Favorite Things

Favorite-Things-Easter (640x426)It's hard to believe it's almost April and Easter is just two days away! If you read Tuesdays post, you know I am a bit nostalgic, so it should be of no surprise to you that I might reminisce a bit more today. I can't help it! Holidays always bring back fun memories and I love reliving them! Easter is a religious holiday for most of us and in my house it is a priority to recognize the reason we celebrate this day. On the flip side, we are also celebrating with baskets of candy, colored eggs and family dinners. It's all part of the fun and for most kids that basket of goodies they find in the morning is the most exciting part of the weekend. I vividly remember hunting for our baskets Easter morning when I was a kid. They were wrapped in colored cellophane and filled with small toys and lots of awesome candy, most of which you would only see once a year. Even though my kids are grown, I will search for these favorites every Easter just for the fun of it! Happy Friday!

Favorite-Things-Easter-Candy (1)Spiced Jelly Beans ~ my absolute favorite!

Favorite-Things-Easter-Candy (2) Malted Milk Eggs ~ AKA Lipstick Eggs.  My sisters and I would paint our lips with these eggs when we were kids.

Favorite-Things-Easter-Candy (4)Candy Coated Marshmallow Eggs ~ harder to find each year but worth searching for!

Favorite-Things-Easter-Candy (5) Peeps ~ It's not Easter without traditional yellow chicks and pink bunnies.

Favorite-Things-Easter-Candy (6) Hershey's Milk Chocolate Eggs ~ there is just something about the shape that makes them taste better than kisses.

Favorite-Things-Easter-Candy (7)Hershey's Candy Coated Chocolate Eggs ~ Love these crunchy little chocolate eggs.

Favorite-Things-Easter-Candy (3)Chocolate Easter Bunny ~ No Easter basket is complete without a chocolate bunny. My favorite ones are the old fashioned unwrapped bunnies with candy eyes.

However you are spending your Easter holiday, make if fun and make it memorable! Have a wonderful  weekend!

Leslie xo

Vintage Inspired Easter Egg DIY

Vintage Easter Egg DIYToday's post has a bit of nostalgia attached to it. As you may know, I am a person who loves holidays, tradition and the joy that comes with celebrating the little things in life. When we decorate for a holiday, some of the best memories are recalled when we unpack things that have been carefully tucked away for the past year. Whether it's something our children made or a gift from a relative, it sparks conversation and brings back a feeling of comfort and happiness. That's what tradition is all about, the feeling of being connected to something special. In our family there is a favorite Easter decoration that has been around as long as I can remember. It's a Sugared Easter Egg that my mom made almost 40 years ago. To my sisters and me, it represents the fun we had at Easter time when we were kids. This year I thought I would try to recreate what my mom made long ago. The process was fun and made me appreciate the effort she put into creating something like this while she had 5 little girls running around!Sugared-Easter-Egg-DIY (14)This is one of the eggs my mother made. I love the cellophane Easter grass and the little vintage rabbit inside. I remember watching her make these eggs when I was little. She was like the Martha Stewart of the 70's. She would give them as gifts to friends and a few of our favorite teachers. We laugh now at the thought of carrying one of these into the school! Sugared-Easter-Egg-DIYMy mom didn't save the recipe or how-to for these eggs. They are different than the ones you might see today on Pinterest. Instead of using liquid starch these eggs are made with a blend of sugar and glue to make them stronger and give them a more textured look. I used Mod Podge, a balloon, and colored string (all from Michael's craft store). Sugared-Easter-Egg-DIY (1)I carefully wrapped string around an inflated balloon. I started at the top and went all the way down and around a few times. Then I started wrapping in different directions. It's a little tricky at first but once the string goes around a few times it stays in place nicely. You don't have to completely cover the balloon. Sugared-Easter-Egg-DIY (2)I suspended the balloon from the light over my table with some of the string. It was the easiest way to apply the sugar mixture and also allowed the balloon to keep its egg-like shape. If you can't do it this way you can suspend the balloon from a hanger on a kitchen cabinet or anywhere you have room. Sugared-Easter-Egg-DIY (4)I mixed equal amounts of sugar and Mod Podge in a container and spooned it onto the top of the balloon. It goes on thick so I used a sponge brush to spread the mixture out and make sure most of balloon was covered. You will need to handle the balloon while you are doing this so it's a good idea to have a wet cloth handy to wipe off of your hands when you're finished with each layer. Sugared-Easter-Egg-DIY (3)The excess mixture dripped into the pan. I waited for the first coat to dry almost completely before I added another layer. It's best to work in small batches so the glue doesn't dry out while you wait. Cover any leftover glue and rinse out the sponge while you wait for each layer to dry. I repeated this process until the balloon was almost completely covered and I had a texture  I liked. This took almost 2 days. Sugared-Easter-Egg-DIY (5)When the coating on the balloon was dry and firm to the touch it was ready for the next step. Sugared-Easter-Egg-DIY (6)I popped the balloon with a pin to release it from the string. It's so cool to watch what happens when you do this. If you have kids let them watch you do this step. Sugared-Easter-Egg-DIY (7)The balloon will be stuck inside the egg and may be in two pieces. Sugared-Easter-Egg-DIY (8)There will be a hole at the top of the egg where the balloon was knotted. Hold the egg upside down so that the balloon falls to the bottom and pull it through the hole. You might need to use tweezers to do this. You will notice that the balloon is wet. The inside of the egg will still be a little bit sticky. Sugared-Easter-Egg-DIY (9)I cut a hole in the front of the egg with a pair of sharp scissors. If you aren't good at estimating you can draw the opening with a pencil first. Do this right away since the inside of the egg is still slightly pliable. Once you are finished stand the egg up on hard surface so the bottom dries flat.

Sugared-Easter-Egg-DIY (11)Instead of using lace like my mom did, I softened the cut edge in the opening of the egg by brushing it with a little bit of glue and sprinkling it with sugar. I filled it with a newer version of Easter grass and placed a chocolate rabbit inside. Sugared-Easter-Egg-DIY (12)I added a little bit of bling to my egg by placing a pretty crystal broach in the hole at the top of the egg instead of ribbon. Sugared-Easter-Egg-DIY (15)I love looking at these eggs side by side. Not only is it fun to see how things change over time but it's awesome to think about what something so simple can represent; forty years of memories and tradition that will live on for many years to come. So what may look like a simple little Easter craft is really one of those little things in life that is definitely worth celebrating!

Have a beautiful day!

Leslie xo

Lemon Cheese Bar Recipe

LemonCheeseBars (640x426)This past weekend we had beautiful weather in Central Pennsylvania. The sun was shining and it was 60 degrees outside. It felt like spring and the warm weather made me wish winter would just move on. I was in the mood to bake so I thought I'd celebrate the changing seasons with something light and fresh like Lemon Cheese Bars. I have had this recipe for years. My children's grandmother baked them when the kids were little and shared the recipe long ago. They are easy to make and so delicious. It's no wonder people ask for the recipe all of the time. Lemon Cheese Bars are perfect served with tea or coffee.

Lemon_Cheese_Bars - CopyLemon Cheese Bars start with a boxed yellow cake mix. You add a few other ingredients to make a crumb mixture that is pressed into the bottom of a cake pan.Lemon_Cheese_Bars (1)One cup of the crumbs are reserved for the top layer of the bars. Lemon_Cheese_Bars (4)The crumbs that were pressed into the pan are baked for about 15 minutes creating the first layer of the bars. Lemon_Cheese_Bars (3)Cream cheese, an egg and sugar are whipped to make a topping for the bars. Lemon_Cheese_Bars (2)Fresh squeezed lemon juice is a key ingredient in the whipped topping. Lemon_Cheese_Bars (5)The whipped topping is spread on top of the first baked layer. Lemon_Cheese_Bars (6)The reserved crumbs are sprinkled on top of the whipped topping and the pan is put back in the oven to bake for 15 more minutes.

Lemon_Cheese_Bars_2When the Lemon Cheese Bars are cool, cut into squares to serve.

Lemon Cheese Bar Recipe
Author: adapted from a recipe by Sandy Reese
  • 1 box yellow cake mix (pudding in the mix)
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • confectioner's sugar (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix cake mix,1 egg and oil until mixture is crumbly; set aside 1 cup.
  3. Pat remaining crumbs lightly into an ungreased 13 X 9 pan.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until just beginning to brown.
  5. Beat cream cheese, sugar, 1 egg and lemon juice until light and smooth.
  6. Spread mixture over baked layer.
  7. Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture.
  8. Bake 15 minutes longer.
  9. Cool. Cut into bars to serve.
  10. Lightly sprinkle with confectioner's sugar before serving (optional)

Lemon Cheese Bars look pretty on a dessert bar and are perfect for an afternoon tea or Easter brunch.


Leslie xo