Month: March 2015

Weekly Whims: Easter Traditions From Around The World

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We are avid egg hiders and hunters at my house.  It is not uncommon for us and any visitors to get in on the fun at least two dozen times over the Easter weekend.  Of course, the other traditional highlights for our family are dying and decorating eggs and seeing that the very elusive Easter Bunny has visited on Easter Eve…filling their baskets with treats and trinkets galore!  As I spend a fun-filled day with our awesometastic family…I am reflective, thankful and humbled by all of my blessings in this amazing journey of life.  What Easter traditions does your family have?

What I know for sure:  God. Is. Good.

Wishing everyone a blessed and Happy Easter!

Here are some interesting traditions from around the world as posted by Woman’s Day.  Have a read and do share your traditions in the comments below! 🙂

***For the record…I want in on that France Omelet.  who’s with me?***

Finland

Finland

Children in this Scandinavian country go begging in the streets with sooty faces and scarves around their heads, carrying broomsticks, coffeepots and bunches of willow twigs. In some parts of Western Finland, people burn bonfires on Easter Sunday, a Nordic tradition stemming from the belief that the flames ward off witches who fly around on brooms between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Photo courtesy of Henri Bonell via Flickr.com.

Poland

Poland

Pouring water on one another is a Polish Easter tradition called Smingus-Dyngus. On Easter Monday, boys try to drench other people with buckets of water, squirt guns or anything they can get their hands on. Legend says girls who get soaked will marry within the year. The refreshing tradition has its origins in the baptism of Polish Prince Mieszko on Easter Monday in 966 AD. Photo by Associated Press.

Haux, France

France

Don’t forget a fork if you’re in this southern French town on Easter Monday. Each year a giant omelet is served up in the town’s main square. And when we say giant, we mean giant: The omelet uses more than 4,500 eggs and feeds up to 1,000 people. The story goes, when Napoleon and his army were traveling through the south of France, they stopped in a small town and ate omelets. Napoleon liked his so much that he ordered the townspeople to gather their eggs and make a giant omelet for his army the next day. Photo by iStockphoto.

Corfu, Greece

Greece

On the morning of Holy Saturday, the traditional “Pot Throwing” takes place on the Greek island of Corfu: People throw pots, pans and other earthenware out of their windows, smashing them on the street. Some say the custom derives from the Venetians, who on New Year’s Day used to throw out all of their old items. Others believe the throwing of the pots welcomes spring, symbolizing the new crops that will be gathered in the new pots. Photo courtesy of George Tziralis via Flickr.com.

Norway

Norway

Easter is such a popular time for Norwegians to read crime novels that publishers actually come out with special “Easter Thrillers” known as Paaskekrimmen. The tradition is said to have started in 1923 when a book publisher promoted its new crime novel on the front pages of newspapers. The ads resembled news so much that people didn’t know it was a publicity stunt. Photo courtesy of Trondelarius via Flickr.com.

Rome, Italy

Rome

On Good Friday the Pope commemorates the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) at the Colosseum: A huge cross with burning torches illuminates the sky as the 14 Stations of the Cross are described in several languages. Mass is celebrated on the evening of Holy Saturday, and on Easter Sunday, thousands of visitors congregate in St. Peter’s Square to await the Pope’s blessing from the church’s balcony, known as “Urbi et Orbi” (“To the City and to the World”). Photo courtesy of Dazzi via Flickr.com.

Czech Republic and Slavakia

Slovakia

Traveling to these Eastern European countries over Easter? If so, you’d better watch your back! There’s an Easter Monday tradition in which men spank women with handmade whips made of willow and decorated with ribbons. According to legend, the willow is the first tree to bloom in the spring, so the branches are supposed to transfer the tree’s vitality and fertility to the women. This playful spanking is all in good fun and isn’t meant to cause pain. Photo courtesy of PinkCappachino via Flickr.com.

Verges, Spain

Spain

On Holy Thursday in the Medieval town of Verges, Spain, the traditional “dansa de la mort” or “death dance” is performed. To reenact scenes from The Passion, everyone dresses in skeleton costumes and parades through the streets. The procession ends with frightening skeletons carrying boxes of ashes. The macabre dance begins at midnight and continues for three hours into the early morning. Photo by Getty Images.

Washington, DC, USA

DC

For 130 years, the White House has hosted the Easter Egg Roll on its South Lawn. The main activity involves rolling a colored hard-boiled egg with a large serving spoon, but now the event boasts many more amusements, like musical groups, an egg hunt, sports and crafts. This year’s theme is “Ready, Set, Go!” and will promote health and wellness, featuring activities that encourage children to lead healthy and active lives. Photo by Getty Images.

Hungary

Hungary

“Sprinkling,” a popular Hungarian Easter tradition, is observed on Easter Monday, which is also known as “Ducking Monday.” Boys playfully sprinkle perfume or perfumed water on girls. Young men used to pour buckets of water over young women’s heads, but now they spray perfume, cologne or just plain water, and ask for a kiss. People used to believe that water had a cleaning, healing and fertility-inducing effect. Photo by Getty Images.

Sunday Scoops: 5 Fun Easter Food Ideas!

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I have to admit that I am a sucker for fun food ideas when it comes to holidays and special occasions.  These are some of my favorites that I have stumbled on for the upcoming Easter Holiday.  Now while it would be quite tempting to pack my hubby and tween’s lunch in easter eggs…I suppose I will save that one for the littlest littles!

Now, after you’ve checked out the ideas here…put down that fluffly, delicious, sugar dusted lil Peep and share what fun Easter Recipes you love!images033WUCS0

First up……Bunny Pancakes!

Bunny Pancakes

Bunny Pancakes  Source: Taste of Home

chick

Chicks-On-The-Ranch Deviled Eggs  Source: Taste of Home

Bunny Breakfast

Bunny Breakfast  Source: Worth Pinning

bird-nest

Birds’ Nests Source: The Curvy Carrot

Easter Egg Lunch Hunt

Easter Egg Lunch Hunt  Source: Gluesticks

Weekly Whims: 5 Budget Friendly Staycations! Yes please!

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I have to admit I really really reallly love to travel, but to be honest, when we take a big and more expensive “fly away” vacation…particularly with children in tow…we inevitably come home with the feeling of needing a vacation from our vacation. Who’s with me here?  So, this year we are opting for some staycation fun by not travelling more than a few hours from home.  A short road trip is always manageable and doesn’t drain everyone completely from the commute alone.  Here are a few ideas that may inspire you and yours to do the same!  Staycations have made some great memories for us, not to mention how budget friendly they can be.  I look forward to our plans ahead and would love any staycation ideas that you have so please share in the comments!  As always, thanks for reading friends! ~Lisa 🙂

1) SOMEWHERE NEW :  I have lived in the same region for my entire life and there are still new places for me to see. Check out places that are popular or historical that are within driving distance that you have never been to before. Maybe find a great deal on a hotel or campsite to stay for a couple of nights to explore the area more.  You don’t have to go far to see something new!

2) FAMILY VOTE : This is one of my kids favorite ways to spend a staycation if we have time off and haven’t planned to go anywhere. Each day one family member gets to pick what we will do near home…day trips! We have gone bowling, to the mueseum, movie day, hiking, picnic at the park, etc.

3) VISIT FAMILY OR FRIENDS : If you have family or friends that live within driving distance…plan with them to head over for a visit! Getting together often sometimes go to the wayside with busy work and school schedules, so take advantage of the time off to spend quality time with those that you care about most. Plan a BBQ, Picnic or Camping Trip to catch up and give your kiddos a chance to catch up with cousins!

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4) HALF & HALF : If you are someone who could really just use some time off to catch up on all of the to-do items that get put off due to the daily jam, but really don’t want to spend your time off doing anything but relaxing and having some fun….I say split it up! Plan ahead to do the “productive” to-do list items that are a priority to you the first half of your time off and commit to yourself and your family that you will spend the second half relaxing and having a bit of fun.  The time spent on the to-do list will help you relax guilt-free while you end your time off recharging your “batteries”.  Sometimes just checking a few items off of that never-ending to-do list can make you feel great without having to forfeit the all important “you” time!

5) JUST CHILL: Seriously…spending time at home chillaxing (thanks tween vocab) doing whatever we feel like on a whim really is some of the most rejuvenating time off. Double bonus is that the time off always feels longer when you are not trying to fit too much into the schedule. Make it still feel special by ordering take-out from a favorite restaurant or have some neighbors over for an impromptu BBQ and board game night. Whatever floats your boat just chill and do what makes you happy!

 

Sunday Scoops: Slow Cooker Meatloaf

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meatloaf

 

Oh how I love a delicious and easy slow cooker meal! This is one of my favorite Pinterest recipe finds by Recipe Chatter. With minimal prep…and I’m talking like 10 minutes max, set my slow cooker and voila!…dinner is served!

I substituted the Ritz Crackers used in the original recipe with Bread Crumbs because it is what I had on hand.  I’ve even diced up carrots and mushrooms for more of a “hidden veggie” type of meatloaf. Gotta get those veggies in where you can! This is a super yummy go-to recipe for my family. Everyone loves it, even my pickiest eater!

Enjoy! ~ Lisa

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped green peppers
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Ritz cracker crumbs
  • 1 1/2 cup ketchup, divided
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

 

HOW TO MAKE IT:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together ground beef, green pepper, onion, eggs, salt, cracker crumbs, and 3/4 cups of the ketchup. Use a spoon or your hands to incorporate the mixture.
  2. Line your slow cooker with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick spray. Shape the meat mixture into a loaf and place in slow cooker.
  3. Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours (or 170 internal temp-well done). In the last 15 minutes, mix together remaining ketchup, mustard and brown sugar and spread on top meatloaf. Let cook for remaining 15 minutes.
  4. Let cool, slice and serve.

Image & Recipe Credit: Recipe Chatter

Weekly Whims: 7 Lucky Facts about St. Patrick’s Day!

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I have to be honest, I have gone most of my life knowing very little about the St. Patrick’s Day holiday.  I researched a lot of history on it and found this fun infographic by DegreeSearch.org that I thought would be fun to share with all of you in spirit of the holiday!  I look forward to keeping my Little Leprechauns busy with a St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt this afternoon.  I also would love to make a tasty traditional Irish dish, but I honestly don’t have one.  If you have or know of a good one…please share!  I would love to try it!

How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

seven_lucky_facts