Easter Egg Tree / DIY

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Ever since getting married, and especially since having June, I've loved the idea of starting traditions that are specific to our little family. When it comes to Easter, my side of extended family has the tradition of our Easter Egg Roll, where we all gather at the top of my Grandpa's long and steep driveway and literally roll our eggs down the hill. We have winners for furthest overall and yoke only. It's pretty awesome!

But leading up to Easter, I don't really have any decorations or anything special that we do. UNTIL NOW! I've wanted to make this Easter Egg tree for two years, and I finally have!

As far as DIYs go, it's pretty easy. Below are the instructions and supplies needed, as well as what I chose for each egg to represent so it can help teach June, and our future kids, the story of Easter.

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* This post was originally created for walk in love.'s blog - Check it out HERE! *

SUPPLIES:

  • Eggs (paper mache, wooden or hollowed real ones)
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint Pen
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue
  • String
  • Branch
  • Vase/Jar
  • Paper to protect your table while you paint

INSTRUCTIONS:

Find your vase and branch and set aside. Trim down the end of the stick to fit into your jar or vase if needed. I chose to stick with white, black, gold, mint and pink for my colors. I wanted it to be simple and spring-ish! You may choose any colors you'd like. Paint eggs your desired colors. My eggs took two coats of every color, except black, for them to look well painted. If however you like the single-coat-brushed-on look, stick with it! Both are good options! 

Once your second coat of paint has dried completely, you're ready to start decorating them. I used a combination of my black Sharpie paint pen and actual paint for my decorating. You can decorate yours however you'd like! If you want your tree to have "tradition and storytelling" to it, you can follow my suggestions below - or find your own!

Here is what I decided on:

  • Egg with Crown - To represent Jesus as Messiah, the Holy King.
  • Egg with Eyes - To represent Jesus' miracles - Giving sight to the blind.
  • Egg with Palm Leaves - To represent Palm Sunday.
  • Egg with Paint Strokes - To represent the breaking of bread at the last supper.
  • Egg with 30 black dots - To represent the 30 silver coins that were offered in exchange for Jesus.
  • Egg with X's - To represent Judas's betrayal and kiss.
  • Egg with Slashes - To represent Jesus being beaten sentenced to death on a cross.
  • Egg with Crosses - To represent the cross.
  • Egg that is solid black - To represent the darkness of the tomb.
  • Egg that is solid gold - To represent Jesus rising FROM. THE. DEAD!
  • Egg that is half white, half black - To represent life over death.
  • Egg that is all white - To represent our sins being washed white as snow. A clean slate.
  • Egg with Hearts - To represent accepting Jesus into your heart.
  • Egg with Gold Dots - To represent our charge as Christians to be the light in a dark world.

Cut string to desired lengths and with a tiny dot of hot glue, attach string to top of your egg. Knowing what my branch looked like, I made my string lengths vary in size, so the eggs could hang at different heights! If needed, weight the bottom of your jar/vase with sand or small stones. Since the branch I found grew heavily to one side, the added weight of the eggs was causing it to tip over. So make sure you test it out before you load up your branch with all the eggs.

I hope that this little project serves as a reminder in your daily life of the great story of Jesus and his love for us. I pray it allows you to teach your family about Christ conquering death, or that it starts an otherwise un-had conversation around your dinner this Easter! (Side note: You could also totally make one of these and give it to someone as a gift for their home and table!)

 

Dark Chocolate Almond Bark

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Last fall I made my first ever batch of chocolate almond bark, and honestly didn't really know what I was doing. I used cheaper chocolate and didn't chop the almonds before I roasted them -- but even so, friends were texting me going "You made this?!?! I ate it before I even got home from your house. Hopefully my husband didn't want any." So I took that as a good sign and made it again, this time keeping track of what I used and how it tasted better. Which brings me to today's post - Dark Chocolate Almond Bark, with sea salt. Obviously.

If you follow T.J. or I on Snapchat, you may have seen that we went to our local Farmer's Market on Tuesday, which is where I normally buy my favorite chocolates. They're incredibly well made and local and delicious! But at $10/lb its hard to justify buying, like, seven pounds every week. 😂

I hope you'll take the time to try this recipe for yourself! It's so good. And makes enough that you can give some away to your neighbors. (Yes, Kim, I have a bag set aside for you already. Fear not.)

Be sure to tag me in your Instagrams or send me a Snap if you make your own dark chocolate almond bark!! 

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DARK CHOCOLATE ALMOND BARK

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DIRECTIONS

Measure out 2 cups of raw almonds and chop into smaller pieces. Drizzle almond pieces with oil. Stir until coated well. Dump almonds onto a cookie sheet and roast at 325° for 20 minutes... maybe. Honestly, I don't know the exact time. Keep an eye on them. For the longest time it will look like nothing is happening. But all of a sudden they'll look dark and golden and then you'll start to smell the deliciousness of roasted almonds and THAT'S when they are done. Take them out of the oven and lightly sprinkle them with salt. Sometimes I let them cool on the counter for an hour or so while I go do something else. Other times I cool them in the freezer because I am too excited to eat the finished product.

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Once your almonds have cooled, start melting your chocolate. I used my own "fake" double broiler set-up. You can also melt chocolate in the microwave. It *can* be tricky if you've never done it before. THIS is kind of how I melt mine - with a saucepan and glass mixing bowl.  In between stiring your melting chocolate, line a rimmed cookie sheet foil. (If you want to. I've done it with and without foil.) Once your chocolate is full melted, scrape all the chocolate out of the mixing bowl and into the bowl with your cooled almonds. Mix well.

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Spread chocolate mixture onto your cookie sheet quickly - not because it'll cool too fast, but because you've already spent like a hour waiting for those dang nuts to cool, so the faster you spread the sooner you'll get to eat the final product!! If you want your bark to be super thin, maybe line and fill two pans instead of one. If you want it to be super thick, to maybe cut into little cute squares, use a smaller brownie pan instead of a cookie sheet. Its really up to you. Feel free to adjust your almond/chocolate ratio the next time you make it depending on the size of the pan you want to fill every time. This recipe is what works best for my cookie sheet!

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Top if all off with sea salt! Place in your refrigerator to cool! Once totally chilled, take it out of the pan and break it up into small pieces! If the chocolate feels like its bending instead of snapping into pieces, it's probably not completely chilled, so just give it a few more minutes. Break it up and enjoy. Yum! 

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Snack Tray / Asian

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About once every few months or so I go through a "give me all the asian flavored foods" phase. HARD. Like I lay in bed at night and think about how good General Tso's chicken is. And how much sushi I could eat right now. And spring rolls. And crispy Asian salads and noodles. And sesame dressing. You get the point.

But if I was to actually eat everything I was dreaming about during said phases, I would spend way too much money on take-out. And have terrible heartburn.

Enter: the Asian snack tray.

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SNACK TRAY / ASIAN:

  • Snap Peas
  • Sesame Stix
  • Mango Fire Pepper Cheese
  • Pretzels
  • Mandarin Oranges
  • Fried Peas
  • Peanuts
  • Mustard for dipping
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