First Easter

On Sunday we celebrated our first Easter with our sweet baby boy.  Our first Easter was wonderful because we spent it with our families.  In the morning, we spent time with my family because in Polish traditions we eat a traditional Polish breakfast.  This traditional Polish breakfast starts with the sharing of a blessed egg. The egg is cut into pieces and each person takes one.  We say something that we wish for and usually the hostess says this saying.  Once we eat the piece of egg, we get to cut meats and an egg into a bowl for a special soup.  This special soup is called White Borscht. Into the White Borscht, we cut different meats which have been blessed on Holy Saturday. Some of these meats are various kinds of kielbasa.  Once the meats and eggs are in the bowl, we pour the White Borscht in.  After our White Borscht, we just relax for the rest of the day and enjoy time with our families.  My family we eat some baked sweets.  There are many different kinds of baked sweets that we eat that are traditional like the Babaka.  I made non-traditional Polish baked sweets.  See the photos below of the sweets that I baked.

 

 

 

Some of the sweets that I baked were a cookie fudge with Peeps on it. I found this wonderful step by step video which showed me how to make it, a bunny cake and Italian sweet bread.  I was always curious to see why Italians eat this Italian sweet bread.  It looked so pretty so I decided to look up a recipe online and made my first Italian sweet bread.  It didn’t take long to make but the wait for the dough to rise was the longest.

 

After Polish breakfast with my parents, we went to visit my husband’s side of the family. There we have traditional Italian Easter. Traditional Italian Easter is risotto, vegetables and a glazed ham.  We also had more sweets this day.

 

We had a wonderful time celebrating our first Easter with our sweet boy because it was an experience with both families.  The grandparents were in heaven because they had their grandson to share their traditions with and they are also able to share their traditions for the first time again but with a grandchild.   While with both families, I kept thinking about how Easter and every holiday we celebrate will be special because children bring joy and cheer into our world. They allow us to forget the troubles of our day for just a few hours when we see them smile or hold your finger. It’s important to share traditions with your children/grandchildren because it gives these traditions more meaning to the family and allows for these traditions to be passed down from generation to generation.

 

One Easter tradition which I love is the Easter basket. Even though I am an adult with my own child, my mom still gives me something on Easter. It happens to be chocolate but it is something that makes me feel remembered.  I get to share this tradition with my son as the years go by but this year, his Easter basket had things that he will use in the coming months.  We got him a summer pool to sit in and play, shoes, a rubber ducky and a board book to read.  I hope these traditions you can use and make them your own.  🙂

Blessing of the Easter Basket

Today is Holy Saturday in the Catholic faith.  Today is a day in which we prepare for the Resurrection of Jesus. In Poland, many Poles go to bless an Easyer basket with all the food that will be eaten on Easter morning.  This is one of my favorite Polish traditions and I was excited to share it with my son for the first time.

Last year at this time, I was pregnant and didn’t tell anyone yet. I went to bless my Easter basket and watched all the little children holding their own Easter basket which was prepared by their parents. I kept thinking that I was excited to do the same thing the following year. I got to experience blessing the Easter basket this year. The baby was asleep the whole time but it was a special moment for me to share a tradition that he will experience the rest of his life.

Traditonal Polish Easter baskets have the following things inside: dyed eggs, water, bread, babka, butter, various meats, and salt. These all have meaning as to why they are placed in the Easter basket.  The eggs represent the coming of something new.  Butter represents being ready for what will come. Salt which represents our basic needs and the meats represent Jesus.   Our Easter baskets are decorated with ribbons and greens. Mine this year were not.

Blessing of the Easter basket allow us to think about all the good that we have gotten and will get over the next year. These are just some of the things that Holy Saturday represents to the Polish people. I am honored to share it for the first time with our son and I can not wait to keep sharing this tradition with him as he grows up.  I look forward to teaching him about our Polish traditions.

Easter Baby Photoshoot

As Easter is on it’s way, I was ready to take Easter baby photos.  While shopping (like I did for every holiday) I looked around for simple things to use.  Some of the things which I found to use as props were: board signs, bunny ears,  plastic eggs and chicks (which hop). These were the only props that I used for my baby’s Easter photoshoot.  Some of the other things that I used were a blanket and laundry basket.  I also had one onesie that I asked for the baby shower which said “chicks are all over me”. As I was registering for baby essentials, that was one of the things that I registered for were Holliday onesies.

Here are some tips when talking baby photos when the baby is starting to be more alert like my baby boy is:

  1. Make sure you already fed the baby ( a hungry baby will be very fussy and will not want to take photos)
  2. make sure after you feed the baby that you wait a little bit so that the baby does not spit up all over themselves.
  3. Make sure the baby napped ( if the baby did not nap and you want to take photos that require the baby to be awake, they will be fussy and not want to take any photos for you)

One of the photos which I took was filling the laundry basket with plastic eggs. I placed the baby in the laundry basket which a blanket in it and then I put the plastic eggs all over him.  At first the baby was crying and scared and that was because he was sleepy and hungry. When I re-did the photo, I made sure to place the eggs a few at a time so that he would not cry. See the photo below.

The other photos which I took were with the Easter onesie and the chicks. I also had a crochet chick hat which my mother in-law made him.  Everything was themed as chicks.  See the photo below.

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I had had a wonderful time taking Easter photos with my baby boy. I hope these photos inspire you to take you’re own Easter photos of your children.  Happy photo taking 😀

Easter Basket Ideas

As Easter is on its way, I had to figure out 3 basket ideas. As I was shopping and in the stores, I saw all the pre-made Easter baskets and didn’t like the things that were in there and second they were expensive. I decided to create my own Easter baskets for 3 special children in my life.  One for a 3 year old girl and 2 for babies.  My niece who is 3 years old was easier to create her Easter basket because there is so much more that you are able to get. My son and my other niece they were the hard ones because they are so little there is just a limited amount of things you are able to get them.  As I was shopping, I came across many different things. I was excited to put the baskets together after all my shopping. Here is a list of things that I put into the baskets:

Easter basket for 3 year old:

  1. kite
  2. play-doh
  3. paints
  4. coloring books
  5. candy (non-chocolate)
  6. bubbles
  7. lollipops
  8. chalk

Easter Basket for a baby:

  1. shoes (pre-walkers)
  2. board books
  3. hair clips (for girls)
  4. rubber ducky
  5. bucket and shovel (beach things)
  6. stuffed animals

These are just some of the things that I put into the Easter baskets but there are so many other things that you can put. It’s good to think about things that the children will use and might need for the following season like spring and summer.  For example:

Easter Basket for a baby:

  1. clothes (onesis)
  2. beach things
  3. bath toys
  4. teethers

Easter Basket for 3 year old:

  1. Jump rope
  2. other things to use when outside during the spring and/or summer like: summer hats, beach towel, spring jacket, sandals
  3. chocolate (if they like it)
  4. sports balls
  5. Frisbee

There are some photos of the things that I picked up for the Easter basket and how I wrapped it up for the kids to open. I can’t wait for them to open these baskets on Easter. I hope this inspires you to create a wonderful Easter basket for some special children in your lives.

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60th Birthday Basket Idea

Ever thought of getting someone a birthday basket? Read this blog to find out what you can do for a 60th birthday basket. Today is my dad’s 60th birthday.  60 is a big number and so much is achieved by the time someone is 60.  Many people have large parties for their 60th birthdays. My dad did not we just went out for his birthday as a family. My dad is the first man that I have loved.  My dad is a wonderful man who has done so much for me.  I wanted to show him how much he had done for me by creating a basket with 60 different things for him.  So as his birthday was approaching I started thinking: What will I ever get him? What are some things that he likes?  He has so many things that for me to get him something that he didn’t have was going to be hard. So I thought about just getting him things that he can use and/or eat at the moment.   I went searching through many different stores in order to pick up 60 different things. Some of the stores which I visited were: CVS, Target, TJMaxx, BJs and Walmart.

Gifts and the store:

  1. TJMaxx-  I picked up a large basket so that I was able to place all the things into that basket.  Other things which I picked up in TJMaxx were two shirts, a wallet, four ties, and a portable cellphone charger.
  2. CVS- I picked up many different chocolate bars. I wanted to pick a variety so that they were all not the same. This was the easy part because my dad eats all kinds of chocolate.
  3. Target- I picked up some more chocolate bars.
  4. Walmart- I picked a Mets hat and slippers.
  5. BJs- I picked up more chocolate but this time it was the Lindt chocolate. I also picked up fruit jelly (he loves these) and Polish beer.

With all these things I was still short of 60 items for the basket.  I ended up picking through 10 wines that I had at home to add to the basket.

I was so excited to give my dad his basket and watch his reaction to all the things that I got for him.  When I gave him the basket he was so happy and excited with all the things that he got.  Below is a photo of the items which I put in the basket. Hope this inspires you to create a 60th birthday basket for someone special in your life.  🙂

 

Ocean Theme Nursery and Decor

Ever get an idea but can’t find ideas? Here is what I did when I picked a nursery theme that did not have many tips! We bought a house before we got pregnant. We painted the spare room or the baby’s nursery a neutral color. The color we chose was coral.  When I got pregnant, I wanted to make sure that my nursery was neutral.  I did not want the room to have a boy or girl theme so I decided on an ocean theme.  As I was doing my research, it was hard to find ideas online.  There wasn’t much for me to find to get ideas.  I started thinking about my own ideas.  I decided on creating the alphabet with seashells.  I bought wooden letters for each letter of the alphabet.  For each letter I glued a seashell. The letters were painted with orange acrylic paint.  After the alphabet dried, I placed them where the crib was going. See the photo below.

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The room is small so I wanted to get the most space. The crib was a two in one.  The crib also grows with the baby.  The crib has an attached changing table. It also has lot of storage space. One drawer has diapers and the other drawer has blankets and crib sheets.  On the side of the changing table, I have lotions, wipes and diaper pail bags. I was able to use the crib to store a lot of things that I needed for the baby and everything was easy access.  See the alphabet and crib below.  I find a Baby Einstein ocean mobile and was lucky to have someone buy it for me for the baby shower. It has four different kinds of ocean animals: octopus, sea star, fish and sea turtle.  The baby enjoys looking at it and talks to the animals at times.  I also requested a activity pack which was ocean theme. It is a turtle that grows with the baby. It’s also a ball pit for when the baby gets older so that he can sit and play with it. It’s amazing to watch the baby play in the activity pack.

I placed many different kinds of ocean animal decals around the whole room.  Some of these ocean animals were: whales, seashells, dolphins, fish, shrimp, crabs, octopus, and a shark.  Below are some photos of walls and the decals.  I made sure to make the room very friendly and child friendly.

 

In one corner, I have a rocking chair which is where I feed the baby.  This is where we bond together. Above the chair, I have stuffed animals in a storage net.  This storage net holds lot of stuffed animals. It is able to open up to 6 feet long.  The baby has a lot of stuffed animals that they did not fit in the net. I have some on the small bookcase and around the chair.  The small bookcase has board books to read for night time.  Some of the books are classic stories that I read as a child like Dirty Harry. It is important to read to your child every day and to have books handy next to you for any time.  I hope this inspires you to create your own ocean theme nursery.  This nursery can be used for both girls and boys. Happy decorating 🙂

 

First trip to the farm

This year is going to be a year of many “first” for my family.  My son will experience everything for the first time and my husband and I will experience everything for the first time with him.  These moments are going to be special and I will be blogging about it as well.

With the weather being so wonderful this weekend, we decided to take our son to the farm.  The farm which we went to was White Post Farms.  The farm has many different kinds of animals like goats, sheeps, zebras, ponies, cows and others.  We took our son for the first time today and it was fun because he was not scared of any of the animals. He just stared at them.  I made sure that he did not touch any of the animals because he is only 4 months but I made sure to expose him.   It is important to take your child out when the weather is great and beautiful.  Little children need to be exposed to the environment that surrounds them.  I can not wait to experience more firsts with my son.