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10 Minute DIY Easter Egg Wreath - A craft so EASY anyone can make it!

The Easiest DIY Easter Egg Wreath

I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a craft whiz.  However, while on a walk this morning with Annabelle, I found inspiration!  One of our neighbors had a festive Easter wreath on their front door.  I hang wreaths (store-bought usually…again, I’ve never been confident in my DIY abilities) for every occasion– Christmas, Halloween, etc., but I didn’t have one for Easter!

Then I remembered a bunch of extra plastic eggs my mother-in-law had brought over last year and I had stuffed in the hall closet.  And for some reason we had a couple metal wreath frames in the closet too.  I started getting more and more excited as I thought about it– I had extra pastel pipe cleaners…and a hot glue gun…surely I could put something together!

I laid out my supplies:

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These are all things I had on hand: plastic Easter eggs, pipe cleaners, a 10″ wreath frame (figured I would start small for my first attempt), and a hot glue gun — but you could buy this stuff for probably $15 or less.

I simply glued the eggs to the frame.  (Before I did this I arranged the eggs in a pattern so I wouldn’t accidentally end up with two of the same color next to each other– I had a limited number of eggs since I was only using what I found in storage.)

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Once all the eggs were attached, I decided to jazz up the wreath with some pipe cleaners.  I played around with it until I had created some faux bows.  Here’s how:

Easy DIY Easter egg wreath Easy DIY Easter egg wreath

Slide one pipe cleaner under the wreath.

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Cross the ends of pipe cleaner and twist twice to keep in place.

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Slide a second pipe cleaner under the wreath and fasten the same way by twisting.

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Fold the ends of the second pipe cleaner in to form a “bow.”

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Twist the first pipe cleaner over the ends of the bow to secure.

Easy DIY Easter egg wreath

Last, I trimmed the ends of the pipe cleaners so they didn’t stick out quite so far and tied on a ribbon bow for a finishing touch.

I’m so happy with how my first DIY Easter wreath turned out!  Especially since it was easy and free!    I think I could get the hang of this crafting thing. 🙂

Easy DIY Easter egg wreath

Marbled Chocolate Avocado Brownie Bars

Healthy Marbled Chocolate Avocado Brownie Bars

Hubby and I have been on a healthy baking kick as of late– well, he bakes while I photograph and eat!  His latest creation may be the best yet– insanely rich and gooey marbled chocolate brownie bars– with no flour!  Seriously, this guy is amazing– he scours the internet for ideas and tries different combinations of ingredients until he finds something that is both healthy and decadent.  MY talents are taste-testing and documenting–not a bad gig!

These brownie bars are incredibly easy, which is definitely something I look for in a recipe (just in case I ever attempt it myself while hubby is at work.)  I won’t even try something that looks the slightest bit confusing or time-consuming– who has hours to spend in the kitchen with two kids running (and crawling) around??  The marbling is caused by the candy coating melting into the brownie batter while cooking– you don’t have to make a separate batter, or swirl anything. And did I mention these are delicious?

Healthy Marbled Chocolate Avocado Brownie Bars -- No flour!

Here’s what you need:

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  • 2 large avocados
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup natural chocolate candies (the natural food coloring is essential for the marbling effect)

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STEP 1: Add the flesh of two avocados to food processor with 1/2 cup coconut sugar and 1 cup cocoa powder.  Blend until smooth.

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STEP 2: Add eggs and baking soda.  Pulse until eggs are just mixed into batter– you don’t want to over-beat them.

STEP 3: Fold chocolate candies into batter.

Marbled Chocolate Avocado Brownie Bars

STEP 4: Spread batter into 8×10 baking pan (8×8 would also work well for slightly thicker brownies.) Bake at 350° for 15 minutes.  Cool thoroughly before cutting and serving.  Keep refrigerated.

Marbled Chocolate Avocado Brownie Bars

Side Dish in a Snap! — Savory Sausage & Spinach Skillet

Hubby whipped up this side dish on the fly today and it was so beautiful that I had to take some photos– look at those colors!  This is such a simple recipe, yet the end result is bursting with flavor!

Savory Sausage and Spinach

You only need four ingredients:

  • 1 sweet yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1lb mild Italian sausage
  • 3 cups chopped baby spinach

Savory Sausage & Spinach Skillet

STEP 1: Sauté onions (we use coconut oil) in large skillet on medium heat for about five minutes until they start to caramelize.

STEP 2: Add bell pepper and continue to sauté until the pepper slices soften.

STEP 3: Add sausage; use wooden spoon or spatula to chop in pan.  (Optional: add a splash of Mirin, Japanese cooking wine, for a touch of sweetness.)

STEP 4: Once sausage is fully cooked, remove pan from heat. Add spinach and stir into cooked ingredients.  The steam alone will lightly wilt the spinach to the perfect consistency.

This easy side is as delicious as it is beautiful– we will definitely be adding it to our regular rotation!

**BONUS: You could even serve with a fried egg for a hearty and healthy breakfast option.

clothespin kitchen hack

Pinterest Project #3 — The Amazing Kitchen Hack I Wish I’d Found Years Ago

I wish I could claim to be the genius who thought of this brilliant idea.  It has changed my life– or at least it has stopped one of my biggest pet peeves from tormenting me on a daily basis.

kitchen hack - clothespin glove hangers

Hubby goes through an unbelievable amount of dishes while cooking.  However, as I am quite appreciative of the fruits of his labor, I am careful not to complain while washing the resulting mountains of pots, bans, bowls, and the like.

If I didn’t wear gloves while doing so, my hands would be destroyed.  I used to leave my gloves draped over the edge of the sink to dry when I finished.  But somehow, when I would go to use my gloves the next time, I would more often than not find them submerged at the bottom of the sink, or crammed behind the faucet, the insides full of water.  Besides feeling absolutely gross, it defeated the purpose of wearing gloves in the first place!

One day while browsing through home organization pins (one of my favorite things to look at…seriously), I came across a pin which would solve all of my problems.  I had the necessary supplies laying around (and you might very well too) and immediately installed my new glove hangers.

All it takes is a strip of double-sided tape and a clothespin. (Mine are glittery pink–they were part of the decorations at my baby shower and I knew they would come in handy someday!)

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Simply stick the clothespin to the inside of the cabinet door under the kitchen sink.  Now gloves can dry in a safe place and are at arms reach whenever needed.  How did I live without this for so long?!

clothes pin kitchen hack clothes pin kitchen hack

cookies and cream ice cream cake

Easy 3-Ingredient Cookies & Cream Ice Cream Cake

Though our family generally has very healthy eating habits, every now and then we just have to splurge.  Hubby made a cookies and cream ice cream cake for a party a while back and it didn’t last long!  I decided to prepare one myself today and share the steps because this dessert is so easy, fast, and delicious that I know many of you would enjoy.  And if I can make it anyone can!

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Cake

You only need three ingredients:

  • 12 ice cream sandwiches
  • 1/2 regular size pack of Oreos
  • 2 cups Cool Whip

**BONUS: This recipe can be made gluten free and/or dairy free by substituting the type of “ice cream” sandwiches and cookies used.  

STEP 1: Chop 1/2 pack of Oreos in food processor until finely ground.

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STEP 2: Add ground Oreos to mixing bowl containing 2 cups Cool Whip.

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STEP 3: Fold ground Oreos into Cool Whip until well combined– this is the frosting.

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STEP 4: Place silicon baking sheet over a cookie pan.

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STEP 5: Place four ice cream sandwiches together in center of baking sheet.  Spread a layer of frosting on top.

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STEP 6: Repeat with two more layers of ice cream sandwiches.

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STEP 7: Frost the top and sides of cake.

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STEP 8: Allow cake to set in freezer for 1-2 hours.  Remove from baking sheet.  Slice and enjoy!

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kid's room decorating ideas for the not-so-crafty mom

Kid’s Room Decorating Ideas for the Not-So-Crafty Mom

As much as I would love to be amazingly handy, I have accepted that I am not a DIY prodigy.  Though I was a dedicated art student in high school, those creative talents did not translate into crafting abilities.

However, there are times when I have little bursts of inspiration, or ideas that somehow just work.  I know that there are other craft-challenged mamas out there, so I wanted to share a couple that are fun touches for a child’s bedroom and most importantly, are easy.

craft letters

These are wooden letters you can purchase for a couple bucks at any decor or art supply store.  I used a hot glue gun to adhere colorful pipe cleaners.  It’s a very simple process, though slightly time intensive.  I do have to admit that it was my mom who suggested this project, but what a great idea–I love how these turned out!

kid's room pipe cleaner letter wall art

Here is a look at the back side– it doesn’t have to be pretty– just make sure there is plenty of glue to keep the pipe cleaners attached.  Also, look for a pre-cut nail slot on the letters you purchase for easier wall hanging.

girl purses

This wall decor idea was even easier!  Lilu’s Grandma loves to buy her little purses, but she had accumulated so many that I started to get frustrated.  What could we even do with all of these?  One day I was drawn to a bare corner of her bedroom and decided to hang a few of the prettiest ones of the bunch.  Four little tacks, five minutes of “work” and voila!  Now this corner sparkles with Grandma’s gifts.

So don’t despair if you aren’t a Pinterest idol!  A kid’s bedroom doesn’t have to be fit for a home decor magazine– it just has to be fun and unique.  Repurposing some of your child’s prized possessions and creating eye-catching name art will make a regular room into their own special space.

hearty calabaza stew

A One Pot Meal: Hearty Calabaza Stew

This might be Lilu’s favorite meal of all.  Whenever we tell her to come eat dinner, at least 80 percent of the time she will ask “is it calabaza?!”  Calabaza is Spanish for “squash” or “pumpkin;” this recipe features a type of Mexican squash similar to zucchini.  (You actually can substitute zucchini and/or yellow squash depending on what is available at your grocer.)

Here’s the how-to in less than five seconds:

making calabaza stew

Now here’s the full recipe.  The beauty of this meal is that it can be made in one pot– no piles of dishes to worry about after dinner!  Mateo likes to cook enough for ten people, so he does the noodles separately (they won’t fit in the calabaza pot), but I will make a note of when to add the noodles for those of you who will be preparing a more normal-sized portion.

You will need:

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  • 1-2lbs ground chuck
  • 1 green and 1 red bell pepper
  • 2-4 calabaza (squash)
  • 1 onion
  • 2-3 ears of corn (may substitute 1 can of corn)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 TB tomato paste
  • 2 cup beef broth
  • 1 tsp diced garlic
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (if all you have is powdered, just double this amount)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 package pasta (we used quinoa pasta– elbows, spirals,or shells work well)

Remember, Mateo makes enough for ten people (literally), so use the lower end of these measurements and ingredient amounts for a normal sized meal.

Start by prepping the veggies. Devein and dice peppers. Dice onions.

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Shuck corn and then remove kernels from the cobs.  It’s easiest to do this over a bowl to avoid corn going everywhere.  Cut the cobs in half and set aside.  Don’t throw them away yet!

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Cut the ends off the calabaza.  Cut each squash in half lengthwise; chop into 1/2 inch slices.

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Now it’s time to put everything in the pot!  Add onions, peppers, and diced garlic; sauté in olive oil until soft.

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Add ground beef, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika and cook until beef starts to brown.  (For a lighter version, pause here to drain the oil from the beef.)  Add canned tomatoes and tomato paste.

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Add calabaza, corn cobs and bay leaves.  Cover and reduce heat to a simmer.  This is also where you would add the pasta.  Leave covered and cook for 20-30 minutes.  The longer everything stews together, the more intense the flavors will be.

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Remove corn cobs and bay leaves before serving.  If you cooked the pasta separately (like Mateo), this is where you would add it to the pot.

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Now you have the perfect meal to warm up with during these last few weeks of winter…and a super easy clean-up!

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