t tried these dessert shops, definitely do!

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Raspados Loly’s – Dulce de Leche

Hope your weekend was as sweet as ours.

-Ana

Items Worth Having + Repurchasing For School + Home

I have these items in my home all year-round, if it’s lost or needs to be replaced, I definitely will – because, they’re just that good!

School Related Items

⇒ Clothing Labels: I use Mabel’s Labels either on the shirt tag or on the shirt it self. I put them on their uniforms, sweaters and rain jackets, just in case these items are left in school – or daycare, this will ensure I get the items back. These Avery No-Iron Kids Clothing Labels, Washer & Dryer Safe, Writable Fabric Labels, 45 Assorted Shapes & Sizes (40700) work too!

⇒ Closet Uniform Cubby: I use this Household Essentials 311342 Hanging Closet Organizer | 3 Pocket Shelves | Natural Canvas as uniform cubbies for the kids. These get filled every night with everything each child needs to wear for the next morning, it includes school tops, bottoms, their Myself Belts, shoes, socks, etc. If they have to wear say a red shirt or their Friday school shirt, it will all be prepared accordingly.

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School Uniform Cubby

⇒ Belt “Kids Can Fasten Themselves”: This one for the boys Myself Belts- Easy Belt with One Handed Closure for Little Boys Navy/Black Webbing and for my daughter Myself Belts the Belt Kids Can Fasten Themselves! Pink Sparkle (Medium) My boys will fasten the belt themselves and have no trouble using the school restroom. The key to the Myself Belts, they fasten with Velcro NOT a tricky metal buckle. My boys have always gone to the restroom by themselves at school since Pre-K 3 by using these belts. I buy them each new school year. * These belts are also great for children and adults with disabilities

⇒ Laundry Sharpie Markers: You can also use these for the kids school uniforms or daycare clothes Sharpie Rub-a Dub Laundry Markers Black, 2pk they will keep the name from fading when washed.

⇒ Water Bottles: This is a three pack Contigo Kids Autospout Gizmo Water Bottles, 14oz (Cherry Blossom, Persian Green, & Lavender) and this is a single Contigo AUTOSEAL Gizmo Sip Kids Water Bottle, 14oz, Sapphire water bottles for school. We use these Prepworks by Progressive Icy Bottle Stick Trays – Set of 3 ice stick trays to keep their water cold. I use the Inch Bug Labels for the water bottles and sippy cups – no need to remove to wash. You choose the color and personalization. I personalize the to read “Please Return to (our last name)” I purchase the 3D Orbit Labels, 4 pack, two colors per label. The times my kids have forgotten their cups in the classroom or during PE, they’ve been returned to them.

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Contigo Gizmo water bottles, Munchkin sippy cup with Inch Bug labels

 Desktop Computer: I have HP Pavilion 24-b010 23.8″ All-In-One Desktop (AMD A9-9410, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Windows 10 Home) and it works great for our family needs –  basic use and the children’s daily school work. Also because the computer is in the living room – so I can monitor what they’re doing, they wear Headphones, Sound Intone I65 Foldable Headphone with Microphone and Volume Control, Wired Headset for iphone, Android Smartphones and Tablets (Black/gold) to keep my sanity help them listen to the assignment and concentrate. I have this HP DeskJet 2544 Compact All-in-One Wireless Printer with Mobile Printing (D3A79A) which uses these HP 61 Black Ink Cartridge (CH561WN), HP 61 Tri-Color Ink Cartirdge (CH562WN), 2 Ink Cartridges (CR259FN)

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Pictured HP desktop, HP printer + Sound Intone headphones

* Note teachers encourage parents to purchase the good ole’ fashioned desk top with a mouse – “non touchscreen” computer. Why you ask, because there are kids that will arrive to school, sit in front of a computer and will begin swiping the screen with their finger as if the screen were a touchscreen – not knowing how to use a mouse. The desktops are still in most our kids school libraries and inside their classrooms. The school budgets do not call to keep their technology up-to-date year after year.  While our children are technology savvy and know how to use touchscreens from using the iPhones and iPads, at school the teacher will have a desktop computer with keyboard and mouse for them to use.

⇒ Backpack and Lunch Box: I get the kids school backpacks and lunch boxes from Pottery Barn Kids, the personalisation is optional – be sure to check their sale selections as well, it’s great!

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Backpacks from Pottery Barn Kids
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Pottery Barn Kids Lunch boxes. The Skip Hop Unicorn Toddler Backpack – although cute it will not work for school because it meassures 12” inches and the standard folder measures 16″ – folder will not fit.

*Pictured is the children’s gold painted play kitchen – a DIY project, Melissa & Doug Stainless Steel Pots and Pans Pretend Play Kitchen Set for Kids (8 pcs) and the children’s lap desk.

Kitchen Items

We use the Arrow Plastic Sip-A-Bowl 22 oz, Assorted Colors – Pack of 4 bowls with built in straw for our kids, they’re great for cereal and ice cream. These Gerber Graduates Kiddy Cutlery Forks in Neutral Colors, 3-count utensils for our baby and toddlers.

Baby Items

⇒ Stroller Fans: Diono Stroller Fan, Bright, for baby, they have a fan cover, that keeps the baby from wanting to touch the blade.

⇒ Door Stopper: I’ve prevented my toddlers from slamming doors, potential door locking and finger pinching with Adecco LLC Creative & Thicken Children Safety Door Stoppers Finger Pinch Guard, Animal Cushiony Foam Door Stops to Prevent Baby’s Fingers from Being Caught in the Door, 9 Packs place them up high on the bedroom doors.

⇒ On-The-Go Potty Liners: Diaper bag must-have my kids use Kalencom Potette Plus On the Go Potty Liner Re-Fills 10-PackBetty Dain Anchors Away Waterproof Shampoo Cape for Kids in public restrooms.

⇒ Cape For Cutting Kids Hair At Home: I trim my two older girls bangs – no, I’m not a licensed hairdresser, but it comes with the mom role. A good tip would be to trim the hair dry! The cape I use is no longer available but this one is just as nice Betty Dain Kiddie Shampoo Cape 271V It’s a great way to keep the hair trimmings out of their clothes. Although the hair sheers or scissors I have are also no longer sold, these will work the same EYX Formula Stainless Steel 6.5 Inch Precision Scissor with New Handle Design ,Barber Hairdresser’s Shears For Easy Hairstlying and Trimming In the Home

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Betty Dain cape

⇒ Hanging Hamper Bag: This Household Essentials 148 Hanging Cotton Canvas Laundry Hamper Bag | White is a great spacer saver, I hang it on Spectrum Over-The-Door Single Hook Vinyl Coated White 4-3/4″ X 7/16″ X 4″ – Pack of 2 or in the closet for the babies clothes.

Car

⇒ Dual Car Charger: You can charge two phones at once with Anker 24W Dual USB Car Charger, PowerDrive 2 for iPhone X / 8 / 7 / 6s / Plus, iPad Pro / Air 2 / mini, Galaxy S7 / S6 / Edge / Plus, Note 5 / 4, LG, Nexus, HTC and More

⇒ Phone Mount Holder: This Car Mount Holder, Universal Windshield Long Arm Car Phone Holder with Easy Touch for iPhone 7/6S/6 Plus/5S/5, Samsung Galaxy S6 S5, Nexus 5X/6P, LG, HTC and All Smartphones 3.5″-6″ has definitely been helpful for road trips and it’s a safer way to use Google Maps.

⇒ iPad Seat Holder: If you don’t have a DVD player in your car this Okra 360 Degree Adjustable Rotating Headrest Car Seat Mount Holder For iPad, Samsung Galaxy,Motorola Xoom, And all Tablets Up To -10.1″ will hold your iPad or Tablet.

⇒ Storage Basket Organizer:  These Kekow File Storage Basket Organizer for Office Supplies, 3-Pack, 13.27″ x 9.84″ x 3.43″ are so helpful! I’m guilty of every now and then allowing the kids to eat in the car. However, with these storage baskets “eating in the car” is easy to do, each child get’s a basket with their food and violà! The baskets permanently remain in the car unless they get used, then we take them out to wash. As for the daunting never-ending trash, we keep a roll of these  2.6 Gallon Small Trash Bags, blue 100 Counts (blue)in the  glove compartment.

Have a great weekend!

-Ana

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OUR NICU BABE TURNS ONE!

A few days ago our youngest baby turned ONE! While I wish she’d stay one forever, I couldn’t be happier she’s reached this milestone. This mama had a tough time with the last three pregnancies and I am a true believer of someone being here for a reason – beyond my humble comprehension. My last two babies spent time in NICU and although I never had a set number of babies I’d have in my life, I’m so thankful God knew better and knew what our family needed.

So, I wanted to go back in time a bit and tell you my Hannah girl that you’ve come a long way since your time in NICU. I feel incredibly humbled and blessed that God chose me to be your mama and know I couldn’t adore you more than I already do. I love your resilience since day one, I love hearing your joy as you play with your sisters, I love your excitement when you see your brothers, I love your open mouth kisses to this mama’s cheeks, I love how I spend 10 minutes to do your hair yet you manage to remove it all in 1 and I love how you have us all wrapped in your chubby little finger.

Wishing you the happiest of birthdays ♥

– ♥ Mami