Bunnies, Bows, and Baking! ~ How to Have a Super Cute Easter in Quarantine!

Hoppy easter, a perfect passover, or splendid springtime!! Hoping everyone and their families are doing well in this difficult time. Our celebrations are quiet this year, and many of us are alone ~ but that doesn’t mean we can’t still celebrate and make the best of this situation.

Why not have a springtime party to lift your spirits?! Here’s some ideas!

DIY Easter Tree

Hello Kitty… err Hello Bunny?!, Poteusa’s (Amuse), and a Bunny Bunny Bunny hang around my springtastic tree!

Having a springtime celebration by yourself this year doesn’t mean you need to skimp on making your place look super cute for yourself~ you’ll be surprised how just a little thing like this will lift you up! I was planning on buying some decorations this year, but never had a chance to go out shopping for non-essentials because of the quarantine. So I had to make due with what I have and this seems even better!

What I did have was my super cute pink Christmas tree, some fake flowers and bows, and a ton of bunnies! So that festive little tree is now fresh and sprouting a BUN-ch of cuteness! You could easily make your own cute easter tree with springy things you have around the house:

  • mini Christmas trees or a vase of twigs
  • cute toys
  • hanging candies
  • plastic or hollow decorated easter eggs
  • fake flowers
  • bows, ribbons, or tulle
  • decorated ornaments

Colourful Easter Bun-Nana Bread

Everyone seems to be baking lately~ it’s a great way to pass the time, create something, or even finally learn how if you’ve never done it. This banana bread is a slightly modified version of my favourite banana bread recipe from Sprinkles for Breakfast. It’s stuffed full of healthy bananay goodness to make a healthy breakfast, but still sweet enough to feel like you’re indulging on easter snacks!

I followed the Sprinkles for Breakfast recipe, but instead of scooping the entire batter into the bread tins, I first separated the batter into four separate bowls and dyed them with Food Gel (I use Wilton Food Gel, which has brilliant colours!) Then using spoons, I scooped the batter out into globs on the pans.

It kind of looks like those bright gummy easter candies! And while the colours *technically* don’t taste different, it seems to be a bit more magical and happy for easter time!

Easter Meringue Cookies

You might not want a whole batch of cookies or a cake by yourself, so something small and relatively healthy like meringues is a fun choice. Meringues may seem intimidating, but they are the easiest little puffs to whip up! What’s more springy than light airy crunchy cookies of happiness (and super bonus – they’re fat free)?!

All you need are:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/8 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Flavouring – I used lemon extract because it seems so fresh! But vanilla, mint or strawberry would also be yummy!
  • Food gel

Directions:

~ Preheat oven to 225F and prepare a baking pan with a silicon baking sheet. Add egg whites, Cream of Tartar, and flavour extract to your clean mixer bowl and whip on HIGH for about two minutes, until the egg whites have whipped up bright white and fluffy with peaks

~ Slowly add a bit of the sugar until fully incorporated and you get fairly stiff peaks. You need to be careful to be slow as to not deflate the meringue.

~ Separate the meringue into separate bowls with a spatula. Very gently FOLD in the food gel by hand. Do not stir.

~ Fill a piping bag and attach a large tip and pipe them out onto your baking sheet. I only did a tiny little dollop so they’re very small cookies, but you can go as big as you want.

~ Put in oven for 40 minutes, until dry and the insides are crunchy and airy! Enjoy!

You can store them in the freezer as long as they’re in an airtight container. If they get a bit soft, you can put them back into the oven for 10 minutes (at 225 degrees) to crisp them up again!

Other cute ideas!

  • Dress up! Throw on your best pastels, frills, and bows.
  • Spring clean! What’s more refreshing than a new look for your place? Start slow and get rid of some stuff~ I went through some overstuffed closets yesterday and having them cleaned up feels refreshing! Note: most donation places aren’t taking donations right now, but store the goods you’re going to giveaway for now instead of tossing them. 🙂
  • Decorate easter eggs!
  • Have a springtime dance party!
  • Not feeling super energetic? THAT’S OKAY TOO! This is a tough time, and just relaxing and watching a favourite tv show and downing a bag of chocolately eggs is EGG-cellent!
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Let’s Talk About Conversation Heart Cookies!

Happy valentine vibes are starting to soar and hearts are starting to float into stores and online! It’s such a nice change from the dreary greyness that is January!

I was asked to make some super sweet heart cookies for a local organization who works with special needs adults to celebrate their support workers. And what’s more lovely than conversation hearts to tell someone you appreciate them?!

Conversation hearts are addictive little candy hearts with a cute little message to give to someone you appreciate (or yourself!) They look like they are just meant to be cookies!

To make these cookies, I used a standard sugar cookie recipe and royal icing recipe that I’ve used multiple times which always come out deliciously decadent! Decorating them is far easier than you’d think!

What You Need

Cookies

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 sticks (200 grams) of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • pinch of salt

Icing

  • 6 egg whites
  • 4 cups (1 pound) icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • food colouring (I use gel based)

Directions

Baking

  • Cream the sugar and butter together until smooth. Mix in the egg and vanilla until combined.
  • Add in the flour and salt until fully incorporated, and the cookie dough will come together in a big dough ball. The dough will seem very, very crumby at first, but it will come together when you use your hands.
  • Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and flatten into your hands into a flat disk. Wrap it up in plastic wrap and put in fridge for 20 minutes (this makes it much easier to work with).
  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Roll out your dough on a floured surface. Using a floured cookie cutter, cut out your shapes (1/4 inch thick) and carefully transfer them to the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown and then let them completely cool.

Royal Icing

  • To make the icing, add in the icing sugar, and then add in the egg whites and lemon juice and then blend with a hand or stand mixer on high until light and fluffy (5-10 minutes). Cover with a wet cloth or in an air tight container until ready to use (or it will harden!)
  • When ready to decorate, thin out your icing into flood consistency and separate your icing into separate bowls and colour as appropriate for your design. I used six colours based on conversation heart cookies: pink, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.
  • Leave a little bit of excess icing in piping consistency in red (or whatever your want!) to do the writing and cover

Decorating

I started off with piping each individual cookie, but as you can imagine filling piping bags, piping a border, and flooding 70+ cookies is time consuming! So I opted to DIP my cookies in the royal icing which was so much faster and I think looks pretty great!

  • Fill a low bowl with your icing at flood consistency and then pick up the cookies and DIP! I used a popsicle stick to remove the excess icing. It took a few goes to figure out how to remove the excess smoothly
  • Put the dipped cookies on a tray and let COMPLETELY dry (a couple of hours at least)
  • Once the cookies are dried, fill a piping bag and with a small round tip and pipe the lettering. Some ideas are: XOXO, You Rock, U.R.A. Q.T, Love, Sweet, Hug Me, Text Me, Cutie Pie, Be Mine… the sweet sayings are endless!

All of the colours look so pretty together, and would make a lovely personalized gift for the loves in your life!!

XOXO
Erika

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Sunday Snaps! Janu-Where Are You Going?!

We’re over half way through January now if you can believe!

The past week has been nearly -40 with windchill so I’ve been stuck inside my little house. I’ve got a ton of fun projects on the go, so I’m far from bored even with the crazy chill! Soon it’ll be sunny and I’ll be jumping amongst the flowers, so for right now I’m just trying to enjoy the relaxy inside time I have! Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Took down the tree! My living room looks so empty now. But not sad… because that just means fresh starts and space to fill!

I just got that Hello Kitty Barbie way up there! Haven’t been a huge fan of the Barbie’s from the past couple of years, but I couldn’t resist this collab! It’s really been reigniting my Barbie love so I feel there may be a few new Barbie’s in the future…!

Big Progress on the Mood Blanket! Here it is after 18 days~ I’m LOVING the colours! This is just going to be the first row when all is done, but I still need to stitch them together.

I also have at least 5 other big knitting projects on the go too! More fruit plush, a bowl of candy, Topaz the Unicorn stuffed toy, Hello Kitty purse, and more! A project for this year is finishing up my craft room so I can get all of the projects and yarn off my living room floor!

#DressUpYourPetDay was on January 14th. Sugar attempted to be a butterfly!! Lol! This was as successful as I got at snapping her in the costume before I ran a marathon trying to catch her!

I’m also still feeling the flour power~ even though I told myself that I needed to take a break for a couple of weeks so my dresses could loosen up a bit! 😉 I made these delicious hamburger buns (recipe from All Recipes) the other day which are better than store bought!

Just trying to stay magical and enjoy the month before it completely flies by!

Lots of love! Erika xoxo

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Basket of Wooly Fruit!

I just had a BIG bowl of ice cream for dinner, so my resolution to eat a little bit less sweets is going quite well I’d say. 😉 To make up for it, I decided to knit a basket of fruit goodies over the past week or so!

They’re pretty yummy looking on their own, but I decided that a cute little face makes them even more irresistible! ^_^

Here are the patterns I used! They’re all super easy and quick so you’ll be able to throw together a fruity mix quick!

Cherries

Banana

Watermelon

Lemon

Apple

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Knitted Mood Blanket for 2020!

I’ve seen crocheted and knitted mood blankets on Pinterest and Instagram and knew I had to join in this year!!

I think they’re more common in the crochet community, but you don’t want to see my crochet right now! So my mood blanket is going to be knitted. This will be a massive project that will have me clicking needles each and every day of the year! The idea is simple: each day I assess my mood and knit a corresponding coloured square. In a year, I’ll be able to see how the year went and have a pretty colourful blankie to celebrate!

I didn’t have an easy start with this project unfortunately! My original plan was to knit a row a day, changing colours each day for a year. But on my VERY first row (240 stitches cast on!) my round needles broke. And not just once – but TWICE! But I was way too excited about having a multi-coloured rainbow blanket in a year, that there was no way I was giving up!! I’ve changed plans because obviously the universe was trying to tell me something! I’m now knitting one square a day, and then will join the squares together into a large blanket.

Each of these squares is 4 inches x 4 inches. CO 12 stitches with super bulky yarn and knit until 4 inches. The rows of the blanket will be 19 squares x 19 squares (361 days) therefore a massive 6 feet across!!

My colours and moods are as follows:

Red (Lion Brand Hometown USA – Cincinatti Red) ~ Anxiety

Orange (Lion Brand Hometown USA – Syracuse Orange) ~ Content / Okay

Yellow (Lion Brand Hometown USA – Pittsburgh Yellow) ~ Energetic / Athletic

Green (Lion Brand Hometown USA – Green Bay) ~ Tired / Sick

Blue (Lion Brand Hometown USA – Maui Aqua) ~ Sad

Turquoise (Lion Brand Hometown USA – Miami Seafoam) ~ Family / Rejuvenated

Purple (Lion Brand Hometown USA ~ Minneapolis Purple) ~ Happy!

Pink (Lion Brand Hometown USA – Hot Pink) ~ Creative / Productive

I’ll share updates along the way!

Feel free to use this as a basis for your own mood blanket (or temperature blanket, or to measure WHATEVER!)

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