Tween Easter Basket Fillers

Both of my kids are tweens. My son will be an official teenager in June. I know. I’m kind of scared! Each year, I get really excited to fill their Easter baskets. Since we celebrate Orthodox Easter, which is sometimes on a different date, we get 75% off Easter stuff! However, as much as I love filling Easter baskets, now that my kids are older, I sometimes feel like I’m filling it with a bunch of junk because most of the traditional Easter fillers are geared towards younger kids. To help you all out, I’ve put together a list of tween Easter basket filler ideas.

tween easter basket

Sport Themed Tween Easter Basket

Right now, my kids spring sports are starting up. My daughter plays soccer and my son plays lacrosse. A fun Easter basket idea would be to make a Sport Themed Tween Easter Basket! I don’t know about your house, but at mine, the kids are forever leaving their water bottles somewhere. Whether they leave it at the field, in the back of my car or at school, I am always buying new water bottles. Here is what I would put in a sports themed tween Easter basket:

Under Armour Undeniable Squeeze Bottle with Quick Shot Lid, Lead, 32 OunceUnder Armour Undeniable Squeeze Bottle with Quick Shot Lid, Lead, 32 OunceSwax Lax Lacrosse Training Balls BlueSwax Lax Lacrosse Training Balls BlueMadSportsStuff Flaming Soccer Ball Over The Calf Socks39 (Royal/Large)MadSportsStuff Flaming Soccer Ball Over The Calf Socks39 (Royal/Large)LAX Lacrosse Crew Socks (Black/White, Large)LAX Lacrosse Crew Socks (Black/White, Large)Stunning White Soccer Ball with Pink Crystals Pendant and 16Stunning White Soccer Ball with Pink Crystals Pendant and 16PopSockets: Expanding Stand and Grip for Smartphones and Tablets - Soccer BallPopSockets: Expanding Stand and Grip for Smartphones and Tablets – Soccer Ball

I know my daughter would be beside herself if that soccer PopSockets showed up in her Easter basket this year! Get a few of the items above (be sure to click on them…they come in other sports and colors), add in a couple pieces of chocolate or jelly beans and you are good to go!

Tech Themed Tween Easter Basket

Is your tween more of a techy? Don’t worry, I got you covered for the tech loving tweens! If your tweens are anything like mine, then they love gift cards! For the tech lover, I highly suggest you get them an iTunes gift card. I like to use my Speedway rewards to get gift cards! Other things I suggest adding are:

iPod Touch 5th 6th Gen Cover Case Transparent Clear Glow Shock Resistant HybridiPod Touch 5th 6th Gen Cover Case Transparent Clear Glow Shock Resistant HybridFintie Folio PU Leather Case Cover for iPad 4th Generation With Retina Display, iPad 3 & iPad 2 (Black)Fintie Folio PU Leather Case Cover for iPad 4th Generation With Retina Display, iPad 3 & iPad 2 (Black)iPad 2 3 4 Screen Protector,TANTEK [HD-Clear][Anti-Scratch][Anti-Glare][Anti-Fingerprint] Tempered Glass Screen Protector for Apple iPad 2 / iPad 3 / iPad 4 (9.7 inch),[Lifetime Warranty]-[1Pack]iPad 2 3 4 Screen Protector,TANTEK [HD-Clear][Anti-Scratch][Anti-Glare][Anti-Fingerprint] Tempered Glass Screen Protector for Apple iPad 2 / iPad 3 / iPad 4 (9.7 inch),[Lifetime Warranty]-[1Pack]Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) ControllerNintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) ControllerAtari Flashback Classics: Volume 2Atari Flashback Classics: Volume 2

We got my husband the Atari game for his 40th birthday and the kids have had fun playing the games, in between making fun of how the games looked “way back then”!

Book Loving Tween Easter Basket

One thing I really love is that both of my kids love to read. They are always asking to go to the library so they can check out a new book. My daughter is always getting a non-fiction book about animals or something scientific. My son gets any and every graphic novel he can read (that’s appropriate…some of them…not so much). Besides the obvious Amazon Gift Card, I’d also put the following in a book lovers Easter basket:

Kindle Paperwhite E-reader - Black, 6Kindle Paperwhite E-reader – Black, 6Fintie SmartShell Case for Kindle Paperwhite - The Thinnest and Lightest PU Leather Cover With Auto Sleep/Wake for All-New Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (Fits All 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016 Versions), BlackFintie SmartShell Case for Kindle Paperwhite – The Thinnest and Lightest PU Leather Cover With Auto Sleep/Wake for All-New Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (Fits All 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016 Versions), BlackThe Baby-Sitters Club Graphix #1-4 Box Set: Full-Color EditionThe Baby-Sitters Club Graphix #1-4 Box Set: Full-Color EditionMaximum Ride: The Manga, Vol. 1Maximum Ride: The Manga, Vol. 1

While the Kindle Paperwhite is a little more than we would typically spend at Easter, it is a gift that will get them reading. We have a lot of soccer and lacrosse tournaments this year, it will be nice for them to have.

Glamour Girl Themed Tween Easter Basket

My daughter is not a girly girl right now. The idea of getting nail polish and other “girl” stuff is not something she would enjoy. Her friends or one of my nieces would love this basket! In this basket, I would put the following:

Color Club Halographic Hues Nail Polish, Halo, Graphic, .05 OunceColor Club Halographic Hues Nail Polish, Halo, Graphic, .05 OunceFairyGlo Long Lasting Night Glow Gel Nail Polish Soak Off UV LED Dramatic Manicure Decor Kit Nail Art For Party Carnival Dressing 10ml 6724FairyGlo Long Lasting Night Glow Gel Nail Polish Soak Off UV LED Dramatic Manicure Decor Kit Nail Art For Party Carnival Dressing 10ml 6724Tinksky 50 Sheets 3D Design Self-adhesive Tip Nail Art Stickers Decals(Random Color Pattern)Tinksky 50 Sheets 3D Design Self-adhesive Tip Nail Art Stickers Decals(Random Color Pattern)Caboodles On the Go Girl Classic Case, Purple, 2.4 PoundCaboodles On the Go Girl Classic Case, Purple, 2.4 PoundBurt's Bees 100% Natural Moisturizing Lip Gloss, Ocean Sunrise, 1 Tube with Wand ApplicatorBurt’s Bees 100% Natural Moisturizing Lip Gloss, Ocean Sunrise, 1 Tube with Wand ApplicatorEOS Visibly Soft Lip Balm Sphere, Vanilla Mint, 0.25 OunceEOS Visibly Soft Lip Balm Sphere, Vanilla Mint, 0.25 Ounce

Isn’t this a cute basket?!? I absolutely love it!

Which themed Tween Easter basket is your favorite?

St. Patrick’s Day Ultimate Recipe Round-Up

As a kid, I remember loving St. Patrick’s day. I used to plan out what I was going to wear, and it always included wearing a TON of green. No way was I going to get pinched by the kids at school! Now that I have kids, I always make sure to get them a funny t-shirtst. patrick's day for them to wear to school. Besides wearing green, St. Patrick’s day is also filled with fun crafts and yummy food. Enjoy this round-up of over 20 St. Patrick’s day recipes!

st. patrick's day

St. Patrick’s Day Ultimate Recipes Round-Up

Snacks

Meals

Desserts

Crafts and DIY Projects

Enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day! If you are drinking, please remember to be safe about it and have a designated driver. If you are hanging out at home with your kids, make it a fun family game night! Some of our favorite board games are below. Whatever you do, remember to pick up your fun t-shirts!

St. Patricks Day Kitty Cat on Kitty Unicorn Lucky Green Graphic T-Shirt - LargeSt. Patricks Day Kitty Cat on Kitty Unicorn Lucky Green Graphic T-Shirt – LargeStar Wars Darth Vader Lack of Green St Paddys Day Adult Sized T-shirt (Medium)Star Wars Darth Vader Lack of Green St Paddys Day Adult Sized T-shirt (Medium)Watch Ya' Mouth Family Edition - The Authentic, Hilarious, Mouthguard Party GameWatch Ya’ Mouth Family Edition – The Authentic, Hilarious, Mouthguard Party GameHasbro Pie Face GameHasbro Pie Face Game5 Second Rule - Just Spit it Out!5 Second Rule – Just Spit it Out!Jenga Classic GameJenga Classic GameHedBanz Game - Edition may varyHedBanz Game – Edition may vary

Easter Placemat Printable

In our house, we love to get together for Easter. One of my favorite things to do is go to my mother in-laws house to decorate Easter eggs. She makes enough hard boiled eggs so that each person has a dozen or so eggs to color (we usually have about 10+ people decorating eggs). It’s crazy, but so much fun! Like other families, we also enjoy a nice meal together. With a lot of little kids running around and needing something to occupy them, this Easter Placemat printable is perfect!

easter placemat

FREE Easter Placemat Printable

easter placemat

Print your FREE placemat HERE

Isn’t it cute?!? Think about how nice it will be on Easter to get the kids situated at their spot at the table and have them be occupied with their Easter placemat and not running around, getting in the way of everyone setting the food out? Sounds pretty heavenly to me!

For less than $10, you can pick up these crayons from Amazon and give each kid a pack of crayons! That way everyone has their own pack of crayons and there is no fighting!

Bulk Buy: Crayola Crayons 8/Pkg 52-3008 (12-Pack)Bulk Buy: Crayola Crayons 8/Pkg 52-3008 (12-Pack)

If I’m being honest, I’d probably go a step further and pick up these adorable activities books too and put together a little kiddie place setting with the Easter placemat, a pack of crayons and an activity book for each child. Not only are you keeping them occupied during dinner set up, but you are keeping them occupied for a bit after dinner while the adults finish! Even if it’s only for a little bit, it’s still worth it!

Activity Pad Assortment Party Accessory 1 dozenActivity Pad Assortment Party Accessory 1 dozen

What do you usually do for Easter? Is there a particular food you always have? A few recipes you may enjoy for your Easter dinner are:

Best Ham Recipe EVER

Not Your Traditional Lemon Bars

Creamed Spinach Recipe

Spring Cleaning Essentials

Spring is right around the corner. In fact, it barely seems like we even had a winter this year. We hit record highs in February and I am happy to say, I barely had to shovel any snow at all this winter. As if the temperatures aren’t crazy enough, my tulips are already coming up! Since we are well below freezing today (we were at almost 60 yesterday…crazy, I know), I am sure my tulips are done for this year. At any rate, spring is around the corner, which means we need to start thinking about getting started with our spring cleaning.

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spring cleaning

When I first got married, I always laughed when I heard someone talking about spring cleaning. To me, you clean all the time, why do you have to have a special spring cleaning? It’s wasn’t until I owned my own home and was responsible for the entire place, and my kids got much older, that I began to understand the importance of spring cleaning.

Spring Cleaning Essentials

Spring cleaning doesn’t need to be difficult and it’s not something that you need to spend all day, one weekend doing. Sure, it’s easier to knock it all out at once, but with kids in travel sports, our weekends are mainly taken up with those sports. So I put together this spring cleaning guide, complete with those essential items you might want to pick up to make your cleaning easier. And who wouldn’t want their cleaning to be as easy as possible?!?

Protect Those Hands

Before I clean anything, I make sure I have these Mr. Clean rubber gloves. I cannot stand my hands getting dirty and I don’t like all the cleaners, no matter how natural they are, on my hands. I suggest you pick some up. They are really inexpensive on Amazon.

Mr. Clean 243093 Duet Reusable Latex Gloves, Medium, 2 Pairs/2 ColorsMr. Clean 243093 Duet Reusable Latex Gloves, Medium, 2 Pairs/2 Colors

Get the Kids Involved

One of the first things I take care of, or bribe my kids to do (let’s be honest), is cleaning the baseboards in my house. You don’t realize how dirty they get, and yes you should be cleaning them regularly, but who does? The best way to clean them is with these microfiber clothes and vinegar (I mix up my own with water, vinegar, dish soap and essential oils). Be sure to label your spray bottles.

Sinland All-purpose Microfiber Cleaning Cloths Wiping Dusting Rags 12Inchx12Inch Dark Grey 6 PackSinland All-purpose Microfiber Cleaning Cloths Wiping Dusting Rags 12Inchx12Inch Dark Grey 6 Pack24 Oz. Spray Bottles, 3 Pack, No-clog, Leak-proof Adjustable Nozzle, Janitorial, Cleaning, Housekeeping, Office, Chemical, Pump Bottle, All Purpose Cleaners, Glass Cleaner Sprayer24 Oz. Spray Bottles, 3 Pack, No-clog, Leak-proof Adjustable Nozzle, Janitorial, Cleaning, Housekeeping, Office, Chemical, Pump Bottle, All Purpose Cleaners, Glass Cleaner Sprayer

The nice thing about the microfiber clothes and the homemade vinegar spray, is that you can use them to clean other surfaces and areas in your home too!

Speaking of microfiber cloths…what if I told you that you could get microfiber slippers that will dust your floors? Hand your kids a spray bottle and have them dance around the floor. They will have fun AND be cleaning at the same time. You’re welcome!

Special Life 4pcs(2 Pairs) Microfiber Mop Shoes Cover - Easy for House Floor Dust Dirt Hair Cleaning(Color Random)Special Life 4pcs(2 Pairs) Microfiber Mop Shoes Cover – Easy for House Floor Dust Dirt Hair Cleaning(Color Random)

Must Have Item

If you feel like splurging this spring on something that you will use all year long and that will help you with your spring cleaning, as well as all those hard to reach spots all year long, then you really want to take a look at the Dyson V6 Animal Cord-Free Vacuum. Right now it’s $150 off on Amazon!! Quick…pick it up before it goes up in price!

Dyson V6 Animal Cord-free VacuumDyson V6 Animal Cord-free Vacuum

Other areas to remember to clean:

  • Windows, inside and out
  • Spray down your air conditioner
  • Change your furnace filterspring cleaning (6 pack on a tremendous sale!!)
  • Vacuum your air vents
  • Wash or dry clean your curtains
  • Clean, organize and sweep out your garage

Am I missing anything? What are some of the things you do when you are spring cleaning your home?

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Do Not Use Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint

A month or so before Christmas, my husband and I decided to redo our family room. It’s the room in the house that we spend the most amount of time in, so as you can imagine, the carpet, walls and furniture has taken a beating over the last 13 years. Right off the bat, I knew I wanted new carpet, the walls repainted, new furniture and a wood wall. Yep…a wood wall. I had pinned a bunch of ideas and googled where we could get the reclaimed wood from (Home Depot) and we got started. While I will be showing you the amazing transformation of our family room, the main focus on this post will be to tell you why you do NOT want to use Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint.

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Pro Tip…This is the BEST painters tape. We had zero problems with it and will forever use this tape.

FrogTape 1358463 Multi-Surface Painting Tape, Green, 0.94-Inch x 60-Yard RollFrogTape 1358463 Multi-Surface Painting Tape, Green, 0.94-Inch x 60-Yard Roll

Why Shouldn’t You Use Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint?

When we bought our house, 13 years ago, we painted every room the same color with the most inexpensive Behr paint that we could buy. I’m not joking. We bought 5 gallon jugs of it. It did the job and got us in our house quickly. If you could have seen what the house looked like when we bought it. Holy cow…it was stuck somewhere in the 70’s.

This time around, however, everyone told us to use Sherwin-Williams paint. We went to the Sherwin-Williams store near us and talked to the manager. She told us that we definitely wanted to use the Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint. She told us that it was expensive, but worth it with the great coverage and how the finished product looked. So we did it. We bit the bullet, paid the expensive price tag and used the Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint.

Guess what? It’s so not worth the money AT ALL. Look at what happened to our walls…

Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint

See those bubbles? The Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint began bubbling like that on all the walls we painted. As if that wasn’t bad enough, check out what started happening next…

Sherwin-williams emerald paint

All that hard work we put into priming and painting the walls was for nothing. The paint bubbled and then peeled off the walls. When we went back to the store, the manager tried telling us it was an issue with our walls. It’s not. After this happened, I began Googling “Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint” and there are entire websites and messages boards devoted to why people should not use this paint. Wish I would have thought to Google the paint before we did all the work.

Friends don't let friends use bad paint. Tweet to tell them why.Click To Tweet

Did Sherwin-Williams Work with Us?

Thankfully the store was willing to work with us. We told them the paint we wanted to use and then refunded the difference back to us since the paint we wanted to use to fix the walls was A LOT cheaper. This just goes to show that just because something is more expensive and labeled “the best”, it doesn’t mean it is the best. Not to mention, the Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint, according to the manager, is supposed to have a very low odor. So not the case. This was the worst smelling paint I ever used.

If this ever happens to you, do not hesitate to go back to the store with the cans of paint and pictures of what happened. Sherwin-Williams will work with you, as well as Lowes and Home Depot. Despite our struggles with getting this room done, it is now finished and one of my favorite rooms in the house! I highly recommend, if you like that reclaimed wood look, to check out the reclaimed wood at Home Depot. It’s such an easy DIY project!

sherwin-williams emerald paint