Our Boys’ Easter Baskets

I’m a big fan of Easter.

In recent years the occasion has taken on more of a faith-based significance in my life, while the novelty side of the holiday has been emphasized since adding children to our family. I talked about this a bit here but we’re pro Easter bunny in the Bosse home and we love every second of it. Some of my earliest childhood memories involve excitedly searching for a basket of simple items carefully hidden in our home by the ‘bunny,’ also known as my mother. I love passing this tradition along to our boys now, and seeing their same excitement and joy.

I bought Lachlan’s white wicker Easter basket at Target for his first Easter in 2016. The blue monogram liner seemed like the perfect piece to grow with him for years to come, and at less than $15.00 it felt like a bargain. Last year when I was pregnant with Everett but not yet sure if he was indeed a boy (well, we KNEW just not officially!) I was meandering Target only to find they had already put out their Easter stuff. I saw the basket liners on display, the same liners as the one we have for Lachlan, and panicked because I didn’t know what color to get.

I know, I know what a luxurious problem to encounter!

Joking aside, as one who deeply values the circumstances and tangibles surrounding all things celebratory, I wanted to have a similar basket for the baby, our next child, so it would coordinate with Lachlan’s. And so for years to come, those baskets together would bring joy when they sat side-by-side on Easter morning.

I also knew that whether this babe was a girl or boy our kiddo’s name would start with the letter ‘E’ (more on that here), so I did a gut check, grabbed the blue liner, and just knew. I remember walking out of the seasonal section by the purple and pink liners and smiling because that whole intuition thing we have as women is so powerful.

Good thing pregnant Rhi knew what mama-to-two-boys Rhi would want.

Anyway, as you’ll see, while I scored the correct liner monogram, what I didn’t realize until just last month, is that the basket sizes and liner colors are actually quite different. Mom fail? While I love the contrast between the two sizes and liners, I’m hopeful it’s not something that one day the two boys with argue over; does anyone ever remember childhood arguments with siblings over silly things like that? Hand raised high over here.

On to the contents!

In our three year old’s basket is:

• A handful of plastic eggs in various shades of blue, each one containing a single piece of chocolate. As the boys get older, a bit more responsible, and it’s developmentally appropriate, I’d love to fill plastic eggs with coins.

• Five mini milk chocolate Lindt Easter bunnies. I’ve been putting some form of these mini Easter animal chocolates in Lachlan’s basket since he was a baby and if anything, it’s more of a tradition now. Mark my words, my boys will get these adorable treats sent to their college dorms one Easter holiday very far from now.

• A pack of organic gummy snacks from Yum Earth snagged in the ‘healthy’ Easter candy section. Rather than throw in more chocolate I opted for a healthier snack addition that will probably come on our next trip with us. There are many other snack options to consider here but these cute festive shapes were an added bonus!

• A large green Crayola Silly Putty egg. I give it a week or two before this stuff becomes either covered in dog hair or boring to my constantly moving three year but either way it’s a fun addition that reminds me of when I was little. Remember squishing Silly Putty onto a piece of newspaper so the ink magically rubbed off onto the putty?

• A glow in the dark bath bomb, which I did not personally make, but will surely make one of Lachlan’s evening baths pretty fun and exciting! Given my side hobby of soap and bath product creation, I often struggle with purchasing these types of things but this was too good to pass up for my bath-loving kiddo.

• And finally, I have such a hard time being comfortable with buying or even receiving gifts for Lachlan (or Everett) in the form of new toys because we already have SO many. And most of the toys we have just get overlooked and create such disorder and clutter in our home. So I try to gift things that are temporary delights, edible, OR needed like new socks, sundries, or in this case, these fun sidewalk Chalk Blast Bombs. I found them at Hobby Lobby and knew they’d be perfect for those first few spring days when we can go outside and comfortably play.

And in our six month old’s basket there is:

• Three baby food pouches because again, I like to combine pleasure with necessity when it comes to gifts for my children. Ev goes through quite a bit of food now that he’s eating solids and these will easily get devoured the first week back to school after the holiday. I had an older women mention to me the other day how helpful it would have been to have pouches of food decades ago instead of the cumbersome jars she used! We love pouches.

• This Magic Years bath time Easter themed finger puppet set, which is also available at Target in the seasonal section. It’s probably the sweetest little set of finger puppets I ever did see! I know our little sensory sensitive guy will adore these, during bath time or elsewhere like our upcoming first plane trip as a family of four!

• This adorable You’re My Little honey Bunny book. Most of the books we read to Ev are hand me downs from Lachlan and that’s totally great. But a lot of the books we have are damaged or missing pages (ahem, Lachlan) and I wanted to get a special holiday specific book for just Ev. I’m also hoping to get a religious-specific Easter book for the boys to share to help teach them one of the big reasons we celebrate. I’d love suggestions if you have them!

• Finally, the same blue eggs in Lachlan’s basket are in Ev’s, more so just to keep things equal. And while Ev can’t obviously eat the chocolate tucked inside the plastic eggs, I CAN, and this mama is going to totally be OK with this special little Easter surprise intentionally planned out just for her. Everything in moderation my friends.

Some of my favorite Easter tips and ideas:

1. Easter basket grass to me, is like lights on a Christmas tree. Without it things wouldn’t feel the same! But I also care about our planet so I reuse our basket filler year after year. I have also been using the same colored plastic eggs for our extended family’s short and sweet annual Easter egg hunt. Then the basket and grass I use for Andrew’s basket also gets saved. If it can be used again then I stash it in our Easter bin and tuck it away in storage.

2. Which leads me to this: yes, my adult man husband also receives an Easter basket. Since I am very confident he will not read this I can tell you in his basket is a new chef knife he’s wanted for a while, a $10 Starbucks gift card, new pair of socks, and dark chocolate Lindt bunny. He also has a few of the blue plastic eggs filled with chocolate.

3. Consider regifting items to your kiddos when appropriate. For example, when Lachlan was younger, I put one of his Jelly Cat bunnies in his basket as a festive filler. He didn’t need another stuffed animal or another thing IN the basket so the existing stuffed animal did the trick! Also, when it comes to birthdays and holidays, if the kids get too many things from friends and family, so much so that it becomes at all overwhelming to play with all at once, I’ll tuck some things away and bring them out at the next holiday or special occasion. I don’t at all feel guilty about this but instead consider it a responsible way to control our things versus being controlled by them.

4. Finally, if shopping for things, creating Easter baskets, putting our seasonal decorations, and stuffing eggs and hunting for them, feels like a lot to adapt for your family, that’s totally cool! There are things we don’t do in our family because they feel like a lot (e.g. camping, oy) but making the holidays, both religious and otherwise, feel really exciting and magical because of the things, people, and traditions in them, is what we make space, money, and time for. Narrow in on what can be a priority for you and roll with it unapologetically!

Are you an Easter basket fan? If so, what sort of items do you put in yours? I love my friend Em’s suggestions and the different ways she approaches Easter in her home. Share your thoughts below and join the conversation! Xoxo

My Favorite Clean Eating Party Appetizer

One of the most memorable things I ate when we were in Italy two summers ago, was a beautifully green hued appetizer served atop a lightly fried slice of polenta. It was part of the hors d’oeuvres course at Kelly and Pete’s wedding, and for what it lacked in complexity it made up for in taste and texture. I knew I’d regret not asking the chef how she made it, let alone what it was (all I knew is that little two bite diddy was GOOD), so it was one of my final questions of the evening for her when we were hurriedly packing up all out stuff for our flight home.

I never got an official recipe while in Italy but I think that’s why I like this crowd pleaser so much. The main punch in the pesto comes from English peas, lending to a wonderfully crunchy texture and subtle sweetness. And then the raw almonds take the crunch up a notch while the simple flavors of lemon, olive oil, and garlic, make it perfect for crackers, crostini, crudités, or even atop a big bowl of angel hair pasta (thanks to Sam for the suggestion; she went home after photographing this for me and made the pesto for her own family).

So bear with me while I share the most unofficial measurements with you.

Toss in your food processor:

• About a cup’s worth of English peas (Trader Joe’s has lovely bags of these beauties year round but they are also a frequent summer farmer’s market item). When I made the batch for the photos used throughout this post I couldn’t figure out why the pesto was so chunky and dry. At first it was because I forgot the olive oil (ha) but a few days later I realized I also forgot the first step and that was to precook the peas ever so slightly that they were soft but still firm. Don’t skip the pre-cook step and cook your peas until they are a bit tender.

• About one big handful of fresh basil or more depending on your palette and preference. I’m sure you could also throw in a little bit of spinach if you’re like me and need as much iron as possible in your diet. If you grow basil in your garden and end up with it by the bowlful at the end of the summer, remember this recipe!

• About half a cup of whole raw almonds. Make sure they are unsalted!

• Juice from half of a lemon and whatever you do, don’t skip this ingredient and use the fake stuff. The real stuff is the best! Also, watch out for lemon seeds. You get even one of those seeds in there with the almonds, and good luck finding it and fishing it out. You could use lime in lieu of the lemon but the lemon is best.

• Two to three fresh garlic cloves. I used the minced garlic from the jar because we had it already in the fridge but I’m a believer nothing beats fresh garlic. You pick how important your breath is to you on the day you eat this.

• A healthy splash of extra virgin olive oil. Or whatever version of olive oil you have on hand, I just like to sometimes pretend I’m a food blogger so EVOO sounds fancier here. Remember, next to the lemon juice, this is your only form of liquid and the more olive oil you add, the creamier the texture of the pesto. If you want a spreadable pesto or something appropriate to pour over or mix with pasta, then load up on the oil OR consider adding a small amount of water from the pot you cooked the peas in.

• Salt and pepper. The fancy kind like sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Give everything a good whirl into the processor until you get the consistency you’d like. Start with less lemon juice and olive oil and add as you go if you’re nervous because you can always add more liquid but thickening this up is tricky. Scrape down the sides of the processor bowl before putting the pesto into a storage or serving bowl. You can top with freshly grated lemon zest or even a bit of grated parmigiano-reggiano if you’re not dairy sensitive.

This pesto will keep well in the fridge for a couple days and the flavors become richer with time but the mixture because a bit harder so I always suggest using it as soon as possible (if it’s not devoured right away!). It’s the perfect party dip, holiday appetizer, or like I mentioned above, with more liquid, sauce to put over pasta. Plus it’s vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free, which is a huge win because the trifecta of food specific restrictions is hard to respect. Try tossing in some sun dried tomatoes or mushrooms for a delicious change of flavor too!

And if you’re wondering about some of the items in the photos:

The blue bowl is from Hobby Lobby
Our dining room table from World Market
The whole wheat pita crackers are from Trader Joe’s

Our charcuterie board in the background was a gift
And those pink blooms! Double lisianthus for the win!

Enjoy! Xo

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