Getting a hop on Easter

We’ve been in our home just about 1 year now. And although we’ve had friends over for a house-warming and many events, we haven’t officially hosted a holiday meal or had the whole family over. But that’s about to change…

Jim and I will be hosting Easter dinner in our home. I’m excited but nervous at the same time. I’ve never cooked a ham, let alone an entire holiday meal. Easter seems easy enough, right?

Decorations √

Dinnerware and serving platters √

Dining room furniture and china cabinet (finally) √

Menu and Recipes not finalized…

So as you can see I’m trying to get a jump on my Easter planning. Everything else is taken care of except the cooking and cleaning. I need to determine my menu and start gathering ingredients.

Any ideas for great recipes or family favorites?

Traditionally, both our families served ham for Easter which makes things easy– except again… I’ve never cooked one on my own. Guess there’s a first for everything! Then usually at least one kind of potato and some veggies. Jim’s family is used to having the home fries/yummy fried potatoes that his mom cooks. Guess I’ll need to try to replicate her potatoes. I know it will take a few attempts, but I know Jim won’t mind being my taste tester! haha

Biscuits or rolls? Dessert? Should I fix any starters or appetizers? OMG someone help! I know I tend to go overboard so I need to plan a simple menu and make things easy for my self for once.

We will celebrate at dinner time– so maybe I should fix something special for breakfast/brunch… especially if my parents are coming. Maybe a breakfast casserole is the easiest– although french toast sounds good. Or maybe I could try to master my Gram’s famous Cinnamon Buns!

Besides all the good food– I hope to prepare Easter Eggs in interesting ways. I have some supplies and I’m gathering different techniques that will allow me to create artistic and even keepsake eggs. Guess this will be my first time blowing out eggs and draining the shells so they will last. It’s been years since I’ve dyed eggs but I remember how fun it was. Jim thinks it’s childish but I think it’s just a craft or activity that I can do using the creativity and all the time on my hands. I certainly have plenty of time to ensure that every little detail is right.

Good thing I’m getting an early start to my Easter plans! Hosting my first family holiday is certainly a challenge but it had to happen sometime. I think I’m up for the challenge!

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Irish in a Pinch

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

 

Today brings back memories of childhood. As a kid I remember being at school and having to make sure to wear green on March 17th. If you didn’t wear anything green then you could be pinched.

Back then it seemed like a fun little thing but I never understood the meaning /where it came from. It turns out that this tradition dates back a long time but is strictly American folklore. People would wear green on St. Patrick’s day to prevent being pinched by a leprechaun.

Interesting… So today if I wear green then I become invisible to fairy creatures?!

It’s funny how these things come about and keep going through the years.

Today I’ll wear a color that I hardly wear and don’t really like wearing… I’ll also eat some unique food and drink some beer and pretend I’m Irish for the day.

All joking aside, today is just a day to have fun, joke around and celebrate!  Maybe if we drink enough green beer we’ll see a leprechaun… among other things.

This little pig went to market…

Pigs are one of man’s most useful and intelligent domesticated animals, but they never seem to get their due. Today is their day!

It’s National Pig Day! A time to celebrate the little oinkers. They may appear dirty but are really clean creatures. To most people they are just smelly farm animals that make great meals. But Pigs are actually really cute. Just think Charlotte’s Web!

I’ve found some images and decor that show just how adorable they can be.

Greeting card by Patience Brewster

A line of cards and prints from an illustrator/artist who is inspired by all god’s creatures that she grew up loving.

 

Product Image Circo® Hearts Piggy Bank 

Perfectly Patterned Piggy Banks by Circo, available at Target

 

Pigs and Hearts Bib

xoxo for hog lovers

Pigs and Hearts design available on all kinds of apparel and accessories like this baby bib.

Fun pig art from designer Lil’ Pig Shop listing on cafepress.

“Show off your pig loving self with this whimsical pig original by JGoode. Pig t-shirts, hoodies, stickers, novelty gifts and more. Pigs and Hearts, hog fun for every pig lovers.”

 

Whimsical Pig Weathervane

Domesticated decor for your home or barn from Good Directions 

 

Whimsical Pig Blank Art Card 

ThinkLocal esty dealer designs blank cards that are simple and sweet.

“This adorable little piggy is the perfect card for a child’s birthday card, invitations, or just a card to brighten their day. He is a pretty turquoise blue on a purple background.”

 

“Snout for a Spout”

Babe Yi Xing Clay Teapot 

 

Ben's Birthday Bash

Party Piggy perfect for any Birthday Bash

This 2-piece set from Lenox will make anyone smile. It makes the happy birthday tune pop right into my head…

 

 

All these images really make we want to own a little piglet — but I don’t think Jim would like that… and I’m sure Inky the cat wouldn’t either. Guess I’ll have to pet some pigs my text trip to the petting zoo.

And I hate to say it but National Pig Day also makes me want to pig out on some BBQ. Being from the South, pork barbeque and all the fixings is like the Cheesesteak is to Philly.

Pigs really are perfect little creatures and it’s a shame more people don’t celebrate their cuteness.

Saving Some Benjamins

When did Presidents Day become such a day for savings?

This holiday has turned into just a day off for federal employees (Jim loves it) and a day/weekend for people to enjoy lots of sales.  I haven’t seen anything in the news or our community about anything Presidential.

Maybe the schools highlight and honor our founding fathers… but I don’t see how 30-70% off is doing anything to remind us of our great leaders.

I don’t want to complain about saving money because I’m all for that, however I think if this day is so important then somebody should figure out a way we can celebrate our history and historical figures.

I haven’t come up with any ideas yet but if I do maybe I’ll write to my congressman. haha

Today, since Jim had off work, we went shopping and ordered our dining room furniture. It was nice to take advantage of the special sales– so thank you Mr. President (current and past) for this day to save some dough.

Feeling Crafty

Just got back from a trip to Joann’s.

Although I only had a few items to pick up, I couldn’t help but walk thru the entire store.

I purchased some items not on my list but I did my best to control my retail therapy needs.

I got lots of ideas for projects, designs and things for our house.

My head is too full so I need to sort thru and organize. Good thing I have a daily planner, calendar and book with all holidays, birthdays, and events marked. I guess I need to see what events are next and plan projects around that.

St. Patrick’s day decorations and cards; Easter decorations and patterns for dying eggs; spring and then summer stuff- including a baby shower for Jim’s sister; and early planning for my Mom’s milestone birthday this fall. And lots of little things in between.

There’s still time Valentine!

Did you forget the holiday? Did you have to work yesterday? Or is one day not enough time to celebrate your love?

Don’t worry, you can spread the love days later!!

If you are in the dog house, here’s your chance to get out. Take advantage of the sales on candy and flowers. Cook a special dinner or go out to your favorite restaurant (no lines or crowds the day after).

Valentine’s Day is February 14th, however love should and can be celebrated any day of the year.

I’ll be eating my candy and sweets all week and enjoying some extra special time with my husband. I’ll keep the decorations up for a while longer. I’ll light the candles and have the house smell fragrant. Maybe a glass of wine to relax. This time of year I get inspired for how we can keep the love alive all year-long. Valentine’s is special but I think the best romantic times are the surprises and unexpected moments we share.

Happy Hearts Day! xoxo = $$$$

It’s Valentine’s Day and all over America people are celebrating the act of love. But as much as this holiday is about true romance, it’s also about big business. February 14th has been commercialized.

It’s all in the numbers:

  • 198 million roses are grown in America yearly and at least 10 million (mostly red) will be sold for Valentine’s Day.
  • it is estimated that 15% of women in the United States send themselves flowers this holiday.
  • 1 billion Valentine’s Cards are given each year. This is the largest seasonal card sending holiday next to Christmas.
  • Hallmark has over 1330 different cards specifically for Valentine’s Day.
  • Over 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate are sold every Valentine’s.
  • 8 billion little candy Sweethearts produced.

It’s amazing that this one day results in so much commerce.

Valentine’s Day is big business. Consumers will spend an average of $77.43 on Valentine’s Day gifts this year. E-commerce retailers expect to rack up about $650 million in sales of food, candy, flowers, and other Valentine’s Day gifts. Of that amount about $350 million will be for gifts and flowers and another $45 million will be spent on food (including chocolate) and wine.

And yet those numbers are just from the countries that officially celebrate this holiday. Only the U.S., Canada, Mexico, France, Australia and the U.K. celebrate Valentine’s Day. Can you imagine how much money is actually spent world-wide? Or even how much business could be gained if this holiday was promoted in other counties??

Want more brain candy?

Enjoy this special day and hopefully you can celebrate with the one you love without breaking the bank…