Archive for the Holidays Category

HOW TO: Sugar-Free Minimalist Easter Baskets

HOW TO:  Sugar-Free Minimalist Easter Baskets

The words “sugar-free” and “minimalist” are rarely seen together when it comes to Easter Baskets.  There are so many sugary treats out there and there are way too many little toys to occupy little hands for a day or two… or twenty minutes if I’m unlucky.

2014 has introduced a whole new way of seeing the world for my family.  We are learning to let go of the things we “think we need” and embrace the things we actually need.  I contribute our changes to Joshua Becker at Becoming Minimalist.  You should really check out his book, Simplify because it is an amazing book with a powerful message.  More about that will definitely be a post for another day.

I wrote about our Easter Baskets last year.  They were a hit.  Flashlights?  Flip flops?  The Easter Bunny was the coolest dude around town all summer long.  Strangers were informed at the grocery store, swimming pool, and even at the hospital when baby girl was born about the “coolness” of the Easter bunny.

“Do you know who gave me these flip flops?  The Easter Bunny did.”

That fuzzy little fellow got more attention and praise than Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and the “Fart Fairy” combined.  (Once again, the “Fart Fairy” is another story for another day.)

Sometimes Easter and Christmas and celebrations are less about the stuff and more about the magic of it all.  It is about spending time together and making memories and less about the grass and eggs and “stuff.”  Not that the trinkets, the plastic grass that spreads like a wild fire around the house, and the plastic eggs aren’t fun.  Okay, maybe the grass isn’t fun.  But it is more about the magic.  The moments.  The story of the day.  The items are long forgotten years later.

With that being said, I have tried my best to create a sugar-free minimalist Easter basket for my kids.  Minimalism, in my mind, doesn’t always equal frugality.  Minimalism is about planning ahead and thinking through the clutter that you are welcoming into your home.  Call me the “Easter Scrooge,” but I don’t want a dozen cheap Easter toys in my home.  And we really don’t need the candy.

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To begin, I made a list of the things my kids need.  Things that regardless of Eater, I am planning to purchase.

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The list included things like socks, water-color paint, glue sticks, toothbrushes, toothpaste, summer sandals, a new tie for church, homeschool books, homeschool games, a summer hat for the baby, sporting equipment, etc.

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In the end, the baskets each ended up with a couple church socks stuffed in the bottom, a fun book to read, homeschool history readers, and a math/learning game.  Baby girl needed some leggings, a summer hat, and a pair of shoes.

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The buckets aren’t new.  We used them last year.  Luckily, they slide right into one another and require little to no space in my storage room.  I plan to use them over and over again until they fall apart.  Thanks to Amazon Prime shipping, the items all arrived today in a big brown box.  I didn’t even have to plan a “without-the-kids” shopping trip.

There you have it.  Sugar-free and minimalism can exist in an Easter basket.  Defying gravity never felt so good.

Easter Baskets {healthy and practical} Are Here.

Easter Baskets {healthy and practical} Are Here.

I finished putting together my kid’s Easter baskets this morning, and I am pretty excited how they turned out.  Our baskets or buckets this year were found in the outside toy section at Target for $1.99 each.  At the bottom of the bucket there is a new bag of ankle socks topped with a large handful of Easter grass.  A pair of flip flops with a flashlight, granola bars, and fruit ropes complete the basket perfectly.  Hopefully a pair of swim goggles will make their way in before the big day.

I plan to fill Easter Eggs with printable jokes from the internet, health food store candy, and clementines – three of our favorite things.

Some other fun and sugar free Easter basket ideas may include:

  • New T-shirts or shorts
  • Pajamas
  • Slippers
  • Baseball cap
  • Sun screen
  • Sunglasses
  • Swimming goggles
  • Church ties
  • New toothbrushes with toothpaste
  • Mouthwash (big deal at my house)
  • New swim suit
  • Crayons, markers, stamps, coloring books.
  • Goggly eyes and art supplies
  • Hair clips for little girls
  • New belt
  • Harmonica
  • Sand box toys
  • etc.

{Happy Spring!}

 

St. Patrick’s Day Food – without the dyes.

St. Patrick’s Day Food – without the dyes.

I can think of no better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s day than with a bowl full of Mint Chocolate Chip Frozen Yogurt.  Many friends and family members have yet to guess the secret ingredient.

Since it is never a good idea to spend an entire day binging on healthy ice cream, I’ve been compiling a list of healthy St. Patrick’s day alternatives to the tradition green-coloring-food-dyed-milk with lucky charms.  If you have any additional ideas to share, I would love to hear them!

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Happy {and lucky} St. Patrick’s day!

Sugar Free Christmas Advent Calendar for Kids

Sugar Free Christmas Advent Calendar for Kids

Our Christmas tree emerged from the garage early this year, and is spreading magic throughout our house.  I love the opportunity Christmas provides to celebrate loved ones and the miracle of life.  The kids and I love to celebrate with our own sugar-free Christmas advent calendar (inspired from here) that makes the book-lover in me very happy.  Over the years, we have collected a variety of Christmas books and movies and I keep them hidden throughout the year to maintain their specialness.

Around the end of November, the books and movies are wrapped and nestled under the tree waiting their turn to be opened.  The kids then take a turn opening one present (book or movie) each day until Christmas Eve when there are no more presents to unwrap.  I love this tradition because it forces me to carve time out of our busy holiday schedule to nestle around the Christmas tree with my children reading and watching movies together.  I love that it allows me to connect the story and the meaning and the joy of the season.

Because that is what Christmas is really about.

And while we are on the topic… have I ever told you about our very first Christmas tree spine?

 

A Chiropractic Christmas

 

Newly wed students with no income to brag about, we chose to spend our first Christmas together nestled around a multi-colored spine.  Because Christmas – as we learn from the Grinch – doesn’t come from the store.  Christmas lives in our hearts… and that means so much more!

 

What favorite Christmas traditions do you have with your family?

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