Category Archives: Holidays and Celebrations

Make The Ultimate Easter Basket This Year

Make Your Kids The Best Easter Basket Ever This Year!

When I was growing up, my parents always put together a totally unique basket for me each year. There was a period when I just wanted a store-bought Easter basket that was pre-packaged with goodies. So, one year that is exactly what my parents got me. Talk about a disappointment.

Pictured: Classic Easter Bunny Gift Basket

Not only did I get less Easter candy and other loot in my basket that year, but the assortment left something to be desired. So, while those pre-arranged Easter baskets look great on the store shelf, they are not nearly as satisfying as one that is put together with a little extra attention and care.

I suggest you join me in sticking with made from scratch Easter baskets this year. To help you make the transition, I will give you a checklist of sorts so that you do not forget a thing!

images via Amazon

Components of Your Easter Basket

The Basket
The Easter Grass
Plastic Easter Eggs
Chocolate Bunnies
Marshmallow Rabbits and Eggs
Jelly Beans
Easter Stuffed Animals
Easter Toys
Basket Bows, Ribbons or Cellophane

Finding The Perfect Easter Basket

The first thing you need to buy to create the ultimate Easter basket is the actual basket. You can either go with a round or a square shaped basket. Or, you would even choose something other than an actual basket to serve as the basket.

For example, if your kid is into LEGO toys, you could use one of the LEGO Square Stacking Baskets as the “Easter basket” and fill it with all the Easter goodies and some LEGO toys.

That being said, if this is your first Easter making a basket from scratch, you might want to stick with what you know first and get a traditional basket. Just get the shape that you think will work best with what you plan on putting in the basket. Personally, I prefer the square-shaped baskets as you can get more in them.

To get you started, I suggest using one of the following basket types:

 Deluxe Bamboo Easter Baskets Square Easter Baskets Folding Handle Easter Basket Bright Round Plastic Easter Baskets Plastic Easter Basket with Carrying Handles

Prefer A Plush Easter Basket?

If you are not really a big fan of the plastic or bamboo Easter baskets, then I want to bring your attention to plush Easter baskets. Now, some of these are kind of small as they are designed for Easter Egg hunts, but there are some larger ones. I think these are great too because you can actually keep them and put toys in them or even re-use them as a Halloween bag/basket later in the year.

There is a huge assortment of these available (Elmo, Spiderman, etc.), but I will just show you some of my favorites. If you want to see them all, click HERE for the entire selection at Amazon.

 Disney’s Cars Plush Easter Basket–Rust-eze McQueen Star Wars Yoda Plush Easter Basket Scooby Doo Plush Easter Basket By Warner Brothers Disney Princess Plush Easter Basket – Snow White Rapunzel Belle SpongeBob Squarepants Plush Easter Basket Sports Easter Basket, Large Plush Basket and Easter Eggs, Football

Fill The Bottom With Easter Grass

Even though it can leave quite the mess around the house, you simply cannot forget the colored Easter grass. Whenever my mom bought a basket that was too deep, she would first fill the bottom with a piece of that foam square stuff that you can get from the fake flower department at Wal-Mart. However, I suggest you try to find a basket that is not too deep or just put the larger stuff in the bottom of the basket so that it does not really matter how deep it is.

If you want to go old school with your Easter basket grass, you can do the traditional green. Personally, I am more of a fan of the pastel colored Easter grass. You can do a mixture of the different colors or just go with one that matches the color of the basket that you have decided on.

 Green Easter Basket Grass Biodegradable Easter Basket Grass

Add In Some Plastic Easter Eggs

You can’t have an Easter basket without some of those plastic Easter eggs. When I was younger, my mom and dad used to fill them with jelly beans. Then, when I got a little older, it was mini Reese’s cups and some of those Sweet-Tarts chicks and ducks Easter candy that they put in there.

Of course, you do not have to put candy in the plastic eggs. You can put little toys, or even money in the eggs. And if you are having an Easter egg hunt in the yard, don’t forget that the big prize goes in the gold Easter eggs!

If you’re don’t have any plastic eggs at home for the Easter basket you’re making, I have found some great options for you. I really love the polka-dot ones!

 Iridescent Plastic Easter Eggs (12) Party Supplies 12 Medium Plastic Easter Eggs (Assorted Colors) Jumbo Plastic Printed Bright Easter Eggs (12) Metallic Golden Easter Eggs : package of 10 18 Easter Fillable Eggs – Polka Dot Design Sports Ball Plastic Easter Eggs – Set of 8

Every Easter Basket Needs A Chocolate Bunny

It seems like no Easter basket is complete without a chocolate bunny. When I was growing up, my brothers and I always got a Russell Stover’s milk chocolate bunny in our basket. The bunny has a little candy bow tie. And the funny thing is that every year, we each ate the candy bow tie and left the chocolate bunny – but we still got the same bunny the next year! It is just a tradition that you get the chocolate bunny with the basket!

If you want to keep with Easter tradition, I have found some good chocolate Easter bunny options for you. My vote is for the Reese’s peanut butter and chocolate Easter bunny. Sounds heavenly, right? The Godiva one is pretty good too!

 Godiva Solid Milk Chocolate Easter Bunny Dove Silky Smooth Solid Bunny, Milk Chocolate, 4.5-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 4) Reese’s Easter Milk Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Bunny, 5-Ounce Packages (Pack of 4) Hershey’s Easter Solid Milk Chocolate Bunny, Snapsy, 2-Ounce Packages (Pack of 6) Cadbury Easter Bunny Solid Milk Chocolate Bunny 3 Oz Classic White Chocolate Easter Bunny

Marshmallow Rabbits and Eggs – My Absolute Favorite Easter Candy of All Time!

My one weakness when it comes to Easter candy is the marshmallow chocolates – specifically the marshmallow bunnies and eggs. I have a serious Easter candy addiction to them because they are so freaking delicious!

When I lived in Southern California, I got attached to the See’s Candies marshmallow eggs, which you can order online on Amazon. But, when I can get those, I have my two stand-ins – the Brach’s marshmallow rabbits and the Hershey’s marshmallow eggs. If you have not tried any of these, I highly suggest you check them out now!

 Hershey’s Easter Milk Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Eggs, 6-Count See’s Candies Eggs Marshmallow 6Pk@4.8oz Brach’s 8 Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Rabbits

Easter Jelly Beans, Anyone?

Personally, I am not a big fan of jelly beans at Easter or any other time of year. That being said, a lot of people really love them. And, they do represent a cheap and easy way to fill up some of those plastic Easter eggs. Well, if you want to add some of your basket, you do have options other than just plain jelly beans. I have selected what appears to be the best Easter jelly bean options – including a sugar free jelly bean bag for Easter.

  • Russell Stover Sugar Free Jelly Beans, 7-Ounce Bags (Pack of 4)
  • Sweetart Easter Jelly Beans 14oz.
  • Jelly Belly Kids Mix Easter Jelly Beans, 6.9 Oz Bag, 2 Bags
  • Wonka Nerds Jelly Beans Easter, 13.0-ounce (3 Pack)
  • Jolly Rancher Easter Fruit Smoothie Jelly Beans, 14-ounce Bag

Choose A Cute Stuffed Animal – Easter Themed Stuffed Animal

When I was growing up, my Easter basket always had a stuffed animal of some sort in it. Since I was a big fan of Snoopy, it was often a little Snoopy or Woodstock. But if I were to get one today – I would totally want a Hello Kitty! I’ve picked out some of my favorites for you to choose from below.

  • Ty Beanie Babies Hello Kitty Pink Bunny Suit
  • Webkinz Duck
  • Gund Easter Fuzzy Bunny Chocolate 18″ Plush
  • Licensed 2 Play Domo Bunny 9″ Plush, Medium
  • Disney – 1999 Mini Bean Bag Winnie the Pooh Easter Bunny Pooh 8″

Think you might need more options? Click here to see the entire Spring Easter plush toys collection.

Easter Toys for the Basket

Sometimes, my parents would include a small toy in the Easter basket for my brothers and I. However, if we got a toy then we usually did not get a stuffed animal. As I got a little older a little pickier about the types of Easter candy that I would eat, there was less candy and both a toy and a stuffed animal. So, decide how much room you have in the basket before buying any of these toys.

Keep in mind that you can get standard toys like little Hot Wheels cars or little decks of playing cards too. These are just some Eater themed toys that I like.

  • Easter Eggs – Hide ‘Em and Hatch ‘Em Eggs – Watch Them Hatch Like Magic Three Different Pets!
  • LEGO Seasonal Set Bunny and Chick Bagged (40031)
  • Fisher-Price Little People Easter Eggs
  • Barbie Easter Doll
  • Fisher Price Little People Wheelies

Top Off The Basket With Easter Ribbons or Easter Bow

Once you have assembled the Easter basket, it is time to put on the finishing touches. Unless you are using one of the plush Easter baskets, you will want to add a nice bow or ribbon to the top of the basket. I have found some great options for you. My favorite is the HipGirl Boutique ribbon with the brightly colored Easter eggs on it. You can also find other options that include bunnies and springs designs.

  • Venus Ribbon 7/8-Inch Lil’ Bunnies Grosgrain Ribbon, 5-Yard, White/Mutli
  • Offray Purple Easter Ribbon Set, 4 Spools of Ribbon, 3 Different Designs, 7/8″ Wide and 2 1/2″ Wide, 16 Yards Total
  • Blue Easter Bunny Holiday Ribbon 2.5″ Wide X 20 Yards
  • HipGirl Boutique 5yd 7/8″ Easter Egg Grosgrain Ribbon–White
  • Pink Easter Bunny Holiday Ribbon 2.5″ Wide X 20 Yards

Prefer Easter Basket Cellophane To Bows or Ribbons?

If you are not very good at making your own bows (like me) or just prefer to put the basket in cellophane like the stores do, you can easily do that. In fact, I have found some themed Easter basket cellophane designed just for this purpose! How cool is that? Check out the cool pieces below.

  • 2pk Pink Easter Bunny Basket Bags/Cellophane
  • Blue Cellophane Basket Bags SALE
  • Easter Basket Egg Print Bags
  • Red Cellophane Basket Bags SALE
  • Easter Cello Basket Bags – Egg Cellophane

St Patricks Day Decorations – Shamrock Bathroom Decor

Decorate Your Bathroom For St. Paddy’s Day With Shamrock Decor

Whether you are decorating the house for a big St. Patrick’s Day party or just to get in the holiday spirit, you do not have to overlook your bathroom when spreading the luck of the Irish in your home.

Pictured: St. Patricks Day Shamrock Irish green bathroom decor

To get your bathroom in the St. Paddy’s spirit, you can use some colorful shamrock decor to brighten things up. You can shamrock everything from your toilet seat to your hand towels.

images via Amazon

St Patrick’s Day Green Shamrock Toilet Paper

Looking for a funny St. Patrick’s Day bathroom decoration? Why not replace your regular toilet paper with some novelty St. Paddy’s Day toilet paper? You can either get some bright green TP or some TP that is white but has cute little green shamrocks on it. Even if you are not having any guests over or throwing a St. Paddy’s party, you can still have a little holiday fun by adding this TP to your bathroom.

 RENOVA GREEN TOILET PAPER ROLLS -6 PACK St. Patrick’s Day Novelty Green Shamrock Toilet Paper

St Patrick’s Day Shamrock Shower Accessories – Shamrock Shower Curtain, Shower Hooks

You do not have to stop your St. Paddy’s bathroom decor with the shamrock toilet paper. In fact, you can adorn your shower with a festive shamrock shower curtain and some cute little shamrock shower hooks. While I have only found one St Paddy’s option for shower curtain hooks, there are several good options for a shamrock shower curtain. Check out my favorites below.

Also, I suggest you consider leaving one of these up for a month or two because they are a great Spring theme.

 Shamrock SHOWER CURTAIN St. Patricks Day saint patrick’s paddy paddy’s Irish green bathroom bath room tub Home Decor Shamrock SHOWER CURTAIN HOOKS rings St. Patrick’s Day saint pat’s patrick’s paddy’s bathroom bath room Home Decor Bunch of Shamrocks Shower Curtain Elegant Shamrock Shower Curtain Erin Go Bragh Shamrock Shower Curtain Dancing Shamrocks Shower Curtain

St Patrick’s Day Shamrock Soap

While you likely will not want to use it for bathing, you can sit out some shamrock soap for guest use or just for decoration. You really have just two choices if you want to get some St. Paddy’s soap this year. You can go with the little shamrock-shaped soap or you can buy the shamrock soap dispenser and fill it with your favorite liquid soap. You can even used the soap dispenser in the kitchen for dish liquid. Take a look at your options below.

 ArtisanStreet’s Shamrock Design Soap or Lotion Pump Dispenser. Hand Painted & Signed By Artisan Shamrock Soap, Fragrance Free, Clear Green

St Patrick’s Day Green Shamrock Hand Towels

Put Out Your St. Paddy’s Day Guest Hand Towels This Year

An easy way to display a little St. Paddy’s Irish spirit is by trading out your normal hand towels for some shamrock St. Patricks Day hand towels. These guest towels can be used just for St. Paddy’s Day party guests or you can leave them out for your family to use as well. Either way, they are a fun and inexpensive way to decorate the bathroom a little for the holiday. Check out my favorites among the St. Paddy’s hand towels.

 St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Hand Towel St. Patrick’s shamrock hand towel black Shamrock hand fingertip towel green St. Patricks Day Guest Hand Towel

St Patrick’s Day Green Shamrock Toilet Seat Covers

This may be the funniest St. Patrick’s Day decoration that I have ever seen. And if you’re having a St. Paddy’s party at your home, then one of these is certain to be a hit with guests. You can actually decorate your toilet for St. Pat’s with one of these fun St. Paddy’s Day toilet seat covers. Not only are they hysterical to look at, but they are also incredibly cheap. That also makes them a fun decoration for the office. Check out your shamrock toilet decor options below.

 Shamrocks Toilet Tattoo – Elongated St. Patricks Day Seat Socks Toilet Lid Cover Shamrocks Toilet Tattoo – Round

St Patrick’s Day Green Shamrock Rubber Ducks

For a little bathtime fun, or just decorating fun, try a few of these novelty rubber ducks. They were designed especially for St. Patrick’s Day and they are super cute. These are a big hit with kids. Since they are so cheap, these are items you can easily add to your St. Paddy’s Day decorating budget. You can even give some out to the kids as a St. Paddy’s Day gift.

These are also great as St. Patricks Day work gifts for employees and co-workers. Plus, they are just a lot of fun!

 St. Patrick’s Rubber Duck Two Dozen Mini Irish Shamrocks Rubber Ducks Set of 12 St. Patrick’s Day Rubber Ducks St. Patricks Day Rubber Ducky 2 inch (1 Dozen) One Dozen (12) Irish St. Patrick’s Day Rubber Ducks Mini Shamrock Rubber Ducks St. Patrick’s Day Rubber Ducks – Case Pack 24 SKU-PAS441319 St. Patrick’s Day Rubber Duck : package of 12

St Patricks Day Shamrock Window Decorations

Decorate Your Home or Office Windows With St. Paddy’s Day Window Decor

If you love St. Patrick’s Day and want to get into the holiday spirit, you can easily do a little decorating with a few simple shamrock window decorations. Since these do not say Saint Patrick’s Day anywhere on them, that means you can even leave them up if you want.

Pictured: Impact Innovations Foil Color Block Lighted Window Decoration with Prismatic Scroll, Green Shamrock

Your options for St. Paddy’s decorations include some simple clings as well as some light up shamrocks. If you are not a fan of the shamrocks, you can even go with an Ireland flag or the like for your St. Patrick’s window decor. Take a look below at some of my favorites.

images via Amazon

Can’t wait? Click here to see the entire selection at Amazon now.

Saint Patrick’s Day Shamrock Gel Window Clings

If you like those gel clings, then you will love the selection of shamrock gel clings. Personally, I prefer these to the standard clings as they look a lot nicer. And I really love the way they look when the sun streams in the window. All of these clings are reusable, so you do not need to worry about having to re-buy them again next year.

Happy St. Patricks Day Decorations: Reusable Window Gel Clings, 6 x 12Happy St. Patricks Day Decorations: Reusable Window Gel Clings, 6″ x 12″MORE INFO

Shamrocks Irish Flag St Patrick's Day Gel Window Clings Charms Stick-onsShamrocks Irish Flag St Patrick’s Day Gel Window Clings Charms Stick-onsMORE INFO

Happy St. Patricks Day Decorations: Reusable Window Gel Clings, 12 x 12Happy St. Patricks Day Decorations: Reusable Window Gel Clings, 12″ x 12″MORE INFO

Gel Cling Window Decorations, Leprechaun/Shamrocks, 4-Pack AssortmentGel Cling Window Decorations, Leprechaun/Shamrocks, 4-Pack AssortmentMORE INFO

Shamrocks & Horseshoes St Patricks' Day Glitter Gel Window ClingsShamrocks & Horseshoes St Patricks’ Day Glitter Gel Window ClingsMORE INFO

Shamrocks & Leprechaun Hats St Patricks' Day Gel Window ClingsShamrocks & Leprechaun Hats St Patricks’ Day Gel Window ClingsMORE INFO

 

More Saint Pat’s Day Shamrock Clings

If you prefer the more traditional clings instead of the gel clings, then I have found some great options. While I prefer the gel clings myself, I do like to buy this type for putting on walls, mirrors and doors. I find that these are a great way to decorate a kid’s room for St. Patrick’s Day since they are so easy to remove.

Saint Paddy’s Day Shamrock Lights and Silhouettes

If you want your St. Paddy’s decorations to be a little nicer than reusable clings, some shamrock silhouettes and lighted shamrocks are a good option. You can make the whole house look festive from the road by placing one of these in every window, just like you do at Christmas with the candles.

So, why not look below to check out the festive options for lighting up your home this March 17th.

Can’t wait? Click here to see the entire selection at Amazon now.

Saint Pats Day Shamrock Window Art Glass / Stained Glass Suncatchers

Want to display some St. Paddy’s festive holiday decor that is a little fancier? If so, you need to check out the assortment of shamrock art glass and stained glass suncatchers that I’ve found. These are awesome looking and they can actually be left up all year long. So, check out these luck of the Irish window glass display for this St. Patrick’s Day.

What I really love about these is that they are so nice to look at that you can actually leave them up well past the holiday. In fact, I leave mine up all spring and summer. I do not change them out until fall gets here and I change out my decor to fall decor.

Can’t wait? Click here to see the entire selection at Amazon now.

85th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2011 Lineup

November 24th, 2011 marks the airing of the 85th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. You can watch it live on NBC at 9 a.m. EST until noon EST.

The hosts for 2011 are Al Roker, Matt Lauer and Ann Curry.

You can see a whole new lineup of celebrities, balloons, floats, bands and more.

If you are getting excited for the parade this year, you may be wondering who is going to be on the 2011 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. We can help you out with that.

We have a preliminary leaked list, because the full list of performers and celebrities has not been released yet.

For up-to-date and current info, check Holiday Hacks.

But for now, we have some information that you can check out. Yo may even even see you fave celebrity already listed.

Celebrities on the 2011 Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade:

  • Cee Lo Green
  • Ingrid Michaelson
  • Rodney Atkins
  • Savannah Outen
  • Mary J. Blige
  • Cobra Starship
  • Neil Diamond
  • Michael Feinstein
  • The Fresh Beat Band
  • Avril Lavigne
  • Shelby Lynne
  • Mannheim Steamroller
  • China Anne McClain
  • Scotty McCreery
  • Big Apple Circus
  • The Radio City Rockettes
  • kids from Camp Broadway and Stagedoor Manor
  • Daniel Radcliffe and the cast of How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying
  • cast of Priscilla Queen of the Desert
  • cast of Sister Act
  • cast of Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark
  • the cast and Muppets of Sesame Street
  • and more listed at HolidayHacks.com

For balloons & floats, go to 2011 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – Balloons & Floats

For bands, clowns & specialty units, go to 2011 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – Bands, Clowns & Specialty Units

Seattle Restaurants Open On New Year’s Eve

Need a place to eat on New Year’s Eve in Seattle, Washington? If so, here are some places that are open.

Call ahead to see if reservations are required instead of just showing up on New Year’s Eve.

Basil’s Kitchen – Bellevue

bin on the lake Wine Bar & Restaurant – Kirkland

Blueacre Seafood – Downtown
Regular Menu.

BluWater Bistro – Greenlake

BluWater Bistro – Leschi

Brasserie Margaux – Belltown / Pike Place Market

Brix 25 Restaurant – Gig Harbor

Cafe Juanita – Kirkland

Copperleaf Restaurant at Cedarbrook Lodge – Seatac

Crush – Seattle – Leschi / Madrona / Madison Park

Danube Bistro – Bellevue

Dulces Latin Bistro – Leschi / Madrona / Madison Park
Regular Menu

Fresh Bistro – West Seattle/Alki

Il Bistro – Belltown / Pike Place Market

Il Fornaio – Seattle – Downtown

JUNO – Downtown

Kasbah Moroccan Restaurant – Ballard / Fremont
Regular Menu

Maximilien – Belltown / Pike Place Market

McCormick & Schmick’s Harborside – Lake Union

McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood – Seattle

The Melting Pot – all locations

Morton’s The Steakhouse – Seattle – Downtown

Pacific Grill – Tacoma

PEARL Bar & Dining – Bellevue
Regular Menu

Piatti – Seattle – U Village / U District / Wallingford

Pintxo – Belltown / Pike Place Market

Ponti Seafood Grill – Seattle Center / Queen Anne / Lower

Red Fin Restaurant – Downtown

Rview- Downtown

Sazerac – Downtown

Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops – Hilton Airport Seattle
Regular Menu

Steelhead Diner – Downtown
Regular Menu

Taberna del Alabardero – Belltown / Pike Place Market

TASTE Restaurant – Downtown

Thomas Street Bistro – Capitol Hill / First Hill

Tulio – Downtown

Visconti’s – Leavenworth
Regular Menu

Visconti’s – Wenatchee
Regular Menu

Volterra – Ballard / Fremont