Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

Keeping Up Holiday Traditions: Egg Dyeing April 23, 2014

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 8:38 pm
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This year I convinced Matt we should dye eggs. Partly because we didn’t last year and I still had the kit, and most importantly because it’s fun!

Last year I purchased a Pearlescent kit from Target. Unfortunately it didn’t get used then but luckily we used it this year!IMG_1265[1]

I loved that it didn’t need vinegar and used easy to “wash-off” dye. While we boiled our eggs, we set up the dining room table with newspaper. With the eggs still warm we got to work.

The kit came with little plastic bags you used like gloves to hold the egg and create “swirl” patterns with the dye. Also in our cardboard box were “color droppers” that we used to transfer the dye from the container to the egg. The droppers were very easy to use. The bags not so much because they were definitely kid size and not adult. Luckily Matt broke out some plastic gloves which worked a lot better with adult sized hands.

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Inspired by the designs on the box and our own creativity, we tried out different color mixes and designs. Luckily we didn’t mess up the dye by mixing colors.

Even though it took us maybe 15-20 minutes we enjoyed ourselves. We both grew up dying eggs and talked about a few of our favorite memories as kids while we crafted our eggs. Easter egg dying is a great tradition no matter how old you are. Just be prepared to find some “larger” materials to make life a little easier.



Grown-Up Easter Egg Hunt April 19, 2014

Tomorrow Jonathan and I are heading to Jeff and Krista’s house for a friends’ Easter brunch. Krista and I put together a brunch 2 years ago for all our Colorado friends and had a blast, so we thought we should make it happen again before the baby arrives!

Easter just isn’t Easter without an egg hunt. Let’s be honest, when you were a kid you dreamt of being the person who found the most eggs, spending hours strategizing about how your hunt would progress. The egg I looked forward to the most growing up was the one that had the ‘coupon’ in it for the giant 40-flavor box of Jelly Belly jellybeans. My cousins and I would spend the rest of the day blindly flavor testing each other, coming up with the grossest concoctions and combinations of buttered popcorn and jalapeno.

How do you make an Easter egg hunt fun for adults? Well, if you Google it, you come up with a lot of raunchy and drinking-related ideas. I wanted to keep this egg hunt at least on the verge of classy, though, so certain items were definitely a no-go on my search. Our last egg hunt consisted of color-coded eggs for everyone, and each person got 3. This year, however, I thought I’d up the anty a bit. The gents in our group are going to love a bit of healthy competition this year. Here’s how our egg hunt will work:
1) Each person will get a fun polka-dotted carry out container instead of a basket to collect their eggs in.
2) All of the eggs will be white, except 2 specials, a silver and a gold.
3) Every egg will have a number in it, 1, 2, or 3 (but nobody will know what the numbers mean!)
4) You can take as many eggs as you find, you aren’t restricted to any number of eggs.
5) Once you find them, you can open them to see what numbers you have.
6) If you want to blindly trade, steal, or barter for eggs with others, you can (but remember, nobody knows which numbers hold the good treats!).
7) Once all trading is complete, you trade each number in for a prize from that basket. The carry out container now becomes your goodie bag.


#1- The high-level prizes: keychain bottle openers & shooters
#2- The mid-level prizes: mini hot sauces & Ghiradelli chocolate squares
#3- The novice-level prizes: Reese’s peanut butter eggs and Peeps (because it wouldn’t be right to have an egg hunt without some traditional Easter candy in the mix…even grown-ups like to indulge in the classics)
Silver: Chocolove chocolate bar pack
Gold: 6-pack of beer

For fun and inexpensive egg prizes, hit up World Market (they have good candy at reasonable prices, minis of coffees, teas, sauces, and jams, and fun drink accessories to spice things up).




Lamb Cake for Easter April 15, 2014

Easter is just around the corner and you know what that means!  Well it could mean a couple things, but in this case it means Lamb Cake!  Sounds kind of gross if you don’t know what I am talking about, huh?  It is not a loaf of meat, it’s just cake baked into a mold that looks like a lamb.  When I was little, my Nana would come over to our house around Easter time and bring her lamb baking mold and my sister and I would help her bake the lamb and decorate it with white frosting and shredded coconut.  This was kind of a big deal because she did not traditionally bake {the women on my mom’s side cook, but baking is not a strong suit}.  We’d add black jelly beans {ew} for eyes and tie a little ribbon around its neck.  I remember always feeling sad when we cut the cake and then giggle about the fact that we were eating the lamb’s butt.

Last year when my dad was moving, I noticed the lamb cake mold in the ‘Donation’ pile.  I rescued it and decided to keep it so I could make a lamb cake myself.


My Lamb Cake Mold

I searched my favorite inspiration place {Pinterest} for specific lamb cake recipes and also cute ways to decorate.  In my searching I found this website called Mid Century Menu.  There is a whole section for lamb cake recipes in Ruth’s navigation bar.  When I embarked on this search I didn’t even realize there would be a collection of vintage cake recipes in store for me.  On top of it all, Ruth did all the work by testing all the different cakes on her husband Tom.  I plan on using her favorite: The Renalde Lamb Cake.  Wish me luck because as I referenced earlier, I’m not well known for my baking skills.  Next I searched for a few options for decorating the lamb.  Here were the one’s I liked best:

choc curl lamb

~Chocolate Curl Lamb by Martha Stewart~


brown lamb

~Chocolate Lamb with White Frosting by Birds Party~

naked lamb


~Naked Lamb by Amuses Bouche~

The Martha lamb is very nice, but I think the chocolate curls will be a little too time consuming for me.  I also love the naked lamb that Amuses Bouche has on their site, but I’d like it to be more than a plain cake.  That leaves the Birds Party lamb cake, which I like the best, but want to try the new white cake recipe I found on Ruth’s site.  I think I am going to do that cake recipe and add chocolate frosting so it will be a brown lamb!


Easter Decisions April 2, 2013

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 11:43 pm
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Remember a few weeks back when I was discussing Easter tablescapes?  Here was the final decision:

easter 029






easter 034

I ended up going with the tulips and rocks in the clear vases.  I surprised myself because I thought that was my last choice.  It ended up being the simplest and once I started to plan everything that was a very important factor!  I even went out and bought pie tins and fake grass, but I just couldn’t get it together to make the tiered thing I originally wanted to do.  Also I had two tables of people and it was just too pricey to make two of the grass towers.

The burlap runner was cut from a roll I found at Hobby Lobby in the floral section.  It cost $7.99 and I used a 40% off coupon.  I also bought the black rocks there.  $2.99 per package it wasn’t bad so I bought two and I already had one package in a vase at home.    I borrowed some clear vases from my dad’s house and had a few at the apartment.  Last but not least I bought tulips on sale at Jewel -3 bunches for $12.00.  Total it cost me about $11.00 per table and I loved how it turned out.

The other Easter-y thing I did was carrot cake cupcakes.  I found a pin awhile ago on Pinterest with M&Ms in the shape of carrots.  I dug up a carrot cake recipe from Hannah at Honey and Jam that was easy to make and ended up being pretty tasty.  Then I was a sinner and used cream cheese frosting off the shelf and decorated the tops into little carrots.  Thanks to Dave and Kate for helping me separate M&M colors.  Aren’t they cute?

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Hope you had a Happy Easter!
{Buy the large bag of M&Ms because the medium bag didn’t have enough oranges for 24 cupcakes!}


Planning Ahead for Easter March 5, 2013

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 9:23 pm
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Usually even though I wait until Tuesday nights to write my post I at least know what I’m going to write about.  Not so much today.  I think it’s because I usually do something during the past week/weekend worth writing about.  This weekend was shot because I caught some sort of bug and even had to take off work on Friday.  I filled my time with sleeping on the bathroom floor {I really hope I’m not the only one whose ever had to do this} and seasons 2 & 3 of Mad Men.  By the way I really despise Donald Draper- just when I think he is going to change he’s back to his scandalous ways.

I’m holding Easter at my apartment this year so while I was quarantined inside {I seriously didn’t use my car from Thursday night until Sunday}, I started researching some tablescape ideas for March 31st.  Perhaps it was the idea of a snow storm on it’s way that made me want to think Spring.   I suppose I could share some thoughts/ideas with you.  Perhaps you can help me make some decisions?

Bright jars with yarn

Option #1 by Nicole at Making it Lovely

Option #2- Sorry I cannot find a link to this photo!

Option #2- Sorry I cannot find a link to this photo!

Option #3 by The Goodwill Gal

Option #3 by The Goodwill Gal

I think option 1 is most realistic for me to do.  I have a lot of yarn and I could probably scrounge up some glass jars to paint.  Then just buy a few tulips and I’m set.  Option 2 is very elegant, but I don’t have many tall clear vases around and it’s just not as fun…maybe a bit too fancy for our crowd?  Option 3 is unexpected.  I like the simplicity and that the grass brings a sense of life to the table.  I can tell I’m going to have a hard time deciding.  If you have an opinion please share and I’ll make sure to post what I end up going with.


Plate Take Aways April 26, 2011

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 10:16 pm
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I just got home from dinner with the girls {so much fun!}.  We were saying how nice it is to have something to look forward to on a weeknight.  It really was a lot of fun, but I stayed at work late and am exhausted now {having fun can be tiring}.  My bed is calling my name!

But before I retreat I wanted to share a little project I did as a gift for my guests at Easter ‘Linner’ {you know in between lunch and dinner}.  My family agreed to let me host a holiday and they chose Easter.  I started planning in early March when all the cute Easter magazines made their way to my house.  The magazines prompting me to look online for some ideas.  I found the idea on Good Housekeeping’s website and I thought it would be a perfect decoration/treat for the table.   Hint: look on the 5th slide when you go to the link.  Below you can find my take on the  instructions:

Here are the materials I used:

Basket filler- crinkle paper
Hole punch
Paper file
Writing utensil
10 9×9 squares of paper
Bone folder
Paper cutter
Chocolate bunnies!

  1.  Pick a pretty patterned paper and use your writing utensil and your paper cutter to cute the paper into perfect squares.  I chose 9×9 inches.
  2. Turn the paper over and cute 1 ½ inch squares out of each corner of the squares.  I also used my paper file at this point to file out any rough edges away.
  3. Use the bone folder {a pencil would also work if you don’t have one of these} and fold each of the flaps inward.
  4. You can then take your hold punch and punch a hole in each corner of your flaps.  This will be 8 punches in all.
  5. Cut small pieces of ribbon and thread them through the punches you just made so that you form a little paper tray.
  6. Now you can fill your tray with crinkle paper and stand a chocolate bunny {or another treat} in the center.
It occurred to me that you could create this favor for any type of party and then choose paper and a treat that makes sense.  This is a pretty easy project that most anyone can put together.  Hope everyone had a good holiday!

Start with a Bang! April 25, 2011

Filed under: Kate — Uncharted @ 12:10 pm
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The  new family Easter tradition? Drive out to a shooting range and fire off a few rounds at a target. I’m being serious. This is what my family did for Easter weekend.

We decided a new family bonding experience could freshen up our time together, not that we ever have trouble finding fun things to do (going out to eat, family vacations or going out to Great America).  So with the schedule in place, my Dad, two brothers, sister and my hunny, I headed out to the shooting range.

Now I’ve shot guns before, in fact, I’ve been firing at targets since I was 5 years old. I used to find shooting a rifle strangely satisfying… checking out where on the target the bullet hit and how close I was to where I was aiming. After this weekend, I also feel empowered. This weekend I shot my first handgun… and I shot several kinds. We had a .22 revolver (formerly my Grandpa’s), a .38 revolver, a Colt .45 and a 9mm semi-automatic police-type gun with a laser. I shot all 4, but as surprisingly as this may be, had the best luck with the Colt.

Not sure how much you all know about guns, but the number (.45, .38, etc.) refers to the size of the bullet. A .45 is a BIG bullet. As a result, when you shoot a firearm with a short barrel and a big bullet (ie the Colt .45) you are going to experience a bit of a kick back… meaning lock your elbows or you will hit yourself in the head. I got a workout in just from firing these bad boys!

I’m all for gun safety and I respect firearms immensely. I’m not one of those people who is going to tell everyone that they should own one, but what I can tell you is that there is something very exciting about going to the shooting range and firing at a target. I like the symbolism of it all… aim for something you want, work hard to get it there and then observe your success and learn from it for your next bullet (or goal). It’s scary, yes, but also makes you feel strong and you learn a lot. It’s quite the experience.

Everyone had a great time and stayed safe. If you’re looking for more information about guns or about placing to go to a shooting range, let me know. I’d be happy to share what I know! I vote,  let the new Easter Tradition continue!


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