Friday, June 13, 2014

2014 Birthday Month: Giveaway 4…Lyrics & Melodies

Giveaway 1 ,2  3 are over, so now it is time for 4!

 

I love music. All kinds of music, in fact. This giveaway is for a $5 Amazon gift card for music. It will be a $5 emailed certificate to Amazon that you could use for anything really, but I would prefer it if you would use it for some music.

 

Print

To enter this giveaway, leave a comment with your favorite song or band, new or old. Multiple entries may be earned by posting on here or on my Facebook page. You must have a valid email address. Contest will close on Monday, June 16 at noon.

 

**I will be buying each of the items to giveaway. No product sponsorships were granted to me. I just love this stuff!**

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Navigating Migraines

It’s been a year since I first received the my cluster-eff diagnosis. I know this because I received the call to schedule my now-annual MRI. To say I am confident and will go in without a slight bit of trepidation and fear would be a lie. Each headache is a reminder of what I have and the potential outcome as a result. It doesn’t help that I’d had a recent migraine that lasted 10 days. T-E-N days?!? Perfect storm of barometric pressure change and hormonal shift. I’ve become quite adept at living with my head pains, even having what I call working-migraines.

“Can you describe what you feel, Bianca? What is it like? I think I might have had migraines, but I don’t know.” Sure! Here’s what mine feel like:

Have you ever had that sore head pain after you’ve been sick for a while? Or that head pain you get when you are sick and you’ve been sleeping a whole lot? Or maybe you have residual pain from a head injury?

Have you ever accidentally had a jolt of electricity sent to your body during a physical therapy session? That stabbing and burning heat filling your body and you feel paralyzed.

Have you ever seen fireworks up real close? All of the bright colors bursting around, like they are within arms reach. That feeling of emerging from a dark movie theater in the middle of the day?

Have you ever turned on your car radio and someone turned the volume at the loudest? That scare you get from the noise and the pain in your ears?

Have you ever eaten something rancid? That churning in your tummy and it takes everything you have to not get sick.

All of those things all of the time. But I failed to mention the guilt. All of the guilt I carry with me for having a short temper with my daughters and my Beloved. For trying to smile, unconvincingly to my friends, when I force appearances just to share time with them. For the sudden eruptions of tears at inopportune moments just because of the pain is so excruciating.

I don’t take Imitrex unless I just can’t take it any longer and I have nothing else planned for 72 hours. When I take it, I become numb, a zombie, my vertigo kicks in higher, and I lose time. Literally, I sleep. If I’m awake, I don’t remember. To get through life—achieve a working migraine, I take an Advil Migraine in the morning. It still makes me loopy, but not as much. I drink lots of extra water. This makes me pee more, but the hydration helps.  I load up on caffeine. My brain is having the rave of all raves. Caffeine helps to keep it at bay. I force runs. The endorphins and deep breathing help me to regulate blood flow. They aren’t spectacular fast runs. But if I can make it out to do the run, then I will feel a little better. I focus on my favorite things. They make me smile. I surround myself with understanding loved ones. My girls bring me ice packs for my head. They try to soft massage me. I can hear their discussions from the other room shushing one another because “Mommy has a head-ick.”

If you are someone who likes to have a plan, whether it be for the day, week, month, year…well, migraines are not for you. They make you a more spontaneous person. Not only in the negative ways--because you have to stop all of the things you may have planned, but in the positive ways—when you feel your best, you stop all of the things you may have planned and you take an afternoon to go lay on a blanket with your daughters to watch the clouds on a sunny day, go for ice cream, and let them shriek and laugh and giggle and talk as loudly as they want to because your brain is cooperating.

This wasn’t a light-hearted post and it has interrupted the giveaway posts. ha! But I wanted to have it written down so I would remember for this time around next year.

Monday, June 9, 2014

2014 Birthday Month: Giveaway 3…Warm & Cozy

Giveaway 1 and 2 have closed, now onto 3!

il_570xN.271035459

Today, I’m giving away a cozy pair of handmade slippers. These are wonderful if you own hardwood floors or tile and you like to pretend to figure skate in your home. They are also really great at keeping your feet warm, too. I know it is the beginning of the ridiculously hot summer, but it is never too early to plan. I will contact Beanies by Stacie to arrange payment and the winner will get to select their colors and size. These slippers are great for men, women, and children.

Leave a comment here or on Facebook to earn an entry!

 

**I will be buying each of the items to giveaway. No product sponsorships were granted to me. I just love this stuff!**

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

2014 Birthday Month: Giveaway 2…Things that Fizz

Giveaway 1 is closed, so now it is time for giveaway 2! Bubbles and Pop Rocks!

4-08 

Your very own mini bottle of Chandon, perfect for a celebration for 1, for a picnic, for a bubble bath, just because you are feeling sassy, or because you are in dire need of a champagne fix.

pop-rocks1

Pop Rocks are probably the most fun I’ve had with candy. You could make your own at home, but these are for the Pop Rock candy, not any that I will be actually making.

I wouldn’t advise you mixing the Pop Rocks with the champagne, but I’m not here to rain on your parade, so if that’s your thing, then have at it! The giveaway is open!

To enter this giveaway, tell me your favorite flavor of Pop Rocks or favorite drink made with champagne. I will draw a winner on Saturday morning, June 7. You can comment on the blog and on Facebook. Only two entries per person, unless you were one of the lucky six who have been automatically entered to each of the drawings already! For this giveaway, you must be 21 years or older and live in a place where I will see you in the next few months to hand deliver. (Lubbock, DFW, NYC) Good luck.

**I will be buying each of the items to giveaway. No product sponsorships were granted to me. I just love this stuff!**

Thursday, May 29, 2014

2014: Birthday Month: Giveaway 1

Giveaway 1: Coffee & Pens

Did you know I visit a coffee shop at least once a week to write? I started a novel back when I was nearing the end of university life. It long sat dormant, but over the course of this past year, I’ve opened up quite a creative tap and have discovered lots of content and characters that will forever be immortalized. Today’s giveaway is inspired by delicious hand-crafted coffee & my favorite pens.

To enter this giveaway, comment with your favorite coffee drink. I will draw a winner on Tuesday evening, June 3. You can comment on the blog and on Facebook. Only two entries per person, unless you were one of the lucky six who have been automatically entered to each of the drawings already! Good luck.

IMG_20140523_074240

$5 gift card to a local coffee shop. I know all of you have them. If you sign up for this one, let me know the name of the shop you frequent and I’ll get in touch with them to buy you for favorite latte or other fancy drink.

visionelitealone

Uniball Vision Elite pen in purple. A pen, really? Duh, you know I love to write! This pen is my favorite right now. Plus, the purple is a bit muted so a black purple. Very chic.

 

 

**I will be buying each of the items to giveaway. No product sponsorships were granted to me. I just love this stuff!**

Friday, May 23, 2014

Music Monday: David Gray’s Mutineers

David Gray has announced the upcoming release of a new album, Mutineers. The record is Gray’s tenth studio album and his first in four years. To mark the news, Gray has unveiled the video for ‘Gulls’, the first track from Mutineers to be streamed ahead of release. To coincide with Mutineers, Gray will tour the UK for the first time in three years. The headline tour, commencing at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall on June 23 will include a show at London’s Royal Albert Hall on June 24. The dates follow a run of sold-out US shows across April and May and three sold-out intimate shows earlier this year at Westminster’s Emmanuel Centre. Additional US tour dates will be announced in May.


Recorded in Church Studios, London and produced by Andy Barlow (Lamb), whose brief was to not let Gray “make the same record I’ve made before.” The result is an album that seems to fizz with the joy of its own assembly and finds Gray steering into unfamiliar territory while cultivating a pugnacious but respectful relationship with his own history. “I know I’ve done something here that has an authority that is inspiring me and I don’t have to worry about my past or any of that. The lovely thing about this is we’ve had the time to experiment, and it’s been wonderful,” says Gray.


David Gray captured the world’s attention with his breakout multi-platinum hit White Ladder, the first of three No.1 UK albums, earning him both Brit and Grammy nominations. He has continued to build on this success, with recent albums Draw The Line (2009) and Foundling (2010), both reaching the Billboard Top 10 in the US.

David Gray is one of those artists that when you listen to the music, it is soothing, but then you hear the lyrics and your heart can break. Music can mean something different to each of us. White Ladder was his last album that spoke to me. Maybe you were like me, when you jumped into your car for long roadtrips (because folks, I live in Texas, NO road trip is less than 3 hours) you would pop in the the CD and get lost in your thoughts on those country roads. To be able to listen to Mutineers, I was excited. Hopeful that this music would be different, but very much his. It just so happened that as I listened to this album, I was cooking dinner for my family, I was sitting in traffic driving, I was working on spreadsheets, and I was also looking at beautiful images of one of my favorite photographers, Jonas Peterson. Gray’s music literally takes my mind places. It pulls at my heartstrings. It makes me feel hope. It makes me feel melancholy. It makes me smile because I’ve lived and experienced beauty and defeat. There is great power in vulnerability and seeing someone’s raw and unfiltered emotion put to music, well, it has a tendency to set my heart on fire. If you like good music, then pre-order the album on iTunes or Amazon here:  iTunes- http://bit.ly/DavidGrayMutineersiTunes Amazon- http://bit.ly/DGMutineersAmazon

I can’t pick a favorite. I just know that if you have to get your thoughts together and put them onto paper, then listen to this and be inspired. Or at least it inspired me.

Mutineers Track Listing:
Back in the World
As the Crow Flies
Mutineer
Beautiful Agony
Last Summer
Snow in Vegas
Cake and Eat It
Birds of the High Arctic
The Incredible
Girl Like You
Gulls
Nearly Midnight (bonus track)

 

Official Website - http://www.davidgray.com/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/DavidGray
YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/user/TheRealDavidGray
Instagram - http://instagram.com/davidgray
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/davidgray

**By participating in this review for the One2One Network, I received a free digital download  to review, and I am eligible to win a prize. I was in no way influenced by my eligibility to win these prizes. The thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.**

Monday, May 5, 2014

Thoughts on 2014 Suburbia Music Festival

Hello, hello! What? Another music review? Why yes, yes indeed! Look at me go! First off, I was not awarded a media pass for this one. There were loads and loads of big time media types in full force for this one, so it wasn’t a tremendous loss. Why??? Because I got to fully enjoy it with my daughter without having to make sure I documented each part. This was a treat!

Suburbia Music Festival is a two-day event held in my current home city of Plano, TX. It is in the total ‘burbs hence the name. They actually held it at a Nature Preserve that I frequently do my training runs. It was nice to feel “at home” in my figurative backyard. This year’s line-up:
  • David Guetta
  • J. Cole
  • Third Eye Blind
  • Tegan and Sara
  • The Dandy Warhols
  • Violent Femmes
  • Alabama Shakes
  • Slightly Stoopid
  • Blue October
  • Surfer Blood
  • YelaWolf
  • Needtobreathe
  • Hoodie Allen…had to cancel due to illness
  • Midlake
  • Big Gigantic
  • Twenty One Pilots
  • Reverend Horton Heat
  • Hayes Carll
  • American Authors
  • The Devil Makes Three
  • Smallpools
  • NONONO
  • Delta Rae
  • Alpha Rev
  • SoMo
  • Echosmith
  • GTA
  • Shakey Graves
  • Run The Jewels
  • The O's
  • Add
  • Meg Myers
  • Ume
  • Wild Feathers
  • The Rocketboys
  • The Unlikely Candidates
  • Ishi
  • Reignwolf
  • Basic Vacation
  • Sons of Fathers
  • Yung Nation
  • Larry Gee
  • Sol (US)
  • Veridia
  • Larry G
  • Sol Roots
Impressive, huh? I thought so, especially for it being the inaugural year. When presale tickets were announced, I scooped mine up in a hurry not really looking at the calendar. As it was, my hubby wasn’t available, so I had a spare ticket for a friend for each day. It was my goal to take my eldest with me because the music was acceptable/age appropriate for her to hear.

I wore a maxi skirt, flip-flops, a tank top, and packed a hat. She had on her maxi dress, fashion sandals, a daisy halo (I’d made & not pictured), and her “ears.” (See further below for tips on what to bring)


COMPLAINT 1: WATER
In Texas, Summer arrives early. We know this. I was surprised and slightly put off that we could only bring in 1 bottle per person, plus no outside food/drinks were allowed. They did have a station to refill water bottles, but it wasn’t working. I was glad when they handed out free water to people at the Medical tents. They did a great job by announcing that, but I think for some people it might have been too late. That was better than being forced to pay $4 for a bottle of water that I was going to throw away---why no recycling containers?
I get no outside food/drinks allowed, but I really wish there were real snacks. Like fresh fruit, picnic foods, raisins, things like that. Nada. Nothing. At least nothing I’d noticed. If you wanted chocolate, pshhh…yeah, not gonna happen. Who wants chocolate on a hot day anyway? Me. Yeah, that would be me. Moose munch would’ve been outstanding! Yeah, I rely too much on food.


COMPLIMENT 1: FAMILY FRIENDLY…MOSTLY
There were so many kids. When we walked in, there were volunteers handing out these smaller beach balls with the city of Plano logo on them. There was lots of room for the kiddos to run around. There was the occasional curse word  and waft of herbal delights here and there, but overall, really cool. There was a bounce house, but I guess it was too hot to keep it going. The Kona Ice truck & corn dog vendor were big hits with my kiddo. I liked the corn dog stand for their fresh lemonade. YUM!


COMPLAINT/COMPLIMENT 2: PARKING
There was ample parking! At $20 a spot, you were granted a free shuttle on the yellowdog to the walkway to the festival. You still had to walk just under a half mile to get to the entrance from where you were dropped off, but hey…workout! The shuttles for drop off were SUPER easy. The shuttles for pick-up seemed ok, too. It wasn’t good for anyone who was really drunk, though. They didn’t seem to understand the system, I guess.
My complaint had to do with no come/go parking. I’d extended bedtime by an hour for my kiddo so she could stay a tiny bit longer. I had to run home, drop her off, get her down for the night. When I left, they said I’d have to pay $20 to park again. What? Instead, I found parking on the residential area that seemed to have been flagged off. Other cars were parked there, so it was all good. I didn’t get my free shuttle, so the 1.5 mile trek (and 1.5 mile back) was another workout for the day. Lucky I still had my water from earlier. Also, there wasn’t always a sidewalk leading up to the festival gates and it isn’t as well-lit. I was grateful for other walkers and for remembering to pack my flashlight.

At the end of the festival, it seemed there was an issue getting cabs out there. I think if an Uber rep/booth would’ve been made available to schedule pick-ups, they would’ve been great. Kudos to the pedi cab workers. They were polite when they zoomed by the people. While it was a direct shot on that path, they probably would’ve benefitted from using the other side of the lake. Longer, but no pedestrians. Other cyclists could’ve ridden down that path too, only it wasn’t as lit as the main one. Oh and a big compliment for having complimentary bike parking.


COMPLIMENT 3: IN/OUT FOR THE 2-DAY PASS
I did like that the festival allowed you to come in and out if you’d bought the 2-day pass. That was really great! When you walked in, they would search your bag and were quite thorough with the search as well as pulling anything you couldn’t bring in. On the website, it said no umbrellas were allowed, but by the time we’d arrived, they’d changed that. It would’ve been good to know, but if you weren’t glued to their facebook page, you didn’t know. I don’t really know of a solution to this other than just deciding what you will allow and stick with it. It’s Texas, there’s gonna be sunshine, just allow the umbrellas!
Overall, I will say that the music quality sound was great. Some of the performers surprised me in both good and bad ways. It was nice to really hear and see clearly (with the video screens that flanked the Meadows Stage). Sitting in the back gave you a real summer festival experience and that was quite happy! This was especially true as the sun was setting and even in the evening sky. The most perfect crescent moon, the stars in the Texas sky, the cool wind, it was great!

Everyone was friendly! The limited vendors available were really great. I appreciated the general store that supplied sunscreen, lip balm, fans, bandanas, pop rocks!! (my daughter’s first-ever foray into pop rocks) and so many other assorted sundries. There were many porta potties, and the stations to wash your hands after were great. I would suggest having an attached anti-bacteria bottle hanging at the same station, too. I would also suggest that a hair academy make an appearance and do hair braiding.

Helpful Items:
  • Water bottle…maybe even a reusable one at that for drinking water
  • Sunscreen…this is just a given
  • Hat…protect your skin!
  • Camping Chair…the grass is nice, but it is even nicer to have the chair
  • Blanket…for when you want to kick off your shoes and don’t want to prop your feet on grass
  • Book…in between sets, if you are a reader, have your book
  • Cell phone charger…there was a charging station, but it is always good to have your own
  • Lip balm…you need to protect your lips from the sun, too
  • Wet wipes…you may not be able to get to where you can wash your hands, these are great to have
  • Bandana…dip it in some cool water and put it on your neck
  • Bug spray…just in case
  • Sunglasses…again, a given
  • Earplugs…if you want to get closer, go for it, but don’t risk your hearing
  • Cash…all of the vendors took cards, but it is always good to have a bit of cash on hand, especially if you take a pedi cab and need to tip him
  • Umbrella…if umbrellas are allowed, bring one to shade yourself
  • Fan…those tiny motorized ones are great, even better if it has an attached squirt bottle
  • Scarf/Hoodie…at night, if you are just relaxing in your chair while listening to the music, you might get cold
If you have kiddos:
  • crayons/coloring books
  • frisbee/hackey sack
  • notebook/pen
  • ear protection
  • water guns…I saw that kids had this and I could see where they were helpful
  • change of clothes…if they
Be prepared to walk. Be prepared to be thirsty. Be ready for the long haul. Be ready for a good time. If you have the 2-day ticket, they slip on a fabric wristband that could be slipped off for comfort if you don’t accidentally tighten it, like I did. This is how you can get in and out. If you can’t make the 2nd day and can’t slip off the wristband, you are out of luck.  Sorry to the some of neighborhood neighbors who thought the music was too loud. But that was a testament to the music, I suppose. I don’t live out there and it is typically VERY quiet. Natural acoustics are quite magical and boy howdy were they working!

In the words of Third Eye Blind frontman Stephan Jenkins, “All we have is this moment…” It was a great set of moments to be a part of. Looking forward to next year!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Thoughts on Edgefest 2014

Edgefest is an all-day alternative music festival. This year was the 24th year for KDGE (the radio station) to put it on. Unlike the early years, when it was held at the now Gexa Energy Pavilion, it is in the large Toyota Stadium home to FC Dallas. There is one large stage on the North end, and the performers are shown on the large screens. On the South end is a smaller stage, but still with an impressive sound and lighting set up. The cover the field with these plastic sheets that are put together much like an indoor dance floor. You can have a regular stadium seat, General Admission (which allows for field access), VIP up in the terrace with special wristbands, and then backstage/all-access passes, which I don’t think can be bought.

This years line-up included:
Beck
Bastille
The Avett Brothers
Cage The Elephant
Grouplove
New Politics
Switchfoot
The Neighbourhood
Chvrches
Kongos
Bear Hands
MS MR
J. Roddy Walston & The Business
Smallpools
 
I am a mother now, so I was delayed in my arrival because we had hockey, then reading, then lunch, and dinner prep. I am a mother first before anything else.  I scored a Living Social deal and got my GA ticket for half off! I had wanted to go and lamented missing out on The Black Keys in 2012 because I didn’t have anyone to go with—at that time, I told myself I wasn’t going to let that stop me from experiencing something. Heck, the last time I was able to attend was back in 2010, when my secnd wasn’t even born yet.  Because of the deal, I told myself I’d go with an open mind because I’d be going solo. No big deal. It is quite empowering to go to concerts solo! Heck, I’ve done it a couple of times this year, but none were for all day! Of course, it never fails that I happen upon friends at the shows or I make new ones. Such was the case on Saturday. Already, we all have something in common because everyone there is there for the music.
I like to let out my inner bohemian/hippie at events like this. The weather was perfect! I wore a white sundress and sandals. I’d packed a scarf, sunscreen, my collapsible Vapur  water bottle, and my used copy of Mindy Kaling’s book. Yes, I took a book to Edgefest…and read it. Hey, not everyone is in love with all of the performers, so it is a good way to pass the time lounging in the sun, reading, while live music plays in the background. I just wished I would’ve had my large latte to accompany me…then that would’ve been perfect. I used to be cool, or so I thought.

A nifty addition were the vendor booths on the field. I really enjoyed the hair academies and their offering to do hair chalk and braids for really cheap. Plus, you could charge your phone for free. Not to be outdone, there was another booth that was selling those portable phone chargers for $20. That TOTALLY came in handy, especially towards the end of the night. I Am Second was there offering free rides from Uber for anyone who was unable to drive home. High five to that collaboration! Oh, and the real fun kicker to do, just because you could were the La Bare dancers! They were so nice…and made me feel so, so, so old.


Anyway, the performances:

I missed out on Smallpools because I hadn’t yet arrived (drat because I really enjoy their song, Dreaming) and J. Roddy and the Business (I heard them, but was up in the line for swag—I scored a Beck canvas bag, yaaay for new weekend bag!)--edited to add that I also missed the Jessie Frye Band. For me, all of the performers brought their A game. Seriously, there was always constant gleeful screaming from the crowd, the energy was high, and everyone was so happy. My favorites were: Beck, Bastille, Cage The Elephant, Grouplove, Chvrches, and MS MR. The Avett Brothers were so fun, I especially liked their cellist. It was my first time ever hearing them. The Neighbourhood’s voices took me back to San Diego to nearly a year ago. The rest were really great, too!

I found myself just roaming around, smiling at people, striking up conversation, avoiding what I thought was blue body paint, but ended up being actual paint, and just enjoying the gorgeous afternoon.


I lingered in the back mostly or to the side.
Grouplove’s energy and spirit had me hopping up and down, singing along, punching beach balls, smiling, and high-fiving. Bastille had me shouting and singing, crying, and feeling ever so very much consumed with the music. You see, music has always made me feel, in one way or another. Bastille’s Pompeii has a very visceral reaction. Singing with them fills me with all of the feels—for lack of a better way to put it. Then he put me over the edge by singing SNAP!’s “Rhythm is a Dancer.” Why was I the only one within earshot who knew all of the lyrics? Whatever, I’m owning my age.

I braved the masses for Cage the Elephant---love those guys, and helped push forward more than my fair share of bodies while they crowd surfed. At the end of the night, I carefully slipped off my wristband, exited the field and handed it to a hungry concert-goer. You know the one. The big fan standing as close to floor as possible, hungry to be there in all of it. I do this at nearly every show I go to. It is like my little gift to the music world for paying it forward. She was more than appreciative and in a bit of disbelief when I handed it to her. She quickly scurried off and I lost her in the masses. Didn’t matter. I went up, found a seat, gazed to the sky as Beck performed “Blue Moon.” Eyes filled with tears, I smiled, enjoyed the flickering lights of the fire flies dancing.

There were drunk people, but not like from times past. There weren’t women flashing…I remember, lots and lots of flashing from years past. No, I did, however see more than enough booty cleavage, that I had visions of it hours later. Ugh, that fashion trend should’ve stayed in the 80s when people were more in shape or much thinner because they were hopped up on coke or heroin. I’m not saying people should do drugs, at all. I am saying that it wouldn’t kill anyone to do some lunges. You are a teenager, there is NO REASON you should proudly display all of your cellulite. I didn’t see any big fights, either. I noticed some roadies giving high-fives to the people coming through the barricade after they finished crowd surfing. That was really cool to see that support. Even more so when I discovered that these roadies were actually the morning show from the EDGE, Jagger Mafia. No wonder people were taking photos with them! It was a good time, mostly wholesome, and about the tamest of Edgefests I’d ever attended, actually. This was refreshing.

I couldn’t agree more with New Politics frontman David Boyd’s statement from the Dallas News write-up:

“This is the definition of magic,’’ Boyd said, staring out at the crowd as the sun dipped behind Toyota Stadium on warm, blustery night. “Good friends, good music -- this is what life is about.”


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Look for the light


"Mama, why are you taking a picture of the sky?"
Look baby, right there. See that break? There's always light. You don't always see it, but it is there, I promise. See how the sun makes the clouds pop, giving them texture and definition? The light is what defines, so always look to the light.
"Mama, I'm gonna need some more white to add to my paintings. The light really does make everything so pretty!"
Yes, Sugarbug, absolutely.
___________________________________________________________
Even though we were running late, I took a moment to stop and stare at the beauty before me. I was mesmerized, and to my daughter, I’m sure she sat in her seat wondering what was happening, hence our conversation. I took a deep breath, and drove her to school. Our commute is short. Carpool line drop-off makes it fast. But today, I pulled up much slower than normal, grateful to all of the pedestrians. I stared at my little one in the rearview mirror, unapologetic for the tears that were forming in my eyes. She was wearing a navy shirt with pink and white writing, a turquoise skort, her long hair in braided pig tails. Her eyes bright, her heart full of love, her spirit inquisitive. How did I get to be so blessed? Where has the time gone? Every single day, I give a little more silent thank-yous to my parents. In spite of all of the internal struggles I had, despite all of the difficult life-lessons, they were there to hold me close, love me—even when I didn’t think they were there. They were, without hesitation.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Tradition: Make Homemade Cascarones (confetti eggs)

Easter is probably my favorite holiday with Thanksgiving being a close second. Imagine that, two holidays that really stand out with food and sweets! Growing up, I was very lucky that my mother held tightly onto traditions. She built these traditions into our family and I’ve now passed on those traditions to my girls. Easter dresses, chocolates, grilling, and cascarones (confetti eggs)!

The Goods

--Egg shells

--confetti

--food coloring/dye + white vinegar…to color eggs

--1/4 c flour + water…natural glue

--tissue/crepe paper (squares large enough to cover the egg)

The Process

To make your own you will need egg shells. This requires some planning—saving of shells or some epic baking. I decided to start saving our shells for the past month. This means you save the shell and the egg carton. You rinse off the inside of the shell, and let them dry until you are ready for use. My family eats a lot of eggs. Plus, I made some homemade goodies, so we had 11 dozen shells to decorate and fill.

Step One – Prepare Work Area

Have a decent sized work space and be sure to cover with newspaper, plastic wrap, etc. Also, have on hand, spoons, paper towels, refreshments (because this is gonna take some time), and some music. Also, wear some work clothes!

Step Two – Color Eggs

Lay out your eggs, boil your water, and measure out vinegar/food coloring for dyeing eggs. Need help with that? Check out these gals.

Note: Brown eggs DO NOT color as great as white eggs.

Step 3 – Fill Eggs with Confetti

When your eggs have dried, place them back in the carton and fill the shells with confetti! If you are NOT like me, you already have your confetti and have had it for a while. If you are like me, then you have to take your trusty Marta Stewart Fringe scissors and make some confetti! (see, now you know the REAL reason why it takes so long!) You give up making confetti and you dive into your decorative stash of flakey glitter and fill your eggs because your smallest one has gotten into the glue and decided to paint herself and the dog. Much excitement, for sure!

Step 4 – Cover Eggs

So you can use regular glue, but I like to get messy! Here is where I take my flour, add a bit of water until it is just the right amount of creamy. You don’t want it runny, but a thick creamy like regular glue. Dip your finger into the glue and line the top of your egg shell. Then cover with the paper and run a layer around the top edge again to secure. Gently put aside to dry. Go to the next egg. It took my eldest about half an hour to get through a dozen. In that same time, my smallest one successfully completed one egg. And managed to get glue on herself, the dog, and all over the workplace. It was fun times watching them and just giggling. Be prepared for much laughter and complaining.

Step 5 – Let Dry

Once you have covered all of the eggs, let them dry at least over night. They are so pretty! You did a great job, you deserve a glass of wine. But you can’t have one because you have to chisel off the homemade glue from yourself, your little ones, and your dog. By the time you are done, you will just want a long bath and a nap.

Step 6 – Crack on Heads

Now the hard part is over. Go out and have some fun. Chase each other cracking the eggs on top of the heads for good luck. When it is all over, witness the aftermath on the floor. A nice storm will help wash it all away. You can also sweep it up.

Hope y’all had a wonderful Easter!

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin