Saturday, April 29, 2017

Weekend Wardrobe: Save the Giraffes 4x4 Warm Weather Wardrobe

April the giraffe and her new baby boy!
(from CNN)

Giraffes seem to be in the news a lot these days.  You may have been one of the many people who watched April the giraffe (see image above) on live cam for weeks as she awaited the birth of her baby (the baby boy was born two weeks ago on the day before Easter).  There is also concern that giraffe populations in the wild are decreasing at an alarming rate, and these African ungulates may end up on the endangered species list.

I had never paid much attention to giraffes before, but they really are fascinating and lovely creatures.  When I discovered a fun pair of women's tops featuring a giraffe print there was just no way I could resist putting together a giraffe-themed 4x4 wardrobe!  Think of this post as my small contribution to the recognition of giraffes and their plight, and a reminder that preventing the loss of these unique creatures should be a priority.

The first set of four in this collection includes the inspiration giraffe print short-sleeved top, a t-shirt and a blouse designed with giraffes, and basic black pants:

Clockwise from top left: Giraffe Print V-Neck T-Shirt; FatFace Pippa Giraffe Peplum Top in Phantom; Chico's Whimsical Giraffe Shirt in White/Black; Coldwater Creek Holly Summer-Weight Ponte Pants in Black.

And the second set of four includes the inspiration sleeveless top, two tank tops (one with the same giraffe design as the t-shirt from the first set), and jeans in a golden tan color found in the inspiration top print:

Clockwise from top left: Giraffe Print Tank Top C; Blair Essential Knit Tank in Brown; FatFace Eva Giraffe Cami in Phantom; Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda Stretch-Fit Jeans in Golden Wheat.

The third set of four includes three t-shirts in a variety of colors (including an orange that will make sense when I post the accessories next week), plus linen pants in a light tan color also found in the inspiration top print:

Clockwise from top left: J. Crew New Perfect Fit T-Shirt in Spice; Spreadshirt Giraffe Women's T-Shirt in Black; L.L. Bean Women's Short-Sleeve Pima Cotton Shaped V-Neck Tee in White; Coldwater Creek Easy Linen Pull-On Pants in Flax.

Since this is a warm-weather wardrobe the last set of four includes capri pants and two tank tops, plus a summery dress with the inspiration giraffe print:

Clockwise from top left: L.L. Bean Women's Pima Cotton Shell in Black; L.L. Bean Women's Pima Cotton Shell in White; FatFace Simone Giraffe Dress in Phantom; L.L. Bean Women's Cropped Bayside Pants in Khaki.

When the four sets are combined, a very giraffe-centric 4x4 wardrobe is the result:




Next week you get to see all of the fun giraffe accessories I was able to find, and even I was surprised at how many are out there.  People do seem to be fascinated by this elongated ungulate, so perhaps this interest will translate into a successful effort to keep the giraffe from going extinct.  Here's hoping that giraffes will roam wild and free in their native habitat forever!

From Crazy Frankenstein
             

Friday, April 28, 2017

Foodie Fridays: Low Carb Banana Nut Pancakes


I am not much of a pancake or waffle eater, but every once in a while it is nice to have something different for breakfast, so I decided to try a recipe for low-carb Banana Nut Pancakes.  The nuts come in the form of almond flour  This means that there is no need to add wheat flour, which reduces the amount of carbohydrates in these pancakes significantly.  I only made three small changes to the original recipe - I used canola instead of olive oil, reduced the maple syrup by half, and used all of a mashed small banana instead of just 1/4 cup.

I served the pancakes with good quality blueberry jam from Serenbe Foods, but if you happen to  have fresh or frozen blueberries on hand I have included the recipe for Blueberry Compote found in the original post as well.  These pancakes were delicately crisp on the outside but tender, light, and moist on the inside.  I loved them so much I may never make wheat flour pancakes again!

Low Carb Banana Nut Pancakes

1 1/4 C. almond flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 C. milk*
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 T. oil
1 T. maple syrup
1 small banana
Blueberry Compote (see below) or blueberry jam

Combine the almond flour and baking powder in a large bowl.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla, oil, and maple syrup.  Mash the banana with a fork in a small bowl until no large lumps remain.  Stir the mashed banana into the wet ingredients.  Pour the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients and stir together just until uniformly moistened.

Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat.  Add butter, oil, or cooking spray.  When the oil is hot, scoop 1/4 cup amounts of batter into mounds in the pan.  Fry for about 3-4 minutes, until the bottom is lightly browned.  Gently flip the pancakes with a spatula (they can be delicate!), flatten slightly if necessary, and cook for 2-3 minutes longer.  Remove from the pan and keep warm (or eat!) while cooking the remaining batter.  Makes about 8 4-inch pancakes.

Blueberry Compote: Combine 2 C. blueberries, 2 T. maple syrup, and 1 tsp. lemon zest in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to simmer and cook 5-6 minutes until the compote thickens slightly.  Makes 2/3 cup.

*Any type of milk will work (I used cashew milk because that is what I had).
             

Thursday, April 27, 2017

This 'n That Thursdays: Ten Best Life-Long Exercises

From Dogtime

With summer approaching I feel the need to get more active.  I read an article quite a while ago listing ten of the most beneficial exercises you can do for the rest of your life, and thought that it might be a good idea to take a look at the list again.  Some of these exercises I do on a regular basis, but it may be time to add more of them to my life.  In case you are curious, here is the list (and how I personally feel about each one!):

1) Walking is one of the best and most doable exercises of all.  I walk for about 40 minutes almost every morning with my dogs, and they are so used to their morning walks that there is no way I could ever convince them to just hit the snooze button and go back to sleep.  They are such good motivators!

2) Running - while I never considered myself a runner, I used to jog instead of walk every morning.  As I got older, however, an old Achilles tendon injury made high impact exercise an unsafe option so I switched to walking.  I felt that I got better cardiovascular benefits from jogging, but sometimes compromises must be made!

3) Squats are great for strengthening the lower body as well as improving flexibility and balance.  If you want even more benefits, try lunges, which are basically just squats while walking.


4) Turkish Get-Ups are one type of exercise I had never heard of before!  Take a look at the video above for an idea of what you are getting yourself into should you decide to attempt them (and try not to be intimidated by the very muscular guy doing the demonstration!).  I am feeling a bit ambivalent about this exercise, but if I do try it I think I will forego the medicine ball, possibly forever but definitely at least until I have the rather complicated moves down pat first!  (I just know I would be one of those people who would drop the weight on myself at some point.)

5) Swimming is not an activity I have ever enjoyed.  I am not a water person and hate to get my head wet.  I took lessons as a child and am perfectly capable of swimming, but unless someone forces me into the water I doubt that I will ever swim on a regular basis.

6) Pushups were not a routine for me until a few months ago, when I started doing simple wall pushups every day, and much to my surprise they are actually toning up my arms!  I have never had much arm strength, and conventional pushups have always been beyond me.  Although I could do a few bent-knee pushups, they never seemed to have any worthwhile benefits because I could not do enough of them.  With wall pushups, I started with 20 a day and have gradually worked up to 60.  I intend to add more pushups gradually every year.  By the time I reach the age of 100 I should have phenomenal arms!


7) Plank may seem like a relatively easy exercise, but just try and maintain it for any length of time if your overall muscle strength, especially in the core, is lacking!  I find that this simple pose is one that I often overlook, especially when I am not taking regular yoga classes, so I am going to make an effort to do planks daily from now on.  Watch the video above if you are unsure of the proper position for a plank (and enjoy the pleasant British accent as you watch!).

8) Pullups - I may dislike swimming, but I absolutely loathe pullups.  I can never remember a time when I could do even one of these.  Go ahead, call me a wimp, but I can say with great certainty that I will never again attempt to do what is for me an exercise in futility!

9) Stretching has been a part of my daily routine for decades now, and it really has made a difference.  Even though I have always been very flexible, as I've aged I find that if I do not keep up with stretching I will lose flexibility much more quickly.  I do not even get out of bed in the morning without doing a few different types of stretches first, and my consistency has paid off in keeping me limber over the years.

10) A Healthy Diet is not really an exercise so much as a lifestyle commitment.  A balanced diet is a crucial part of any fitness goal.  For my specific nutritional needs as I get older, I find I must try to limit sugar and processed foods as much as possible, reduce the amount of starches in my diet by half, and avoid red meats since I am allergic to them.  I am not perfect, of course (no one is!), but I have managed to stick to this regimen pretty well and have lost a fair amount of excess weight over the past year as a result.  The perfect diet will differ from person to person, but the basics, such as lots of vegetables and fruits, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats, are pretty universal.

๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŠ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŠ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŠ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŠ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŠ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŠ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ„

Remember, as the original article mentions, the single best exercise is one that you will actually do!

Does this count?
(from ScienceABC)
             

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wish List Wednesdays: Five Fun Finds from Fossil


I am not very adventurous when it comes to handbags.  I will find one that I really like (almost always a crossbody bag with lots of compartments) and then use it exclusively until it falls apart wears out.  Every once in a while, though, I think it might be fun to own a more unique bag, something still practical but offbeat or quirky enough to make it interesting.  Browsing through the Fossil website recently, I found five bags that would fill that void in my life quite nicely.  The only difficulty would be deciding which one to choose!  Just take a look:


1) Mia Tote in White/Black (on sale for $84) - this roomy coated canvas tote with one zipper pocket and two media pockets comes in six different design options, but the one that tickled my fancy is the one above with the roadrunner design, because what could be more fun than roadrunners?


2) Piper Toaster Bag in Cornflower (on sale for $109.99) - my favorite crossbody style in a fabulous color with multiple pockets and embossed leather with the cutest llamas, so what's not to love?


3) Phoebe Backpack ($98) - I am attracted to the colorful stripes on this generously-sized cotton/polyester backpack, so perfect for spring and summer!


4) Mia Crossbody in Black Multi (on sale for $64) - we are going to visit New Mexico (my favorite state) next month, and this coated canvas crossbody bag with the vivid cactus design would be the ideal accessory to carry!


5) Rachel Tote in Llama Print (on sale for $75.99) - more adorable llamas, this time on a roomy canvas tote that comes with a colorful removable pouch.

๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒต

I just love all of these fun Fossil handbags, but if you are looking for something a little more conventional the website has dozens to choose from, and many of them are on sale!
             

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Weekend Wardrobe: What to Wear with Blush Pink Jeans

These Jones New York Lexington Stretch Denim
Straight-Leg Ankle Jeans I found at HomeGoods are
available for full price at Dillard's and Bon-Ton.

I have been trying not to buy new clothing this year, but a recent trip to HomeGoods broke down my resolve.  A pair of jeans in a color I almost never buy fit so well that I had to get them.  I have short legs and a long torso, which makes finding a perfect fit in jeans almost impossible.  Because these jeans were ankle length they were regular length on me, and it is rare for me to find jeans with a comfortable enough rise (those old 1980s high-rise jeans that hit most people somewhere above the waist were the only ones that ever actually sat at my waist).  Since these jeans were also more than half off the original price, I made an exception to my resolve and bought them.  The only difficulty I could see was the fact that they are a pale blush pink color, and I have never had pink jeans before.

The bird print blouse I got at HomeGoods is
similar to this Dorothy Perkins Ivory Bird
Print Shirt, which is no longer available.

I also caved and bought a draped ivory blouse with an unusual bird silhouette print, mostly because I thought it went well with the pants (and it was also well below the original price).  My husband and I had a wedding anniversary this month, and I used that as my excuse to purchase a new outfit (we went out to eat at a nice but not excessively fancy restaurant, so jeans and a pretty blouse were perfect).  However, I felt that unless I could come up with other ways to wear the pants, they were not a very smart purchase (the shirt is pretty versatile, so I will not have a problem finding ways to wear it).

My favorite fashion blogger at The Vivienne Files described a wardrobe-shaping technique she called clusters as a way to organize one's apparel.  I am usually more focused on color choices than outfit options when I analyze my closet and I was not sure if I liked this method or not, so I decided to try it with my new pink jeans.  Going through my closet, I tried building several outfit clusters around these pants, and was surprised at how many choices I had.  I am now a big fan of the cluster technique for analyzing my wardrobe (now I just need to apply this method to streamline my closet!).

So enough with my babbling on and on, and let's take a look at the outfits I was able to pull together from items I already own (I did have to substitute images of clothing vaguely similar to my apparel, as most of mine are no longer available for purchase):

Clockwise from top: Land's End Women's 3/4-Sleeve Lofty V-Neck Cardigan in Antique Ivory; Land's End Women's Relaxed Supima Short-Sleeve V-Neck T-Shirt in Brilliant Fuchsia; Dorothy Perkins Ivory Bird Print Shirt (no longer available).

My first cluster features the blouse similar to my new one plus a bright fuchsia tee shirt, both of which can be topped with the ivory cardigan (my cardigan is more lightweight than this one, but the color is similar).  Just replacing the blouse with a tee shirt creates a more casual look with the same pair of jeans.

Clockwise from top: Land's End Women's Cotton Modal Cardigan in Black; L.L. Bean Women's Crewneck Short-Sleeve Pima Cotton Tee in Black; Pink Floral Print T-Shirt (no longer available).

Next up is a cluster with two tee shirts, one a floral with shades of pink and the other black, both of which can be worn with the black cardigan.  I think the two cardigans can even be interchanged between these first two sets fairly successfully.

Clockwise from top: BubblesBay Sheer Chiffon Bolero Shrug in Paisley Brown; Hanes 5250 Authentic "Tagless" Tee in Dark Chocolate; Land's End Women's Relaxed Supima Long-Sleeve V-Neck T-Shirt in Tranquil Blue.

This third cluster is a lot of fun, because my second layer is a semi-sheer chiffon bolero-type shrug.  The image I found is similar to the one I own in coloring, but mine has a more southwestern geometric pattern rather than the paisley print.  I have worn this shrug with a pink long-sleeved tee shirt and brown knit pants and loved the look, so I am sure I will be delighted with either of the tee shirt options here with the pink jeans!

Clockwise from top: L.L. Bean Women's Zip-Front Marled Cotton Sweater in Natural Heather; L.L. Bean Women's Interlock Turtleneck in Oatmeal Heather; Muji Women's Organic Cotton Double Gauze Shirt in White.

My last cluster features a cardigan only slightly similar to mine, as the one I have is more of a uniform light brown heather and is not striped.  The color of the one shown is close enough, however, and works well with both the off-white blouse (similar to the one just barely shown on the model wearing the jeans) and the oatmeal-colored turtleneck (similar in color but not neckline to the long-sleeved tee shirt I own).

Clockwise from top left: Easy Spirit Jeyden Loafers in Black; Toms Fuchsia Canvas Women's Classics Slip-On Shoes; Sperry Women's Authentic Original 2-Eye Boat Shoes in Brown Distressed Leather; Naturalizer Women's 'Saban' Leather Loafer in White. 

This last image shows shoes a lot like four pairs that I own, all of which would work with the four apparel clusters I put together (shoes really are a necessary part of any outfit, so luckily I have some that coordinate!).

๐Ÿ’ฎ๐Ÿ’ฎ๐Ÿ’ฎ๐Ÿ’ฎ๐Ÿ’ฎ๐Ÿ’ฎ๐Ÿ’ฎ๐Ÿ’ฎ๐Ÿ’ฎ๐Ÿ’ฎ๐Ÿ’ฎ๐Ÿ’ฎ๐Ÿ’ฎ๐Ÿ’ฎ๐Ÿ’ฎ๐Ÿ’ฎ๐Ÿ’ฎ๐Ÿ’ฎ๐Ÿ’ฎ๐Ÿ’ฎ๐Ÿ’ฎ๐Ÿ’ฎ๐Ÿ’ฎ๐Ÿ’ฎ

Another reason I like the idea of the cluster method for analyzing my wardrobe is that it tells me which items that I already own I am most likely to reach for when putting together outfits.  I like so many different colors but would really like to have a core of colors to work with, and by sorting my clothes into outfit clusters I tend to naturally select the colors I would wear most often.  I can still purchase an item or two in a new and interesting color each season (like the blush pink jeans, or the plum jeans I bought last winter), but the basic neutral wardrobe colors for me will be mostly shades of brown with a few black and olive pieces, highlighted with some slightly off-white and brightly colored tops.

In fact, now that I think about it, I could put together another cluster for my pink jeans with olive green as a base... but this post has gotten long enough and it is time to move on to another topic!
             

Friday, April 21, 2017

Foodie Fridays: Ham Mold


Ham Mold is a nostalgic recipe from my younger days.  I am old enough to remember when Hormel first introduced its canned chunk meats.  I was especially fond of the ham, as it made ham salad sandwiches very easy to prepare.  These days I never eat the canned ham anymore because of my red meat allergy, and I am sure that some of the added ingredients are not very healthy, but at the time I really enjoyed the convenience.  I even used that ham as a substitute for canned salmon to create the recipe below. Although the mixture can be shaped in a mold and turned out to serve, I usually did not bother, and simply left it in the bowl to be spooned out and spread onto crackers as an appetizer.

The original recipe calls for grated horseradish rather than horseradish sauce, but we only had the latter so I modified the amount.  Using the sauce makes this recipe more of a dip than a mold, but that is not necessarily a disadvantage!  If you use grated horseradish, start with about one teaspoon and taste before adding more. The amounts of horseradish sauce, onion, and lemon juice are only guidelines anyway.  Add what seems right to you, taste, and add more if needed.  Feel free to stir in any extra flavorings you like as well - I think diced pimientos, pickle relish, or chopped black olives would all be tasty options.  Just remember that in this recipe, the horseradish is the star so any additions should complement that condiment (we like horseradish, and add almost enough to make your eyes water!).  You can also substitute any meat, poultry, or fish for the ham (canned or otherwise), but I will always have a fondness for this ham version even though I can no longer eat it.

Ham Mold

1 can (5 oz.) ham
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. creamy horseradish sauce
1 T. minced onion
1/2 T. lemon juice

Mix all of the ingredients together well in a small bowl.  Chill until firm.  Serve at room temperature with crackers.  Serves 4.
             

Thursday, April 20, 2017

This 'n That Thursdays: 2017 Native Plants of the Year

A native plants-based woodland garden in New York
(from Dawn's Wild Things).

Just when you thought I had forgotten about plants of the year, I have one more post about the 2017 native plant picks for birds and other wildlife from the Onondaga (New York) Audubon Society in conjunction with the group Habitat Gardening in Central New York (HGCNY).  Even though these plants are regional selections, I decided to feature them because I think this is a good idea for all regional gardening and native habitat organizations to adopt!  Take a look at some of the beautiful native species that could be added to any garden in the central and northern New York region (or any other region where they are native):

From NC State Extension

1) Pagoda Dogwood (Cornus alterniflora) - small deciduous tree or large multi-stemmed shrub with white flowers and bluish-black fruits eaten by birds; also provides cover and nesting habitat.

From Flora Pittsburghensis

2) Common Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) - tall herbaceous perennial with tiny white flowers; attractive to insects and can provide cover for birds.

From Go Botany

3) New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) - tall herbaceous perennial with yellow-centered purple flowers in the fall; provides late season nectar for bees and butterflies.

From Shaker Lakes

4) White Turtlehead (Chelone glabra) - herbaceous perennial with spikes of distinctive white flowers; partial to moist shady areas; nectar source for hummingbirds, butterflies, and other insects.

From Santa Rosa Gardens

5) Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) - dense perennial bunchgrass with fine-textured foliage  and blue-green stems; seeds attract birds and can be a winter food source.

From Go Botany

6) Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) - herbaceous perennial with small, fragrant pink flowers visited by hummingbirds; plant in moist areas; preferred host for monarch butterfly caterpillars.

From NC State Extension

7) Oswego Tea or Scarlet Beebalm (Monarda didyma) - spreading, clumping herbaceous perennial with clusters of bright red, tubular flowers very attractive to hummingbirds.

From Plants & Ridiculousness

8) Purple-Flowering Raspberry (Rubus odoratus) - shrubby, thornless perennial with fragrant purple flowers; fruits eaten by many birds; also provides cover.

From Wood Thrush Natives

9) Black Cohosh or Black Bugbane (Actaea racemosa) - clumping herbaceous perennial with spires of tiny white flowers in late summer visited by hummingbirds and butterflies; prefers rich soil and partial shade.

From The Foraging Photographer

10) Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) - fast-growing medium-sized oak (50-75 feet tall) with small acorns eaten by birds such as Blue Jays, Wild Turkeys, and Ruffed Grouse; also provides good nesting habitat.

And because I live in Georgia, I have one more plant to profile that was chosen by the Georgia Native Plant Society as its 2017 Plant of the Year:

From State-by-State Gardening/Georgia Gardening

Sweet Betsy Trillium (Trillium cuneatum) - this shade-loving plant is so low to the ground it might be overlooked, but to miss this lovely early bloomer would be a shame!  The mottled bracts surround good-sized scented flowers which are usually maroon, but can be bronze, reddish-green, or even yellow in color.  Native to deciduous woodland coves, the sweet Betsy is a great choice for shade gardens.  It prefers moist soil, but is hardy and drought-resistant.  It is also deer-proof to a certain extent and very long-lived.  If you are ever in Athens, GA, in the early spring and would like to see this plant, try paying a visit to the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, where the sweet Betsy trillium is planted along the walkway from the parking lot to the garden entrance, and which is where my husband and I saw it this year!

๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒท๐ŸŒฝ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒท๐ŸŒฝ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒท๐ŸŒฝ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒท๐ŸŒฝ๐ŸŒณ

Well, that's it for 2017 plants of the year posts here.  I hope you've found some good ideas, or at least enjoyed the show!
             

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wish List Wednesdays: Pier 1 Red Lobster & Crab Napkins


I wish Pier 1 would stop tempting me with so much lovely tableware!  If you read my blog you probably know that I collect crustacean-themed items, especially tableware, so of course I am going to have to purchase (quite!) a few of these Red Lobster & Crab Napkins ($4.95 each).  They are machine-washable cotton, include red, which is my favorite color, and are festooned with both lobsters and crabs, so it is almost as if they were specifically designed to come home with me.  Please, stop this right now, Pier 1!
             

Sunday, April 16, 2017

On the Homefront: Bunny with a Backpack Easter Table

April the Easter Bunny lounges protectively around a little nest of
colorful eggs as she waits for the Easter celebration to begin!

I fell in love with the Lilly the Bunny with Backpack Dinnerware from Pier 1 (on sale now!) and purchased a set of the salad/dessert plates recently.  I decided that these cute plates would be the basis for our Easter table this year.  The cheerful orange, green, and white color scheme was inspired by the plates, as was the choice of bunny dรฉcor, of course!


Tan cotton place mat (from HomeGoods this year); orange dinner plate (from Publix several years ago); Lilly the Bunny with Backpack Salad Plate (from Pier 1 recently); Printed Carrot Napkin (from Pier 1 recently - no longer available); The Pioneer Woman Cowgirl Lace Flatware (from Walmart - green no longer available); pale green goblet; orange juice glass (from The Cupboard in Fort Collins, CO, ages ago); Milk Chocolate Lindt Gold Bunny.

A closer look at the bunny salad plate.

A closer look at the carrot print napkin.




A begonia with orange flowers complements my table color scheme
perfectly, as do the three ceramic bunnies (the large one is from Tuesday
Morning several years ago, and the small ones are actually salt and pepper
shakers from my St. Patrick's Day table!).

A spring green candle surrounded by carrot-shaped, foil-wrapped
chocolates on a large white plate makes a bunny-friendly centerpiece
(although the chocolates, which I found on sale at HomeGoods,
are not very tasty and will be used as table dรฉcor only!)

Even my husband thought the bunny-topped teapot from Pier 1 this
year was a fabulous find (it is still available and on sale right now)!
Although it is small, I am probably the only one who will be drinking
the Twinings Ceylon Orange Pekoe Tea for brunch anyway.
I don't remember where I found the porcelain mini rabbit creamer,
but it is available from several sites online.

An even closer look at the Garden Bunny Cabbage Teapot.


A simple brunch menu featuring lots of vegetables would make "any-bunny" happy!  Start with mimosas (equal parts orange juice and champagne or sparkling wine), or if you prefer a nonalcoholic beverage serve plain orange juice or juice mixed with soda water.  My Sweet Potato and Kale Egg Casserole is chock full of vegetables, and the healthy carrot cookies for dessert serve up a bunny's favorite treat in an even tastier form.  Meat eaters would appreciate the addition of a breakfast meat, so you may want to put bacon or sausage on the menu.  And of course plenty of tea and/or coffee should be available to anyone who needs a wakeup beverage!

Bunny with a Backpack Easter Menu:

Mimosas or Orange Juice
Bacon or Sausage
Healthy Cinnamon Carrot Cookies*
Hot Tea or Coffee


1 1/4 C. rolled oats
1/2 C. coconut flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 C. melted coconut oil
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. maple syrup or honey
1 C. grated carrots

Combine the first 7 (dry) ingredients in a large bowl.  In a small bowl, whisk together the next 4 (wet) ingredients until smooth.  Combine thoroughly with the dry ingredients.  Fold in the carrots.

Chill the batter in the fridge for about 20 minutes.  Scoop the dough out in 12-18 round dollops onto a baking sheet lined with Silpat or parchment paper.  Press each round gently with the palm of your hand to flatten slightly.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.  Makes 12-18 cookies.

Note: The original recipe called for 12 rounds of cookie dough, but I actually halved the recipe and made smaller dollops, which gave me 9 cookies, or 18 for the full recipe.

*************************************************************

As usual, I decked out the dining room credenza with Easter dรฉcor as well:

I just love this Pier 1 White Rabbit Mantle Scarf (unfortunately
no longer available).  It is so colorful, and each bunny has a fluffy
little white tail, plus there are large white pom-pons on each end
which are not visible in my photo.

You didn't think I would leave out the Easter Dalmatians, did you?

Zelda the Dutch rabbit proudly presides over her colorful marble
egg collection, while a white rabbit platter I found at HomeGoods
this year provides an appropriate lagomorph background!

๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฃ

And I couldn't possibly end this post without the Easter Peeps video from YouTube which has become my annual blog tradition!  Enjoy the show:


Have a Happy Easter, everyone!