Easiest Egg Dye for Little Hands (and minimal mess!)

Easter is upon us, and while there are a million ways to dye an egg, this way takes the cake for those of us with tiny ones wanting in on the action. Dyeing eggs with toddlers is NOT fun. The cups full of colored mess waiting to stain anything it touches, the "GENTLE!!" reminders as they plop those eggs in, most likely to be cracked, and the fact that egg dyeing requires waiting for results all make for a less than fun experience for little ones. A few years back when I was young(er) in my motherhood a friend shared this on her blog and I've been doing it ever since. Her blog isn't around anymore and since a quick google search didn't yield any results for other tutorials I thought I'd share her genius with you all. I shared pictures of Charly dyeing eggs with this method a few years ago (and how cute is that little Charly!), but here's a few more pictures and a step by step to explain the process! The best part: You probably have everything you need at home already!

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Supplies:

Hard boiled eggs

Food coloring

Paper towels

Plate or tray

Egg carton (for finished eggs)

Spray bottle (not pictured)

1. Lay a double layer of paper towel on your plate or tray

2. Choose a few colors of food coloring- 2-3 seem to work best, but you can go wild!

3. Put drops of food coloring onto the paper towel in a random pattern. Putting them closer together will create more overlap and mixing of colors.

4. Roll the hard boiled egg around on the food coloring until it is covered in color

5. After the first egg is done, you can spray water with a spray bottle and do one or two more eggs from the same paper towel. The added water will give the eggs more of a water color effect, while the first egg will have some of the texture from the paper towel.

6. Set the finished egg in an egg carton to finish drying while you make more!

This is so easy and (relatively) mess free that I was able to let both of my kids do it while I took pictures- and this is all the mess it made:

The clothes stayed clean, and the high chair wiped up with a spray of water and wipe of a paper towel- which were both already out!- ha!

AND both kids were so proud of themselves for being able to do it mostly on their own!

And they aren't too hard on the eyes, either:

And hey, if you've got older kids wanting in on the action, you can adapt it by wrapping the paper towel around the egg and placing it in a plastic sandwich bag with a rubber band at the top to keep the bag tight against the paper towel wrapped egg. Wait a few minutes, and take the egg out to reveal even brighter colors and a fun pattern!

So what do you think, would you give this method a try? Or do you have your own less-mess egg dyeing tips?

Out with the old, in with the new.

It is bitter sweet to bid adieu to 2011. What a year it has been. For us, it has been a year of changes. Growing. Stretching. Laughing. Crying. Learning. Charly was born just two weeks into the new year, so as I reflect on the past year I inevitably reflect on her growth, how she has changed, and how she has changed us. This year has taken me to a place of vulnerability that I never imagined possible. Becoming a mother was a humbling experience. It made me evaluate myself and gather my strength. I had to rise to the challenge- there was no other choice- and it made me stronger and more confident.

This is the only picture with both Charly and I from the hospital. Sad! 

At times it felt like we were just hanging on- and sometimes it still does. Change happens faster than I can process it, and I have to adapt and hang on for the ride. Before I can master being a mom to a baby, my baby is becoming a toddler. It is a beautiful thing, though. Being stagnant isn't healthy. We need to learn and grow and change to become better.

I typically don't get too hung up on resolutions, but with growth and change in mind, I'll set some anyway. I like to keep things vague, even though I know that goals should typically be specific and measurable so that I'll know when they are achieved. I don't think of my resolutions as goals. I set specific goals throughout the year, but for me, resolutions are to goals what climate is to weather. Resolutions are broad, encompassing, long lasting. They set the general tone. Goals are specific and more concrete in my mind, like the temperature or snowfall. Resolutions are more of a reminder of what I want to become rather than what I want to do. With that in mind, here are my resolutions for 2012:

Document. If 2011 has taught me anything, it is that life passes by quickly and memories fade. I want to capture more of them. I'll probably set more specific goals later on about blogging and photographing, but documenting is the goal.

Simplify. This one is about my space and my time. Simplifying allows us to enjoy what we really have. Perhaps I'll organize or purge, perhaps I'll minimize distractions or change my routines. Whatever it is, it should enrich our lives.

Be Intentional.  I've been brainstorming a post about intentional parenting for a long time. It may or may not happen. But I've thought about it a lot, and I'd like to be more intentional with how I spend my time and more intentional in my relationships with others. I'd like to do things with Charly each day that contribute to who she is.

So there they are. All spelled out for all to see. Occasionally I'll post updates on what I am doing to work toward these resolutions. In the mean time, I'd love to hear what you all are planning to help you learn, grow and improve in 2012. Happy New Year!

Deck the Halls

Christmas is six (SIX!) days away and I have much to blog about. Like, say, gifts I've made (although some can't be shared till after the holidays, lest we spoil some gift-giving surprises), stockings I finished long ago, baby sleep updates, haircuts (a few), and some recipes. I got a great start on my Christmas gift making this year, and it is a good thing, because Matt and I were asked to plan our church Christmas party (with the help of a great committee) so Christmas making went to the back burner while party planning was in full swing. The party was on Saturday so now I'm full steam ahead for Christmas.

Our decorations are few this year, partially due to living in a smaller place, but I like to think we've done well with what we've got. We opted for a table top tree to keep presents and ornaments from our ever-curious almost-one-year-old's hands. I used mostly the same decorations we have used in years past, with a few tweaks. My "theme" (because yes, I think about stuff like that) is retro/vintage inspired. 
If our little tree looks like it is leaning, it is because it is. Not much we can do about it, since it came with a pre-drilled in stand when we bought it. 
The view from the gift side of the counter. Charly is mesmerized by the lights but can't get her mischievous hands anywhere near it!

I like to go all out with my gift wrap. We keep our Christmas giving small, and I think beautiful wrapping helps elevate the gifts that we do have. That, and having less gifts means it isn't as daunting to wrap each with bows, ribbons, etc. See the gift on the far left? Matt wrapped that one. Nice work, eh?

We bought this cute gift tag stamp at Anthropologie. I love a little humor and whimsy with my gift wrapping:) 
Here are a few of my favorite ornaments on our tree this year:
Owl made by a friend

My bird ornament from last year.

Matt's ornament from last year- cause he's a nut!
And here is the "mantle" (really it is just an IKEA shelf mounted above the fireplace): 

Here are the completed sweater stockings. I'll post a quick tutorial if anyone is interested.

A new decor addition- wrapping paper trees! I made these for the church party and they were EASY!!! Let me know if you want a tutorial.

That is about as decked as our halls are getting this year! Bring on the Christmas cheer!