Hot Yoga. What was I thinking??

I woke up this morning and decided today would be a good day to try a class at the YMCA.  I scanned the schedule online to see if there’s anything classes available first thing today.  My options consisted of cycling, Zumba, and hot yoga.  Right away, I ruled out cycling.  That just seems exhausting.  I don’t even have a bike, unless you count the tandem bike that’s hanging in the garage that I impulse bought a couple years ago on Amazon.  It’s been on some great rides around the subdivision, but I highly doubt my leisurely rides around the block with friends after a glass of wine count as any kind of training for an indoor cycling class.  Zumba sounds fun and all, but I’m picturing a hard-core bunch of people dancing perfectly in sync while some  guy that looks like Billy Blanks leads them in a sweaty-choreographed routine to a song by Pitbull.  I need to practice my dance moves a lot more in my kitchen before I work up to something like that.  Soooo… that leaves me with hot yoga.

While I was making making oatmeal and pouring cereal into bowls this morning, I told my kids of my plans to take a hot yoga class at the Y today.  They just kind of looked at me, cautiously.  I could tell that they weren’t really sure if my yoga plans were a such good idea.

“But, you can’t even touch your toes.”

“But, Mom.  You need a mat.  You can’t just go and sit on the hard floor!”

“She can get one at Five Below, I saw them in back.”

“No offense, but I’ve walked by those classes, Mom.  Those ladies are strong.  Like their arms bigger than dad’s.”

“What are you even going to wear?  People wear workout clothes.  You can’t wear jeans.”

Well, shoot.  Aren’t they just a bunch of little, sunshiny encouragers?  I decided to ignore their “concerns” and just wear what I think look like yoga pants, which, I like to call my pajamas.  I figured, after I drop them off at school, I should have just enough time to run to Walmart, grab a yoga mat, and rush to the class.  My estimates put me at 1 minute to spare before the class begins.

I dashed into Walmart and quickly find the section that sells yoga mats.  Who would have thought Walmart would have such a selection?  Why is there a fifteen dollar price range on these suckers?  I grabbed the cheapest one with the pretty design printed on the front, a bottle of water, and speed walked to the checkout.  The checker says, “Just this today?”  I proudly say, “Yep! That’s it.  I’m doing Yoga!”  He doesn’t even lift his head up from the scanner to look at me.

I make it to the Y just in time, but then realize I drank too much coffee this morning, and there is no way I’m going to be able to hold it for an hour.  I use the bathroom and find the class at the end of the long hall, in the “spirit and wellness” room, or something like that.  There are a bunch of shoes outside the class and it looks so dark in the room.  Oh my gosh… I have no idea why I thought this was ever a good idea.  I’m now five minutes late and I’m starting to panic, but I force myself to open the door and walk in.

Crap, it’s like a sauna in there!  There are five people in the class, including the instructor.  The participants are all in a nice row in front of the instructor, who says, “Good morning” to me, in a calm, tranquil voice.

I quickly walk to the back of the room, unroll my new mat, and sit down.  Right in front of the freakin’ space heater.  That was the first time I silently swore at myself that hour.

I learned right away that I don’t speak whatever language the instructor is speaking.  I definitely should have done some preliminary research.  Downward dog, the lizard, full-bend, planks, and salutation.  Wth.  All I know is every time he says, “Salutation”, I think of Charlotte spinning her web, and the I find myself, trying to remember every word she spun, and then I remember how she dies at the end.  And then I think, maybe that’s a sign I am going to die of heat exhaustion in this one hour class.

I, eventually, did figure out what the downward dog is all about (you, apparently, do it a lot in yoga), but I’m pretty sure my dog looks nothing like it’s supposed to.   My hands were sweating like crazy, and I’m all over my mat.  Why wasn’t anyone else slipping? They must have bought they expensive mats.  We also work on our “balance” and I want to start giggling because I can’t even stand on one foot for more then five seconds without wobbling over.  I also want to crack up every time he says, “Ok, if you want to really challenge yourself, you can do this” because I can’t even do 90% of the not-challenging stuff.  I look around the room to see if anyone else finds any of this funny, and they clearly do not.  They seem to be somewhere else entirely.  Somewhere peaceful.  I don’t get it.  There’s nothing peaceful about that lizard pose, and I’m pretty sure my hip was about to pop out of socket any second.

The last 10 minutes, the instructor says something again in Yoga language, and everyone moves their mats against the wall.  I do the same, having no idea what the heck I’m supposed to do next.  We all lie down and put our legs against the wall, so they’re sticking straight up.  This must be the “cool down” part of class.  He tells us to “watch our thoughts.  Just don’t participate in them.”  Again, I’m confused.  I can’t stop thinking about what that even means!  Obviously, I’m doing exactly what I’m not supposed to be doing because I’ve been having a conversation with my thoughts this entire class.

At the end of class, we did this bow thing with our hands in a praying position, and said some word I didn’t know, so I just moved my lips.  I was a stinking, sweaty mess.  I’m pretty sure I hate Yoga.  But, there’s also a eensy, weensy, tiny part of me that thinks I sort of liked it too.  I have to admit, my body feels less tense today.  Maybe I’ll be back, maybe I won’t.  Either way, I have a whole new respect for the art of Yoga and those who do this. Yoga is a lot harder than I thought it would be.  I probably should have done cycling.  Or came home and taken a nap.

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The Last Day Of Summer

School starts tomorrow.  At freakin’ last.  You know all those sarcastic memes with Julie Andrews on the mountain, blissfully singing and spinning in her dress?  That will be me at 8:30a.m. tomorrow morning.  Except, instead of singing about hills being alive, I’m sound-of-musicenvisioning myself jammin’ to JT’s “Can’t Stop The Feeling”, while stuffing my face with donuts, and standing on my own little mountain of laundry that I haven’t done all Summer.

Don’t get me wrong, this Summer has probably been one of the best yet.  It’s the first Summer we haven’t over-scheduled ourselves.  We’ve spent a lot of time being spontaneous.  We haven’t worried too much about bedtimes or wake-up times.  Yes, I’m sure that one’s gonna’ bite me in the butt any day now, but it’s made for a very chill three months, which makes it #worthit to me.

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However, this week, I’ve come to the end of my “Sure we can go get ice cream at 10a.m.!” rope.  From June until now, there has been a steady crescendo to the heartbeat of this house.  Lately, it has been so loud in here ALL.THE.TIME.  Yes, I am yelling, because if I don’t, no one hears me.  In fact, I can’t even hear myself think anymore unless I am yelling in my head.

It’s time to get back on a schedule.  It’s time for homework, and drum lessons, and soccer practice.  It’s time to divide and conquer with my husband, and, once again, try to figure out how the heck we can clone ourselves to get everyone where they need to be this school year.

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It’s also time to make six lunches every morning and hope the kids didn’t eat all the pre-packaged lunch snacks that I just bought in bulk the day before.  I swear, they are all little snack ninjas.  They know this drives me crazy, as we have the same conversation over and over.  “Please don’t eat ANY of the snacks on the top shelf. THEY ARE FOR LUNCHES!!”  I’ve even tried hiding them, but they must sniff them out like bloodhounds because they always find them.  So what’s a mom to do?  I sat down with the little thieves and asked them,”Kids, how can I make sure all of the snacks I buy for lunches last the entire week?” Right away, in typical sibling fashion, they blamed their brothers or sister for the crime.  So then I asked, “Okay, so what should we do to the person when I bust them?”

Some of their responses were too good not to share:

“Make them sleep outside the entire night by themselves.”

“Put them in detention.”

“Make them clean up dog poop.”

“Make them leave their phone outside in the sun to burn.”

“Make them give mom a foot massage.” (This suggestion was followed by “Eeeeewww!” from all of them.)

“Nothing but broccoli the next day in their lunch.”

“Give the dog a belly rub for an hour straight.”

“No hot lunch on Beefy Nacho Day.” (It’s one of their favorite days so I let them get hot lunch.)

“You don’t get to open your birthday presents on your birthday.  You have to watch mom and dad open them.”

“Wear mom’s shoes the entire next day of school.”

“Take away all electronics.  Even flashlights.”

“Make them sit on the swing the rest of the day.  Without swinging.”

“Make them eat a healthy smoothie.  Like with those one things in it.  What are they- beets?”

“Make them eat raw oatmeal with the milk, but not cooked.”

“Tell them they can’t have hot chocolate all Winter long.”

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Man, they’re funny.  And sweet.  They make me smile.  Which, somehow, is suddenly making me feel a little sad.  Because tomorrow! School starts tomorrow!  My “baby” will even be school all day this year.  It’s been a 15 year run of having at least one kid home with me.  One chapter closes and another begins.  Maybe I’m not quite as ready for this as I thought I was.  Truth is, I am going to miss the heck out of all of these loud, hilarious, messy human being more than they’ll ever know tomorrow.  Heck, eat all the freakin’ fruit snacks, guys.  Mama loves you.  Can someone please hand me a tissue?

For all the other moms out there experiencing all the emotions humanly possible this last day of Summer, know you are not alone.  And if you see me walking away from the kindergarten room tomorrow morning with tears in my eyes and snot dripping out of my nose, be kind.  I’m not really sure how to do this yet.

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The Making of a Lemonade Stand By a Mom Who Hates Following Directions

 

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My kids have been making lemonade stands for as long as I can remember life with kids. They’re kind of a Summertime thing around here. I’ve always been all for it! I’d much rather have them outside on a nice day then inside leaving trails of messes. I’m sure they’re learning all kinds of life lessons while “on the job” too. Over the years, other stands have popped up on the block, which has been good for the kids to come up with ways to stay competitive. There was even a point they had a lemonade delivery service option. But, let’s by honest:  the main reason I love a good lemonade stand is because it keeps them busy for hours.  Like, the entire day.  Mmmhmmm. Summer days can get long when you’re stuck home all day, people.

Earlier this week while I watched my kids set up their stand, I got to thinking that perhaps it’s time for a stand upgrade. I looked on Amazon.com (my go-to for, well, everything) and it seemed that all of the lemonade stands available were little kid toy lemonade stands. I did see a couple of “strong cardboard” stands, but they were more expensive than I was willing to pay.  And, come on… cardboard? Everyone knows that you’re always one pitcher away from an epic spill.  That thing would be trashed in a week over here.

This got me thinking… and scouring Pinterest. I thought, “Heck, I can do this! I mean, how hard can it be to build a lemonade stand?” So I started “pinning”adorable do-it-yourself lemonade stand tutorials.  Alright, let me tell you my problem with Pinterest:  I keep searching and pinning, and searching and pinning some more, and before I know it, my brain starts to shut off and all of my great intentions start to blend together into a big blob of “My head hurts.” I am not good at making decisions. Or doing lots of measurements. And I figured, I probably shouldn’t try out the table saw for the first time with a bunch of little kids (and their fingers) around me.  I turned Pinterest off and decided to wing the whole thing instead.

My son and I jumped in the car and headed to Menards. We discussed our plan as we shopped, and developed a design that we thought could potentially be a pretty kick butt lemonade stand. The most important thing about this little project to me was that it was my kids’ creation, not mine. I decided that I would supervise, but allow them to do all of the work unless they asked for my help.

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This is what we bought:

3 cans of spray paint (2 white, 1 yellow)

4- 18″ wooden crates

Nails

Fake marble-looking “peel and stick” liner

Letter stencil kit

1/2″-2’X4′ wood panel

2- 1/x2-4′ boards

1/2X6-4′ board

The total was around $80.00.

The first thing we did was spray paint our crates and wood. After waiting twenty minutes or so for it to dry, we did the stenciling, and then allowed that to dry.

We then nailed our crates on top of each other, leaving us with two double-high crates.

We nailed the large panel (what would be our counter) on top of the two crates, lining the crates with with length of the board. There is a small over lap “shelf” on the front and back of your table.

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The kids, then, smoothed on the marble sticky liner, folding the extra under the table. After it was stuck on, they used a book to slide over the top and smooth out the bubbles. We used electric tape underneath the table to tape down the overlap that was folded under to make sure it was was going to stay.

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We then nailed the lemonade sign board to the two long boards, at the very top. The final step was nailing the long boards (containing the sign at the top) to the table. We nailed them about eighteen inches down the side of our table (basically right down the middle of the top crate on each side.)

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The total time it took us from start to finish, was approximately three hours. Now, it may not be Pinterest-perfect, but we still think it’s pretty awesome. I supposed there could be some support beams on it somewhere to make it extra sturdy, but I wanted to make sure to keep it as light-weight as possible so they could move it themselves. I considered adding wheels for, like, 2 seconds, and then thought that would be way too advanced. I didn’t want to screw things up when they somehow were going to smoothly. I still can’t believe this all came together. Seriously.

And there ya’ have it! The kids are very proud to have made their own stand all by themselves. They are ready to get back to work! Go at it, kids! All this writing is making me thirsty. I need to go look under the couch cushions for a couple quarters. I suppose cleaning under my couch cushions should be my next little project. Nah… it’s too nice out for that kind of nonsense when I could be sitting on my front porch listening to Kenny Chesney and drinking lemonade.

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“And at the end of the day your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling.”– Shanti

“…and you should have an ice cold glass of lemonade in your hand.” -Kaia

 

 

 

Strawberry Overdose

Yesterday was the first day of Summer, and it came in HOT.  I knew we needed to get out of the house to keep our sanity.  And, what I mean by that is, I needed to break up the day in an attempt to minimize the fighting between siblings so I could retain the last shred of MY sanity.  So, despite the heat, a few of my kids and I ventured off to a local strawberry farm to pick some berries.

I love Walvoord Farm Berries located on Plank Road in Kansasville.  We go strawberry picking every year and have tried a few different berry farms, and Walvoord is my favorite.  While it can get busy, I’ve never found it as crazy-crowded as some of the other farms.  As long as we go at the peak of the season (now), we always end up with lots of delicious berries.  Note: strawberry season is short, so if you want to pick your own fresh berries, you need to get out there soon!

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We picked berries for probably a good hour, when the older kids ditched me to go back to the air conditioned mini-van, abandoning their boxes of berries in their row.  The littlest one was more interested in eating than picking, but as long as I could keep him in the game long enough to fill up a couple of boxes, that worked for me!  Every few minutes he would yell, “Mom, look at this one! It’s a PERFECT strawberry,” and pop it in his mouth.

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Freshly picked strawberries need to be eaten soon after being picked, as they tend to get mushy faster than the store-bought berries.  My girl and I turned quickly flipped my kitchen into a strawberry manufacturing plant and got to work.

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We ended up with two big boxes of berries, about 17 pounds, costing around $30.00.

 

Our first mission: strawberry jam.  Freezer jam would have been easier, but I wanted to make cooked jam and try the water bath canning method.  I followed these guidelines when it came to the “water bath” portion of sealing the jars of my jam.  http://www.amodernhomestead.com/homestead-skills-water-bath-canning/

Honestly, this canning stuff is a lot of freakin’ work.  It’s not difficult, but it’s very time-consuming.  Granted, I was making a quite a large quantity, but next time I will just stick to freezer jam.  We ended up with 24 jars, 3 of which did not “seal”, which basically just means we need to keep them in the fridge or freeze them.  No big whoop.  (No big whoop, Kaia? Wow, haven’t said that phrase since, like, 6th grade.)

 

I also always like to make a batch of strawberry-infused vodka with some of the berries we pick every year.  I’ve made this several times.  Basically, all you do is fill larger jars with cleaned strawberries (no need to half them, just throw in the whole berries).  Fill with vodka (I get the step up from the cheapest because who really even cares).  Screw on the lid and shake the jar.  Put in a cool, dark place for a few weeks.  Strain, discard the berries, and put in pretty jars.  Create pretty labels to put on the bottles, and Voila! I think it makes a cute hostess gift or housewarming gift or birthday gift, or really any kind of gift.  Strawberry Vodka and Lemonade with a splash of sprite would be a perfect Summertime bev.

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We had this salad last night too.  I bought a couple bags of lettuce, and tossed it with: spinach, sliced strawberries, walnuts, Gorgonzola cheese, and strawberry balsamic dressing.  I added grilled chicken breast.  The little kids weren’t so sure about the cheese (I personally loved Gorgonzola),  but otherwise, it was a big hit.  Next Up: Dessert, which was strawberry shortcake. Obvi.

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My daughter made a couple of boxes of angel food cake for the shortcake.  There’s a reason it’s called “angel food” because, I swear, it’s straight outta’ heaven.  By the way, angel food cake would definitely be on my list of foods if I had to pick a last meal…. along with a deluxe pizza, powdered-sugar donuts with chocolate cream on the inside, and Tastefully Simple Bountiful Beer Bread with spinach dip.  I’d wash it all down with a Faygo Diet Grape Soda.  Carbs make me so happy.

After a long strawberry filled day (the loooongest day of the year, in fact), we topped it off with a big bright strawberry moon.  I did a little research on the strawberry moon, and this is what I found: The full moon in June is called a strawberry moon.  It was named “strawberry moon” by the Algonquin tribes, as it alerted them that it was time to gather the berries.  (Apparently, it subconsciously alerted me to.)  Last night’s strawberry moon was especially rare because it happened on Summer Solstice.  That hasn’t happened in decades, and won’t happen again until June 21st, 2062.  If you happened to look up at the sky last night, you may have just experienced a once in a lifetime occurance.

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It feels good to have soaked in every minute of the first day of the season.  Everyone slept well last night.

Get outside and pick your berries before it’s too late!  Carpe Diem.  Carpe Summer.

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Discovering wild onions, listening to the buzz of a hummingbird, finding an old abandon truck, fearlessly jumping off the deep end, and fishin’ with your best friend. Because every picture tells a story. Here are some of my faves.

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Africa & Celebrating Moms

“I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

My husband and I recently returned from a trip to South Africa.  It has always been a dream of mine to go visit this beautiful country, and let me tell you, the entire experience was even more incredible than I ever imagined.  We soaked it ALL in from the second the plane touched down in this gorgeous country, until it took off again to take us home.

The sunsets were more glorious than any I have ever seen.  The sunrises… well, I couldn’t tell you much about those because I SLEPT IN ALMOST EVERY SINGLE DAY! (I’m rethinking this “morning person” thing.)  The animals were magnificent and surreal, and we never knew what would suddenly appear right in front of us.  But above all, the people we had the honor of sharing this time with were so kind, generous, and fun to be with.  I don’t think I’ve laughed that much or that hard in a long time.  I have no doubt we made friendships that will last a lifetime.

In honor of Mother’s Day, I thought it would be fun to share some photographs of animal mamas with their babies that we were fortunate enough to encounter on our journey.  I hope they touch your heart as much as they do mine.  These moms are extremely protective of their precious babies, and I am grateful to have seen this demonstrated firsthand.  If there is one  thing I have learned, it is that all moms- no matter the creature- fiercely love their babies and will do anything to keep them safe.

“A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world.  it knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.”  -Agatha Christie

Happy Mother’s Day to all the women in each of our lives who care for us and love us unconditionally, especially my own mother.  Thank you for everything, mom. I love you.  You are far more precious than jewels.  -Proverbs 31:10  

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I think I’ll just leave this right here too. 😉

Check out some more of my favorite photos from our trip to South Africa below! 

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Peace out, Pumbaa!  I promise that someday I will be back and we will meet again. 🙂

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Dying Eggs 101. From The Most Unpinteresty Mom In The World

egg dye -02822.jpegI suck at Pinterest.  Things never seem to turn out like they are supposed to.  It probably doesn’t help much that I’m not a big rule follower.  I’m sort of the queen of substitutions and shortcuts.  The internet is flooded with ideas on how to dye Easter eggs.  I decided to have some fun and find out which methods work best, improvising a little along the way.

I got all of my laundry done last night so I could devote the entire day to dying eggs.  Okay, well, we all know that “done laundry” lasts a total of 17.9 seconds before it’s time to throw in another load, but at least the pile on the couch wasn’t halfway to the ceiling when I woke up today.

After my son and I dropped off the big kids, we hit the grocery store for supplies and ingredients.  Can’t beat 79 cents eggs, right?  We bought 6 dozen eggs, vinegar, whipped topping (Cool Whip), 4 Kool-aid packets, an egg dying kit, and a red cabbage.  I found the rest of the ingredients that we needed in my pantry.

First order of business: boiling the eggs.  I boiled three dozens, and baked the other three.  egg dye -02617.jpegegg dye -02624.jpeg

I don’t have any secrets to boiling eggs, just what my Nana taught me.  Basically, put the eggs in a pan and cover with at least an inch of water.  Allow to boil for about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and cover.  Let sit for 12 minutes.  Transfer eggs to ice water until cold.  I then set them on a towel to dry.

I tried baking my eggs for the first time last year and I thought they turned out just fine!  Put your eggs in muffin tins and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.  Remove from tins and place in cold water.  After they are cool, I set them on a towel to dry.  The only “issue” that I’ve noticed when making eggs this way is the brown spots that appeared.  Ain’t no thang, chicken wang!  They pretty much came completely off when I washed them in water afterwards.
egg dye -02631.jpegHere are my washed “baked hard-boiled” eggs.  See?? Brown spots gone!  But, even more interesting, is that egg pictured on top.  He was an abnormally super long little fella, and I felt he needed some recognition for not being afraid to be different.  Great job, little eggster!  I’m sure you would have been one funky chicken.

But, alas! The time has come! I have attempted eight different techniques for dying Easter eggs.  You don’t even have to go on Pinterest, as I’ve already done all the research for you.  As I mentioned earlier, I’m not much of a rule follower, so when certain recipes made me roll my eyes and say, “Pffft. Ain’t nobody got time for that!”, I just took the road less traveled and made up my own rules.  I’ve never claimed to be an over-achiever.  Trust me, if these worked for me, they will work for you.

Here are the eight different methods I tried out today.

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#1 The Red Cabbage 

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I’m not much of a cook, so I was worried that my local small-town grocery store wouldn’t have red cabbage.  But there it was, right along side all the other vegetables, like it’s a “normal” produce.  #MaybeItIs.  Side-note: Everyone is so nice at my local Piggly Wiggly.  The bakery will make me my favorite kind of donut if they are out.  Like on the spot, immediately. (The “Honeymooners” are the Best!)  The cashiers occasionally will help me find coupons if I forgot mine.  And the baggers are always so kind and sweet.  I love my small town!  But I digress…

egg dye -02614.jpegBack to red cabbage.  After chopping the cabbage up, I put it in water and boiled it.  After it started to boil, I simmered that bad boy for about 45 minus.  The water looks very red, which is what you want it to look like.  I drained the red potion into a bowl, placed my eggs in, and let them bathe in it for a while (about 1.5 hours or so).  I, then, removed them from the water and placed them on a towel to dry.

This is what they turned out like:

egg dye -02796.jpegBlue!!  I know!  What the heck??  Who woulda thunk it? They remind me of robins eggs! I love this color blue!

#2 The Classic Dye Kit

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I followed the directions, using the “optional” vinegar addition.  The eggs turned out cheery and bright, just as they have in years past.  Aren’t they colorful little beauties?

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#3 The “Watch Me Whip” Method.  Whipped Topping, That Is.

This was easy.  Just buy a tub of Whipped Topping.  Thaw it out, and put it in a bowl.  (Gulping gigantic spoonfuls is optional, yet strongly encouraged.)egg dye -02689.jpeg

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Add drops of food coloring and swirl it around a little to mix the colors.  Make sure you soak your eggs in vinegar for ten minutes beforehand.  Apparently, it’s supposed to help them absorb the colors.  Dry them off after soaking them.  After they are dry, roll them in your colorful whipped topping and let them sit for about a half hour.  Remove from the rainbow deliciousness, and rinse off.  Allow to dry.

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#4 The Kool-Aid Method

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First of all, speaking of “kool”, let it be known that I used to be cool.11953067_10207351806299157_2516227151752653507_n-3.jpg

This has nothing to do with dying eggs whatsoever, but I just felt it should be pointed out.  Thank you to my friend Katie’s mom who made this for me.  I love it.  (To be honest… I was actually NEVER all that cool.  However, I have ALWAYS been sort of a big dork.)

Ok, back to business.  Kool-Aid.  This one turned out to be one of my favorites.  It was probably the easiest method we tried today.  All we did was fill cups with water, and add a packet of Kool-Aid to each cup.  Stir to dissolve.  No vinegar necessary!  Soak eggs for about ten minutes, remove and let dry.

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^^ Can we just take a moment and say… Go Badgers!?!?   #Sweet16

Checkity-check out the end results of my Kool-Aid eggs:

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I just love the bright colors, and the speckling is amazeballs!

#5 Tea Bag Eggs

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Just boiled some water and steep a bunch of tea bags until water is brown.  Add hardboiled eggs.  I let mine sit in there for about an hour.  Here was the end result:

egg dye -02771.jpegThey turned out darker than I thought they would, but I still like them!  I supposed if you were extra creative you could bling them up somehow or find a way to splash on some color.  That’s just not me, but it’s a free country, so get crazy if you want.

#6 The Shaving Cream Methodegg dye -02665.jpeg

I hate to be a buzz kill about ANYTHING, but this was not my favorite.  Similar to the whipped topping method, you spray the shaving cream in a dish, add food coloring and swirl to mix colors.  After dipping the eggs into the mixture, I removed them and let them sit with the shaving cream on them and set out on a towel to dry out a little (about 30 minutes.)

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Unfortunately, unlike the whipped topping method, the colors did not seem to absorb onto the eggs.  I soaked the eggs in vinegar for 10 minutes ahead of time, so I don’t get what the problem was.  Perhaps I didn’t leave them sit long enough, I’m not sure.

Oh, well, can’t win ’em all, but I was a little sad with the results:

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#7 The “Just Beet It” Method

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There are so many natural ways of dying eggs.  I remembered reading something about using beets.  I figured I’d give it a whirl!  The bad news was I forgot to buy beets at the grocery store when I went earlier today.  The good news was I remembered I had an old can of beets in the back of my pantry.  When I went on this weird smoothie health kick a couple years ago (very short-lived), I bought the canned beets to blend up with my strawberries.  After taking a sip, I decided that smoothies weren’t my thing.  I know, I know… I should have used fresh beets and all that, but I just don’t care anymore.  I’ve moved on, people.  Life’s too short to drink things that taste like dirt.

SO… I drained the liquid from a can of beets, added some water, and brought it to a boil.  I then simmered it for about 45 minutes.  After it cooled a bit, I added some vinegar (maybe a cup or so) and stirred it up.  I added my eggs and let them sit for a couple hours in the red liquid.  Here is the end result:

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These ended up earthy and natural.  Simple.  I like simple.  I think sweet, pastel ribbons tied around these would be darling if you were bringing them to an Easter gathering.

#8 The Neck Tie Method

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This method kept popping up all over Facebook and Pinterest.  It looked too complicated to me, and I wasn’t even going to attempt it, but then added it last minute anyway.  I can be spontaneous like that.  #BornToBeWild

At 6:00a.m. this morning, I was still in bed.  I asked (begged)  my husband, who was getting ready to leave for work, to plllleeeeaaase find me an old tie in his closet.  He grabbed this gold one from his closet and threw it on the bed.  Thank you! That’ll work!egg dye -02700.jpeg

I cut open the tie and wrapped sections of it around an egg, using the “right” side against the egg.  NOTE:  USE REGULAR RAW EGGS.  NO NEED TO HARD-BOIL THEM FIRST FOR THIS ONE.  I secured each egg with a rubber band.

All the tutorials claim they next step is to wrap string around the egg.  Like over and over and over and over and over and until you die.  Um…No.  Not doing it.   I figured the point of all the wrapping of string was to get the tie material as tight to the egg as possible.  I asked my son to find me an old sock.  He brought me a pair of my husband’s white socks.  We secured a layer of sock on top of the material we had already put on the eggs.  We made sure the sock layer was as tight as we could make it.

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We, then, placed the sock covered eggs in a pan, filled it with water, and brought it to a boil.  We allowed it to boil for approximately 12 minutes, removed it from heat, and let sit for about twenty more minutes.  Eggs were set on a towel until completely cool.

Now was the moment we had been waiting for.  The great reveal!  We cut off the rubber bands and unwrapped the material from our eggs.  This was the end result:

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They turned out perfectly! I actually screamed out loud when I saw how beautiful they were!  So easy, so fun, and so shockingly awesome.  I need to hit up Goodwill to score some funky ties to try this again.

I DID get a little fancy-pants at the end and threw on some glitter to my cabbage and tea eggs, just for kicks.  People either love glitter or hate glitter.  I do not love it.  The stuff multiplies like crazy and I hate that a fleck of it somehow always seems to embed itself on my cheek for two weeks.  I sucked it up today and got out the glitter because I thought it would add a little something special, which I totally think it does, right?

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There you have it!  We had an eggcellent (I know…gag, but I couldn’t resist) time trying all of these methods out.   #EggSalad4Ever.  Do you have a favorite egg dying technique?  I’d love to hear about what works best for you!  Happy Easter! 

He is Risen!  -Matthew 28:6

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