have you been to the dollar store lately? that place is a gold mine!

i picked up a few goodies there the other day and saw a lot of easter decorations. i've never done much to decorate for holidays other than Christmas, but i think starting our family has made me want to do more seasonal decorating to start traditions and memories. and easter is an incredible celebration. Jesus rose from the dead! i saw these easter egg ornaments at the dollar store and was inspired to make a little easter tree.

i already had a white planter, and i trudged through the knee-deep snow to cut a branch from a tree in our front yard (this was by far the hardest part!). i scrounged for some styrofoam and used that as a base to stick the branch through and keep it upright.

Sparkly Easter Eggs for DIY Easter Tree
Styrofoam Base for DIY Easter Tree

i covered the styrofoam with some shredded paper i had saved from a gift (i knew right where to get it since i organized my wrapping supplies!). then i just had to hang my sparkly eggs.

Sparkly Easter Eggs on DIY Easter Tree

yes, the branches are bare outside, but inside they carry glittery eggs! for one dollar this little tree sure brings some brightness into our home.

have you found anything awesome at the dollar store recently? do tell! and are you putting up any decorations in your home to celebrate easter?

birthday happenings

whew! it has been a busy week.
i have a lovely sister. she turned 23 on tuesday. we celebrated with our family on sunday, and we met some sweet friends from her work. it was a beautiful day—sunny and warm—so we ate lunch outside.

i got the chance to try out a recipe i've been curious about. it's the pink lemonade layer cake from the deen brothers cookbook. it called for lemon zest in both the cake and the frosting, but i left that out because i wanted it to be more sweet than tart. in my opinion, it came out plenty tart, so i think i'll leave that out in the future.

anyway, kristy put in a request for a strawberry or raspberry dessert, so i added strawberries. i also got a chance to use the cake decorating tools ben gave me for Christmas in 2008!

of course, i wanted to use the camera. so here's the visual story of the cake's life.

k for kristen. it was soon time to blow out the candle and...we all know how the story ends.

i was feeling extra crafty, so i decided to make her birthday card myself. i had saved this post to try and i decided to make the most of all the leftover paint color samples we have around the house. i had everything else on hand.

what fun to make things out of stuff you already have.

p.s. free coffee today at starbucks if you bring your own mug! happy tax day!

another p.s. instead of posting pics of the kids from easter, here's a video ben took of klaas teaching those kids crazy things. ha!