DIY Easter Baskets

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Sometimes you just need to forget it all and unwind with loved ones.

Scroll down for Easter basket instructions.

Easter means something different for everyone. Whether it be religious, the bunny, a time to gather, a big meal, or maybe even just nothing.

Easter

I wasn’t raised in a religious setting, so I don’t celebrate the religious aspect of Easter (I mean no prejudice toward anyone, if you have a special religious tradition please feel free to share!). I am also too old for Easter egg hunts, but I am more than willing to help the Easter bunny hide them.

And that is exactly what I did this year. After showing off some of the goodies (and the baskets featured below) she had picked up for her kids, I was more than excited to spend the night before at my sister’s house.

It was the first time I had ever actually helped hide the eggs, and then get excited to wake up at 6 am and watch the kids hunt around the house. Never had I thought that it could be such a rewarding feeling to watch them get so excited about the Easter Bunny coming, but it was really great. The smiles on their faces were absolutely worth the lack of sleep I got last night.

DIY Easter Baskets

Since the Easter Bunny left fishing rods for everyone, the afternoon was the perfect time to get out to the river and wait for a bite. Again, I didn’t care about what I was doing, because their excitement contagious (I don’t know if it’s the same as a parent, but as an Aunt I just couldn’t get enough).

My own personal favourite part of Easter is the food. This year, I was tasked with making dinner (yay!), so I cooked up the basics: turkey, dressing, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnip, and spiced bread pudding (stay tuned for a recipe).

What did you do this Easter? Do you have any special traditions? Is there anything specific that you don’t do? Let me know in the comments below!

DIY EASTER BASKETS

If you’re stressed out about what to do for your young ones for Easter, you’re NOT alone! But, with this easy DIY Easter basket guide, you’ll be ready for Easter in no time.

  • Chocolate. It’s the given choice. Add a bunny and some other small chocolates and you’re set.
  • Toys. It’s not Christmas or a birthday, so just stick to one or two that they’ve been eyeing when you go out. And of course, these emoji cushions were loved by all.
  • Outdoors things. This is where you have to pick and choose. Spring is here, and your kids can actually enjoy getting outside again. Skipping ropes, insect catchers, sports balls are popular toys. If you have room in your budget, maybe they’ve outgrown their bike or roller blades. But it’s not all about the toys and games! Throw in a little shovel or hand rake to encourage them to help around the yard and garden. The feature to these fun baskets were fishing rods!
  • But what about the big kids? We dealt with this too. Scent infusers, string lights, and specialized cups were the stars of their baskets.
  • Bath bombs. These are great for everyone, even the Easter Bunny him/herself, and if you can it’s a great way to stay local.
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How to Make Red Velvet Layered Cheesecake

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Birthdays Come But Once a Year

Scroll down for full recipe.

…and for me that day is on April 11th. Luckily, I have the kind of mother who will continue to make or buy me a cake for the rest of time, but this year I just couldn’t decide what I wanted. I managed to narrow it down to red velvet or cheesecake, but how was I supposed to choose between them? Here’s a hint; I didn’t.

Red Velvet Layered Cheesecake

Instead, I went large and combined 3 cakes into one to create a red velvet layered cheesecake with white chocolate buttercream frosting (if you’re trying to diet, this is most definitely not for you!).

Cheesecake Layer

With all of the flavours I planned on having, I felt it best to stick to an original cheesecake. So, I stuck to the basics for this step and followed the easy recipe from the PHILIDELPHIA cream cheese package, without the graham crumb base.

Red Velvet Cake Layers

Initially, I wanted to go all out from scratch, but then I realized I had 2 days, a small budget, and about 3 ingredients on hand. So, I took the easy way out, and decided to leave the homemade red velvet cake for later (keep an eye out for upcoming recipes). For this recipe I trusted my old friend Betty Crocker for a great red velvet cake and cupcake mix.

supermoist-red-velvet

This part was easy, I followed the easy instructions on the box (I used two mixes and doubled the ingredients to make two cakes), and left them to cool for a few hours while I went to enjoy a delicious birthday dinner. You can purchase this cake mix at your own local grocery stores, or make your own from your favourite red velvet cake recipe.

White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

I know, so far I’ve shown myself as nothing but a back of the box follower, but here is where I made things interesting with my own twist. I was going to use the icing packets that had come with the red velvet cake, but I had extra packs of cream cheese and really wanted white chocolate to pull it all together. The result? White chocolate buttercream.

Check below for how I made mine, or use your own favourite buttercream recipe.

Recipe

RED VELVET LAYERED CHEESECAKE WITH WHITE CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

What you need:

2 boxes of Betty Crocker Red Velvet Cupcake Mix

with ingredients listed on box

  • Eggs
  • Water
  • Vegetable oil

3 packages of PHILIDELPHIA cream cheese, softened

with ingredients listed on packaging

  • Sugar
  • Vanilla
  • Eggs
  • (you won’t need the graham crumbs)

2 more packages of PHILIDELPHIA cream cheese, softened

½ cup of butter or margarine, softened

4 cups of powdered sugar

1 225g pack of Hershey’s chocolate chips (or proper baking bars)

Instructions:

Make 1 cheesecake according to instructions inside of packaging. Place in refrigerator to cool. Make 2 red velvet cakes according to instructions found on box. Be sure that baking pan is the same size as the one you used for your cheesecake. Allow all three cakes to cool completely.

In a large bowl whip together PHILIDELPHIA cream cheese, butter, and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. Melt white chocolate by stove top or microwave, but be sure to move quickly once moving your chocolate from heat source to frosting mixture; if it cools it will cease and make a crumbly mess. Once white chocolate has been added mix on low for 2-3 minutes.

Put it all together. If you have a bubble on top of your red velvet cakes, shave it off so that you have a flat surface. Discard, or save for a crumble garnish. Start with a red velvet layer base and add a thin coat of frosting. Place cheesecake on top of that. Add another thin coat of frosting before placing your second red velvet on top. Use the rest of the frosting on the top and sides of your entire cake.

If you do not have a proper or large enough cover, use plastic wrap. Place cooking sticks or tooth picks (I used wooden barbeque skewers cut in half), in your cake to protect plastic from ruining your frosting. Allow to cool in refrigerator for at least an hour before eating.

Easy Acrylic Painting for Beginners

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Acrylic Painting for Beginners

Painting isn’t my best talent, and it’s certainly not something I’d quit my day job to take up.  It is however one of the greatest stress relievers that I’ve ever come across. Something about spending hours with some paint, a canvas, and a bit of creativity just washes all negativity away.

Acrylic

The end of the school term is quickly approaching, family drama has been stirring, a falling out with a friend, and my body had been completely consumed by the kind of anxiety attack that makes you sick. So, I took a day to myself and decided to just paint it out.

Painting

It was an absolutely beautiful day, and it was the perfect temperature to sit outside with my supplies. My hands weren’t freezing, but the paint didn’t dry faster than I could move. Everything was working for me and that was relaxing enough on its own.

Anxiety Relief

As a beginner myself and not wanting to worsen my anxiety, I chose something very simple. No face. No hands. No details. Some of my favourite shows are House, Grey’s Anatomy, and lately iZombie so I drew some inspiration from the idea of scrubs and a lab coat so get me started.

Easy

Hair colour, skin colour, and gender were the trickiest part, and honestly it just came down to who I am. So, she ended up with light skin and brown hair about the length I felt suited the canvas I was using. Again, drawing from myself, I used my own favourite colour as the background.

Anxiety

For the most part, I said something out loud that was bothering me with every brush stroke. I had originally wanted to add a few more things to the painting, but once I felt better I knew it was time to stop. After all, this was a feel-better exercise to calm my anxiety, not an award winning art journey.

About

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I Won’t Let Anxiety Consume MEAbout Me

My name is Skye, and I’m 21 years old. I’m a writer, though currently unpublished, but that’s not why you’re here. Like most people, whether it be for better or worse, I am driven by emotion. Sometimes, I’m even completely controlled by emotions.
Depression and anxiety have both been a very large part of my life. It has torn me down, but I have also used it to build myself back up. Unfortunately, I dealt with my problems in the least ideal ways, so now I want to share with you how I have learned to cope in a better way; artistically.
Whether it be through painting, writing, baking, photography, or even just my opinions on my latest tv show find, I want to share how I push through my days.
Hopefully what you find here can help you, but remember that not everything works for everyone. I’d be happy to hear your own stories and ways of creating your own peace of mind in the comments, or by messaging me directly!