Easter For a 3 Month Old

Check out my super adorable baby girl last year on Easter. She is rocking another adorable custom onesie made by the same etsy shop, Polka Dot Closet, as her St. Patrick’s day attire. Look at her, still drowning in 0-3 months!

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It doesn’t get much cuter than that folks!

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Last year I was such a procrastinator. I don’t know if it was new mommy chaos colliding with going back to work, but I seriously waited until the very last minute to get this Easter basket thrown together. I wasn’t crazy over the actual basket, but you take what you can get when you wait until last minute.

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The main question was, what on Earth do you put in a still basically newborn’s Easter basket?? Luckily, as much as I stressed over it, I’m pretty confident she doesn’t remember in the least, so it really isn’t that important. But in March of 2012, it was basically life or death and had to be perfect.

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I didn’t want to go crazy and spend an ungodly amount of money on crap she wouldn’t use/play with, so I kept it pretty simple.  Her basket included this mint green TY buddy bunny from my childhood.  I have an embarrassingly large TY beanie collection that I plan to hand down to her over the years, and holidays make the perfect opportunity!  It also keeps me from wasting money on stuffed animals, because let’s face it, kids rarely actually play with those and they end up in a big pile of fluff in the corner.  I included four yoyo hairbows, because I was making them out of every piece of scrap fabric possible in those days.  I’m glad I did too.  I was smart, and put them on a clip instead of sewing them to her headbands.  They were the perfect size for her tiny head then, and now they are perfect size to use as just a single hair clip!  I also included a teething ring and a touch and feel book.  This adorable book, that is still a huge favorite of Elise’s, featured baby animals with different textures to “pet” and feel of.  The windmill was a big hit for many months until just recently, Elise accidentally broke it.  It was good stimulation for her when she was so little.  She loved to watch me blow it and see the colors twirl.  See that completely awesome pacifier sticking out?  That is totally my homemade “wubbanub!”  Those things are way too expensive in my opinion, so I took matters into my own hands and made my own.  I took a few of these McDonald’s TY mini beanies (I told you I have a huge collection of this crap) and sewed them by hand onto the paci.

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These would make such a cute gift to include for a baby shower!

For the one included in her Easter basket, I simply stitched through it’s mouth and the part of the paci that sticks out.  But for her others (which included a mini blue elephant, a dalmatian dog, and a gray cat), I made it a little easier on myself and sewed each paw to one of the holes at the bottom of the paci, which is much easier than trying to stab a needle through the paci.  But this little guy didn’t have any arms, so this was my only option.  These things were a life saver when Elise was little and would drop her paci every five minutes and cry for us to get it back.  She could hold on to the animals and it gave it enough weight that if she spit it out, it wouldn’t go flying and she could get it back.  This was especially helpful in the car seat!  I can’t tell you how many times I had to pull over to try to hunt a paci that she sent flying into the floor board before we started using these!  She did however eventually grow out of these Avent Soothies and started using Nuks, but by that point she had more control of it and was able to keep it a little better.  Luckily now, she has just quit using her pacis all together with no effort from us.

Elise wasn’t overly impressed.  She was all business Easter morning and had her serious face on.

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Here she is modeling another fabulous custom onesie from Polka Dot Closet.  For this super cute and easy hairbow, I simply sewed a few scrapbook flowers together that morning and attached them to the handband.  If you are super short on time, you could always use glue!
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This year I’m much more prepared for Easter and I am so excited that she is old enough to actually take interest in her basket and hopefully to hunt eggs!  As soon as I get her basket together this year, I’ll share all the details!

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Filling Easter Eggs without Candy!

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It seems like for Easter, all anyone ever puts in Easter eggs is candy, candy, and more candy.  Although Elise does get an occasional treat, she most definitely isn’t going to be getting 493,207,520,358 miniature bunnies, peeps, and reese cups in her eggs.  Her chocolate bunny and marshmallow sucker will be more than enough sugar to do her for a few days.  I’ve compiled a list of a few non candy options.  Most of these work better for Easter basket eggs, but several could work for outdoor egg hunts too!

1.      Goldfish Crackers
2.      SOCKS (We can always use more socks and neon colors could be a lot of fun)
3.      Those tiny $1 bubble sets – way more fun than candy!
4.      Money (from pennies to dollar bills, any child that is old enough to know what money is will appreciate hunting for it)
5.      Special notes from mommy and daddy (if child is old enough to read)
6.      Confetti!
7.      Grapes
8.      Blueberries
9.      Blackberries
10.  Cherries
11.  Strawberries
12.  Mini nail polishes (PIGGY PAINT!)
13.  Raisins
14.  Hairbows
15.  Stickers
16.  Play jewelry
17.  toy cars
18.  Erasers
19.  trail mix
20.  Popcorn
21.  Paints
22.  Puzzle Pieces
23.  Balloons with messages they can read when they blow them up
24.  Have a crafter?  Beads, buttons, ribbons, glitter – SO many crafty items could easily fit into eggs!
25.  Play make up
26.  Sample sized perfumes
27.  Pretzels
28.  Tickets/Coupons for favorite activities (movies, picnics, ice cream dates, etc)
29.  Teddy Grahams
30.  Playdough

10 Themed Easter Basket Ideas to get your little one THINKING & CREATING!

Themed Easter Baskets - megankunkel.wordpress.com

At 1, Elise is too young for most of my themed Easter baskets ideas, but I need to type this stuff out or else I will forget over the years.

My favorite idea – Craft Basket!
I could go crazy with this!

  • Eggs filled with Pom poms, buttons, ribbon and fabric samples, foam letters, googly eyes, etc.
  • A sewing kit
  • Maybe a sew a bunny project or make a bunny craft
  • Glues
  • Decorative scissors
  • Assorted glitters
  • Felt
  • Foam
  • The actual basket could be a personalized craft basket to keep it all in.

Fun in the sun

  • Beach ball
  • Jump rope
  • New swimsuit/summer outfit
  • Sandals
  • Bubbles
  • Water gun
  • Water balloons
  • Sunglasses
  • Sidewalk Chalk

Spa day:

  • Play make up
  • Eye mask
  • Nail polish
  • Nail kit if old enough
  • Bubble bath
  • Bath dyes
  • Lotions
  • New bath robe
  • New house shoes

Book Worm

  • New book
  • Alphabet magnets
  • Bookmarks
  • Costumes to act out the story in the new book
  • A “half” book where they have to come up with the ending
  • Puppets or even better, a hand puppet craft to put on a puppet show!

Art basket

  • Fingerpaint
  • Water paints
  • Paint by number sheets
  • Paint brushes
  • Personalized Apron
  • Miniature Easel
  • Frames to decorate and put their artwork in
  • Crayons/Markers
  • Coloring book
  • Molding Clay

Ready to get dirty:

  • Recipe for homemade “mud”
  • A basket full of dirt to take outside and make mud with
  • Dump trucks, toy bulldozer
  • Shovel and pail
  • Play dough
  • Silly string

Chef basket

  • Everything in a picnic basket
  • Decorative cupcake pan
  • Cake mix
  • Variety of icings
  • Sprinkles
  • Simple “cook book” with your cupcake recipe. Want to get really creative? Measure your ingredients out and put them into eggs, let the cookbook tell them what color egg to use next! Don’t forget to include eggs full of yummy toppings like chocolate chips!
  • Personalized apron
  • Sandwiches
  • Eggs full of healthy snacks (berries, cheese cubes, pretzels, goldfish crackers, fresh veggies)
  • Blanket so that you can take your baked goods and have a picnic!

Detective work

  • Police badge
  • Spy goggles
  • Magnify glass
  • Walky talkies
  • Flash light
  • Book with clues to a scavenger hunt to solve a mystery (who took all the Easter bunny’s eggs?? With a big basket of eggs with prizes in them at the end of the hunt/mystery.)

Little Gardner:

  • Gardening set (shovel, gloves, etc)
  • Different flower seeds is plastic eggs
  • A sun hat
  • Little watering pail
  • It would be very cute to have a child size wheel barrel to put it all in

Expecting a wet and cold Easter? Have a Rainy Day basket

  • Deck of cards
  • Board games
  • Puzzle book
  • Puzzles
  • Crayons
  • Coloring book
  • Eggs filled with fun little games like jacks, marbles, dice, dominos, etc
  • New movie
  • PJs

I have so many ideas for fun little baskets!  Elise may just have to stay young longer so we can fit them all in!  I hope you are able to take these ideas and make them you are own to create those special memories with your special little girl or guy!

Rewind to St. Patrick’s Day 2012!

Last year Elise was still an itty bitty baby for St. Patrick’s Day. At 2 months old, she was still as squishy as can be. How I miss those days!

This was her “holiday picture” which I am still to this day in love with because of this huge string of drool.  I may have on mommy goggles, but I refuse to clone it out.  That is the cutest drool I’ve ever laid eyes on! 

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On actual St. Patrick’s day, we were headed to a baby shower, but little miss was dressed to impress.

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(I can’t believe how much my hair has grown in just a year!)

My super crafty mother made her adorable leg warmers out of an adult pair of socks.  I made her headband and bow out of elastic and yoyos.  Her super cute onesie came from The Polka Dot Closet on Etsy.  I ordered several personalized onesies from her when Elise was little and they are great quality.  I highly recommend her stuff!!

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Elise’s Grammie is super talented when it comes to sewing and she is making her an outfit for St. Patrick’s day this year.  I can’t wait to see!  I’m hoping for some pretty weather so we can do a few outdoor photos.  This momma is tired of being cooped up in the house!

Valentine’s Day with Elise! (Recipe inside!)

I didn’t go crazy and plaster her walls with hearts, buy her an expensive gift, or plan 475 Valentine’s activities.  There were only a few small melt downs.  Mostly on my part when I went to pick up her Valentine’s Day cards Wednesday evening and they never received the order which I had already paid for.  But that’s okay, the world went on without Valentine’s day cards, and I slapped a little online card together last minute.  Visit yesterday’s post to see it.  My husband and I didn’t go on a date, nor did we exchange gifts, but I had the best Valentine’s day ever.  Why?  Because I have the best little Valentine.  She’s sweeter than chocolate and prettier than roses!

We started our morning off with pink white chocolate and strawberry pancakes!    I made these from scratch, and I must say, I am quite proud of myself.  They were DELICIOUS!  My husband even gave rave reviews, and he can be a tough critic!  Elise’s of course were heart shaped!

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Recipe (I don’t really measure much, so some of the measurements are slightly guestimated):

  • red/pink food coloring (I used neon pink)
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • about a cup of diced strawberries
  • a couple handfuls of white chocolate chips
  • powdered sugar
  • strawberry syrup

Preheat griddle or skillet.  Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar in a large bowl.  Mix the eggs, honey, butter, vanilla, milk in a separate bowl.  Combine the mixtures slowly and stir slightly.  Mixture should be lumpy.  Add food coloring until you achieve the desired color.  Stir in the diced strawberries and white chocolate chips.  Save some strawberries to go on top if desired.  Pour approx 1/4 cup of mix for each pancake and flip when they start to bubble.  The color will brown slightly when you cook them, that is inevitable, but the inside will still be nice and bright!  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and diced strawberries after removing from griddle and then pour on the yummy strawberry syrup!  I used a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut hearts out for Elise.

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These were awesome.  Typing this out is making me wish I had them right now!  It’s like dessert for breakfast!

After breakfast, Elise and I cuddled and watched the Valentine’s day episode of Doc Mcstuffins (for the 80th time).  I never get tired of seeing how excited she gets when Lambie starts singing the “I feel better” song after Doc cures her little broken heart.

Miss Kylie was due to come over for a photo session, and luckily we were finishing up right when the princess started waking up from her nap.  That meant it was time for her play date!  They had a blast and both wore each other out.  Elise adores her and smiles the entire time she is here.

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They snacked on fruit plates while they were here, but after her play date was over, Elise had a special heart shaped turkey sandwich!

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You can really tell how tired she was from playing so hard.  Surprisingly, she didn’t take a nap for hours later.

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So instead, we had more cuddling!

Finally when her daddy got up to get ready for work (boo night shift!), she agreed to take a nap for him.  She slept for the longest time.  When she got up, she had a special dinner of steak, steamed carrots, and steamed potatoes.  For dessert, she has a sweet little heart shaped brownie.  Mississippi Mud to be exact, which was totally made from a box mix, so no fancy recipe with that!  Everyone has to take a few shortcuts from time to time!  Overall, it was definitely a wonderful day and my sweet angel’s cuddles were by far, the best possible gift!  I couldn’t ask for a more precious valentine!

Happy Valentine’s Day from Elise

We are SUPER busy today haven’t all kinds of Valentine’s day fun!  (Details in the days to come).  So here is a super quick post with a card from Elise!  Elise's Vday card

…and yes I did totally procrastinate and just threw that together in picmonkey, but that is the life of a procrastinator. 🙂

Be sure to take a moment and walk down memory lane to Elise’s valentine last year and see how much she has grown!

Valentine’s Day Felt Fun!

You may remember Elise’s felt Christmas tree that she had such a blast with during the month of December.  When we packed away all the Christmas decor, the little wall it was on just felt naked!  So I decided to make a Valentine’s themed felt wall.  At first I had the hardest time deciding what to do.  I had decided I was going to make a big box of chocolates with ribbon dividers and then she could move around the chocolates decorated with sprinkles and poms.  Then I was going to make a vase of flowers that she could move the blooms around.  Then I decided I had lost my mind, because my one year old really just enjoys ripping this stuff off and hiding it around the house.  So I decided to save the more elaborate designs for next year and do something easy and classic Valentine’s day – a heart!

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You don’t have to have a large space.  Here is the wall that I’ve used for both her Christmas tree and now the Valentine’s Day Heart.  It is in our foyer which opens up to the great room.  I don’t mind it being in the foyer.  I could have easily put it in her bedroom, but she is rarely in there to actually play.  We spend most of our time in the living room, so that is where I wanted it.  I wanted her to have access to easily play with it.

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I bought two yard of red felt because I was paranoid that I would mess up the first time, and it’s cheap anyway.  I could have went with less.  I folded it in half, laid it out on the floor, and drew half a heart with a permanent marker.

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I then cut the heart out.  I recommend measuring your area first, because I just winged it, and cut mine just a little bit too big for the wall.  Oops!  To secure the heart to the wall, I used command strips.  The heart took more command strips than the the Christmas tree because it is so large and top heavy.  I had to go out and buy more the next day because I only had three at home, so for these pictures, I used a little tape.  That is why it isn’t super smooth and tight.

For the small hearts, I folded in half and cut different sizes.  Some tall and skinny, some fat and extra round, so that she would have a little bit of variety.  I reused left over felt sheets from the ornaments on her felt tree.  If you don’t already have an assortment of felt, it is super cheap to buy, and 3-4 sheets would be plenty.

 

It was close to bedtime when I did it, but I let her play for a few minutes away.  Of course as soon as I got in on the wall, she insisted on coming and taking all the hearts off.

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She thinks it is the best game ever to take all the hearts off over and over again while I try to put them back up!  This was such an easy and cheap project that resulted in lots of fun!  I need to start planning our felt fun for Easter!

Flashback to Elise’s FIRST Valentines Day!

My how time flies!  Valentines day is coming up quickly, so I thought that I would take a trip down memory lane and look back on Elise’s first Valentines day!

Look at my sweet little tiny baby.  This ADORABLE sock monkey hat that we also used in her newborn pictures came from this etsy shop.

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As her present last year we bought her a play mat.  She loved this thing and spent so much time playing on it.  It seems so small next to her as a toddler!

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I was still pretty much in “new mom chaos” but I did manage to snap a few special photos!

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I definitely didn’t have the energy to make or design a card, so I slapped a photo into a premade one and order them!

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I’m not sure what we will do for Vday pictures yet this year, I need to be brainstorming!!

Rewind to Christmas – Celebrating the Birthday of Baby Jesus!

I know that Elise is too little this year to understand the real meaning of Christmas, but I still told her the story anyway.  It is so important to me that although we will do Santa, that she realizes Santa is not what Christmas is about.  As I mentioned in another Christmas post, our tradition will be that she asks Santa for one present, and Santa only brings that one present.  Mommy and daddy bring a few more, but Santa only brings one special present.  My hope is that this will help to cut down on her writing a 45 page letter to Santa telling him 6034 things that she thinks she just “has to have.”

Another Christmas tradition we started this year, is that every year on Christmas day we will have a birthday party for baby Jesus.  Nothing huge or over the top, but just a cake/cupcakes and we will read about the birth of Jesus.  When she is a little bit older we will blow out a birthday candle and instead of making a wish, we will figure out a small act of charity that either she can do or we can do as a family to help others.  Whether it be donating a toy, helping a neighbor, or volunteering, we will help her come up with something age appropriate.

This year Elise helped me make pumpkin cupcakes using this recipe.

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Merry Christmas!

We had Christmas a week early, but I still wanted to wait until after Christmas really passed to post about our “Christmas morning.”  It is so much more exciting when you have a child of your own.  I want to make sure Elise knows the real meaning of Christmas, and that it isn’t all about a magical man dressed in red, but I will have a separate post on that.  We had such a wonderful morning full of laughs and surprises.  Mommy most definitely had the biggest surprise of all though!

I woke up 30 minutes earlier than Elise normally gets up so that I could make sure everything was in place and I had my camera ready to go.  Of course Elise chose this morning to sleep in, but that’s okay!  It was probably thanks to her sugar high she had from sampling Santa’s cookies on Christmas Eve!

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Here daddy is bringing her out of her bedroom to see what special surprise Santa left her.  In our house, Santa only brings one present.  I am hoping that this will prevent her from asking Santa for 1,835,023,503 things when she is a little older, and hopefully Santa will actually be able to bring her that one special thing each year.  Ideally, this will create more excitement over receiving that special gift, instead of focusing on disappointment over things she didn’t get.  It is very, very important to me that she is appreciative of gifts that she receives.

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She spotted the toys and is ready to get down!  Santa brought Elise a Zany Zoo activity cube this year!  She must’ve been one good little girl!

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Mommy was most excited about what was in Elise’s stocking.  Here is Elise getting to see her stocking filled.  (Notice my dining room, aka birthday party central, in the background!)

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Elise received her very first Cabbage Patch doll!  Mommy and daddy had to look hard to find one for her.  It seemed as though all of the ones locally were gone.  Toys R Us was even bare.  They only had the baby twins and some mermaid one.  But luckily, Target saved the day!  Elise of course instantly stole her paci and tried to suck on it!

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Side note: I had equally as difficult of a time deciding on stockings as I did Elise’s pajamas, but I finally decided on these lovely ones from personal creations and I couldn’t be happier with them.  They are perfect and such great quality.  Elise loves to play with the lights on her gingerbread one!

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We decided to expand our bow options too ;).

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But as I mentioned before, I had the biggest surprise of all.  I thought that I was opening a digital photo frame from my wonderful husband.  To my complete shock, I received the most amazing gift…a new camera!  I love my ancient rebel, but the 5dm3 swept me right off my feet!

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From the little I have been able to use it so far, I AM IN LOVE.  I haven’t been able to upload any photos yet, as I have to get caught up with editing and clear some computer space off first, but I know they will be great.  I am so thankful to have such a caring and sweet husband.  He has earned enough brownie points to last years!

Merry Christmas everyone!