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Colleen Domestic Church Ink Slingers Resources Your Handy-Dandy List

Coupon Codes and Gift Ideas to Rock Your Little One’s Easter Basket in 2018

Coupon Codes and Gift Ideas to Rock Your Little One's Easter Basket in 2018

Have you planned out Easter baskets for your kiddos yet? Or are you like me and it hasn’t even crossed your mind – you’re just slogging through the last couple weeks of Lent? You’re in luck. We not only have a comprehensive list of gift ideas for your kids (or yourself… I mean, all the ?heart eyes? for some of these gifts!), but we have some fabulous shop owners who have graciously shared coupon codes so you can get these awesome products at a discount! And if you order soon, you still have time to get them to your doorstep before Holy Saturday. No last minute run to Dollar Tree for basket stuffers sounds great to me!

I think we’ve done everything except put the actual baskets together for you – and if you’re thinking it, the answer is NO we will not put the baskets together for you – ha! 😉 Nice try, YOU! Ok, there is a LOT to cover, so grab your coffee and let’s get started! Scroll and prepare to feast your eyes.

COUPON CODES


 

COUPON CODES TO ROCK YOUR LITTLE ONES EASTER BASKET

The Lemke Lodge

  • WHAT: From owner Alexandra – I make handmade goods, currently making bibs from upcycled materials for both babies and toddlers.
  • COUPON CODE: Use CATHOLICSISTAS20 to get 20% off any purchase

COUPON CODES TO ROCK YOUR LITTLE ONES EASTER BASKET

May Queen Quilts

  • WHAT: From owner Dixie – kids really love Happy Carrots {two designs here and here} and they are even good for teething. I also have lots of Easter and Lent table runners, many reversible for the seasons!
  • COUPON CODE: Use SISTAS2018 to get 10% off any purchase

COUPON CODES TO ROCK YOUR LITTLE ONES EASTER BASKET

The Little Rose Shop

  • WHAT: From owner Raquel – I’m a young, Catholic, mommy that is finding beauty and joy in making simple sewn crafts. Many of my items are Catholic-themed, but not all. This has been my way to rejuvenate the hectic life of being a working mother and wife. My sweet daughter inspires my creations and my goal is to bring authentic, one-of-a-kind, quality toys and crafts into your home.
  • COUPON CODE: Use SACRIFICE to get 10% off your purchase – valid through Lent 2018

COUPON CODES TO ROCK YOUR LITTLE ONES EASTER BASKET

St. Paul Shop

  • WHAT: From owner Katie – Hi! I’m Katie; stay at home wife and mother of one boy and due to have our second on Christmas Eve of this year. I feel very fortunate to spend my days being a mother and filling in my spare time with peg doll art.
  • PERK: Free shipping through Easter

OurLady'sAmory

Our Lady’s Armory

  • WHAT:  From owner Nick – Sturdy handcrafted gear for the battle-ready Catholic.
  • COUPON CODE: Use EASTER18 – good for free standard shipping (domestic only) and no order minimum.

COUPON CODES TO ROCK YOUR LITTLE ONES EASTER BASKET

Treasured Saint Dolls

  • WHAT: From owner Nicole – saint peg dolls and custom orders*
  • COUPON CODE: Use code CATHOLIC SISTAS to get 10% off

*Will be back from vacation on Thursday, March 15.

 

COUPON CODES TO ROCK YOUR EASTER BASKET

The Cozy Wife

  • WHAT: From owner Megan – coffee cozies seemed the perfect place to start. I’ve paired my love for coffee and crochet with my passion for my Catholic faith to create a line of awesome Catholic cozies. I design and make each cozy myself. Each is hand-crocheted and stitched to make a unique cozy that will wrap your coffee cup in love, warmth, and beauty!
  • COUPON CODE: Use code EASTERSISTAS18 good for free shipping on domestic orders, good through April 1, 2018

COUPON CODES TO ROCK YOUR LITTLE ONES EASTER BASKET

Fiat Fiber Arts

  • WHAT: From owner Emily – This shop is my way to share my passion with you. I love stitching and making toys for my kids because they act like it’s Christmas each time. And I love making them pirate eye patches and ninja masks and play crowns. In fact, it’s gotten to the point where they think I can crochet anything. When friends saw what I made they repeatedly said, “you could sell this,’ so here we are.
  • COUPON CODE: Use code SISTALOVE for a whopping 30% off! The code will work from March 1-April 8 – yes, one week after Easter!

GIFT IDEAS


Still in need of inspiration? We have a solution for that!

 

Tiny Saints

Use HAPPY20 to get 20% off your purchase

Shining Light Dolls

Prayer Pillow Cases

Glory Stories

Magnifikid

Downloadable Bookmarks

by Look to Him Be Radiant – $5

Printable Prayers

by Catholic Playground – $2.49

Future priest boys t-shirt

by Faith Factory Catholic – $12.99

Lego rosary

by Memento Moose $23

Catholic Bible Tabs

by Farm Girl Journals $15

12 Apostles coloring book

by Paperdali $8

Rosary Quiet Book Pattern

by Do Small Things With Love – $6

Star Wars t-shirt “The Lord Be With You”

by Faith Factory Catholic –  $12.99

Catholic buttons

by Pink Salt Riot – $6

Virgen de Guadalupe onesie

by Sweet Texas Treasures – $25 {free shipping}

Brown Scapular Onesie

by Marilyn’s Diaper Castle – $14

Saint stickers

by All Saints Shop – $2.50

Sports Rosary

by Sweet Oak Gallery – $14

Coupon Codes and Gift Ideas to Rock Your Little One's Easter Basket in 2018

Unfinished wood cutout ‘Catholic’

by Anne Layne Too – $11.70

 

And there you have it, friends! What gift ideas would you add? Have a code you want to share? Share it in the comments!

Categories
AnnMarie C. Books Domestic Church Easter Ink Slingers Liturgical Year Movies Resources Spiritual Growth Your Handy-Dandy List

A Tisket, A Tasket; What’s in Your Easter Basket?

A Tisket, A Tasket; What's in Your Easter Basket

My oldest child is in his twenties, so we’ve had a lot of experience creating Easter baskets for our children.  We want to make them fun, but also help the children keep their focus on why we are celebrating. So, along with candy, we include some things that will help bolster their faith.

Over the years, here are some items we have included:

Rosaries:  a good, every day rosary, perhaps a corded one, is a great inclusion, especially if you hide it in a plastic egg.

scapularScapulars/medals: a child-seized scapular or medal of a favorite saint make excellent inclusions. If you give both, attach the medal to the scapular for wearing.

Holy Cards: one of our children has a collection of these and keeps them in a binder with clear plastic inserts that have individual sleeves for each card.

Books: historical fiction is a great way to keep children engaged while learning.  Here are some of our favorite selections:

The Xan Chronicles by Antony Barone Kolenc – This trilogy is excellent for pre-teens and teens alike.  These stories, which are set in the 12th century, tell the tale of a young boy who was injured in a raid on his village and taken to a monastery. He has lost his memory, so the monks name him Alexander; Xan for short. The first book, Shadow in the Dark traces Xan’s recovery and how he stumbles upon a mystery which he eventually helps solve.  books kolencThe next book, The Haunted Cathedral, delves deeper into Xan’s past and other topics, such as forgiveness and redemption.  In the final book, The Fire of Eden, Xan has a big decision to make, as well as another crime to solve.  These books are exciting and engaging and any child–boy or girl– would be pleased to find them in an Easter basket.

The Weight of a Mass and Take it to the Queen by Josephine Nobisso – In The Weight of a Mass, a poor beggar woman promises a wealthy baker that she will offer up one mass for him of he will give her a scrap of bread.  He mocks her by writing the words, ‘one mass’ on a piece of paper and weighing it against  a load of baked goods.  What happens next changes everyone, including the beggar woman.  Take it to the Queen is an allegorical story which reveals the Blessed Mother’s role in salvation.  Both books are masterfully illustrated and are treasures to pass down from generation to generation.

The Living History Library collection published by Bethlehem Books contains many titles which children are sure to enjoy.  Some of these are: Archemides and the Door of Science by Jeanne Bendick, Augustine Came to Kent by Barbara Willard, Madeleine Takes Command by Ethel C. Brill, Red Hugh, Prince of Donegal by Robert T. Rielly, books hsitorical fictionThe Story of Rolf and the Viking Bow by Allen French, The Winged Watchman by Hilda van Stockum and, a favorite of my own children, Son of Charlemagne by Barbara Willard.

Any of the saint biographies by Vision Books are appropriate for children of elementary school age and up.  Included are St. Benedict: Hero of the Hills, St. Elizabeth’s Three Crowns, Francis and Clare: Saints of Assisi and many others.

Movies: what child wouldn’t like a new movie to watch?  Some of the more current movies that would be appropriate for older children are

Mighty Macs

The Ultimate Gift

The Way

October Baby

Bella

The Passion by Radix

 

Younger children would enjoy any of the animated saint stories by CCC,  Dreamworks’ Prince of Egypt or Joseph King of Dreams, any of the Cat Chat episodes, or Brother Francis DVDs, released by Herald Entertainment.

matt maherMusic: Fr. Stan Fortuna’s music is a favorite in our household.  This former street rapper turned Franciscan friar creates amazing songs that range in genre from rap to jazz to sacred.  Sacro Song II will appeal to teens.  My personal favorite is the Second Collection. Music from Matt Maher, Chris Tomlin, Laura Story, John Waller, Natalie Grant and Casting Crowns is popular in our home.

Along with jellybeans, Cadbury Eggs and Peeps, you may want to try some of our favorite candy, Gummi Bears or Organic Jelly Beans by SurfSweets or Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate.

Categories
Easter Liturgical Year Lynne Recipes Uncategorized

Behold the Lamb Cake!

Warning: The following article does not contain any references to humility or penitence.

Our lamb cake tradition began the year my mother-in-law decided to purge her kitchen cabinets of  fifty years of accumulation.  My husband happened upon the scene in time to rescue an old pan from which he could not bear to be parted.  I’d never seen nor heard of it before, but dear husband spoke fondly of Easters gone by, when the family table had as its radiant centerpiece…the lamb.  This was the mold from whence it came.

I examined the pan with skepticism and disdain.  What did I want with an old lamb pan?  After all, if she was throwing it out, who were we to interfere?  And I certainly did not need someone else’s old junk in my cabinets; her trash pan was not my treasure.

You see, cooking is a touchy issue for me.  I’m not a great cook, nor do I (like some) enjoy the process.  It’s all about efficiency and necessity: do what must be done and get it over with.  But my mother-in-law is the consummate fifties housewife.  She bakes cream puffs from scratch and carefully arranges them on little doilies.  She makes pancakes that would more properly be called crepes; it takes fifteen of them to equal a single Hungry Jack.  In other words, she dishes up things that are inefficient and unnecessary.  And she does it with style.  I cannot compete.

Then there are my sisters-in-law.  My husband is one of the youngest in a large family of boys, so my older sisters-in-law paved the way for me by making every imaginable homemade delicacy that a ravenous pack of boys might enjoy: perfectly fried eggrolls and crispy wontons;  paper-thin sugar-cookie cutouts;  mile-high red-velvet birthday cakes; and pies—all varieties, all the time.

When I married, I quickly found that any dish made to impress my darling spouse had been done, and done better, by those who’d gone before.  In my tiny newlywed apartment, I spent a whole afternoon blithely peeling apples and rolling crust.  Hubby was kind, but unimpressed.  “Is this [name withheld]’s recipe?” he asked with trepidation.  “Her pies are the best!”  I saw the far-away look in his eye as he recalled pies of yore, and I knew I was like the cat who tenderly drops road kill at his master’s feet.

Twenty years later, I’d like to say I’m over all that pettiness.  But I’m not.  No matter that my culinary talents have soared to heights I never dreamed possible; as likely as not, my offerings are still not quite as good as my husband’s memory of what someone once made, long years ago.  That is, until I was redeemed by the lamb.

As Dearest reminisced over the reclaimed lamb pan and cakes of Easter past, he chuckled.  “The only problem with our lamb cake was that it never had a head.”  My interest in the dull aluminum pan suddenly piqued.

“No head?  What do you mean?” I nonchalantly picked dead leaves from a withered houseplant, one ear cocked ever-so-slightly toward him.

“Well, every year the darn thing’s head came off.  Mom never could get it to stay on.  We gave her a hard time over that head!”  He sniggered as he thought about it.  I casually took the pan under my arm and strolled away, plans for triumph slowly forming in my mind.

It became my mission to birth the greatest lamb cake ever sliced by man.  I scoured the internet for recipes, finally settling on a dense cream-cheese pound cake—guaranteed to provide firm neck support.  The frosting was trickier.  There was the fluffy, seven-minute boiled-variety.  Or cream cheese, to match the cake?  In the end, I went with a thick buttercream—the one that goes on the red velvet cake.  Should the head be tempted to depart, the frosting would act as cement and prevent any embarrassing mishaps.

My pan is like this, except the bottom of mine seals with a seperate "lid". This one looks more user friendly.

I mixed my batter with gusto.  Bur when it was time to fill the pan, I encountered a serious glitch.  My inherited pan did not come with instructions, and it was suddenly obvious that this mold had a significant design flaw.  The pan had two halves—front and back—that fitted snugly together on three sides.  The bottom, however, was flanged and open, so that the mold would sit upright inside a tight-fitting bottom lid.  In other words, I had a pan that would be filled with thick batter, and the only opening was on the bottom.

Faithful to my motto, “act in haste, repent in leisure”, I turned the pan upside-down (balancing it on the thin top edge) and filled it up.  I snapped on the bottom/lid, flipped it right-side up again and quickly slid it into the oven.  At least I had the foresight to set the mold on a large baking pan;  raw lamb was soon oozing everywhere.

Out of the oven it came.  I assessed the damages and tried to stem the leaks  Back into the oven it went.  I dusted off my hands and called it good.

When at last the baking time was over, and the cake cool enough to handle, I oh-so-carefully loosened the sides of the mold and ever-so-gently lifted them away from the tender cake.  My children gathered in awe for the unveiling of this long-awaited marvel.  As the top of the pan pulled free, we could at last see the cake in all its glory!  A gasp went up from the crowd.

It was headless.

Whereas my mother-in-law had trouble keeping the head on, it seemed that ours had never existed.  When the batter oozed out of the bottom, just enough was lost so that no amount of rising and swelling could fill the cranial cavity of the poor beast.

As the disappointed onlookers dispersed (not without a few hoots and cat-calls) my brain whirled.  On the counter were two loaf-sized cakes that I had baked with leftover batter.  Inspiration struck.  I ripped a few hunks from one loaf and shoved them into the head-portion of the mold.  It was a mold, after all.  I hadn’t suffered through years of Play-Doh for nothing.  I packed the cake into the head as tightly as I could, and snapped on the back.  I twiddled my thumbs while elevator music played, and when I could stand the suspense no longer, I popped the mold open again.

There, before me, was a perfect—if somewhat Frankenstein-ish—disembodied lamb’s head.  I used several toothpicks to join it with the pre-existing neck and body, and it looked like it was born that way.  A thick coating of buttercream later, and my lamb could have made it through airport security without a second glance.

The kids had fun sticking jellybeans in the face to create its mild ovine features and creatively added a few black jellybeans to its nether quarters to serve as…well, you know.  Quite realistic, too.

It was the radiant centerpiece of the Easter table, and my mother- and sisters-in-law were all green with envy.  Well, not really.  But everyone did admire it, and at least a couple of people ate it, including my loving husband, who proclaimed it  “Delicious!”   No one ever knew about the toothpicks, either.

Mission accomplished!

**For a more realistic lamb, try add a little red food coloring to your batter and leave off the fluffy white frosting. Button eyes and parsley are optional.

 

Lamb/Cream Cheese Pound Cake

  • 1 – 8 ounce package cream cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups butter
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract (may substitute almond, lemon, etc.)
  1. Let all ingredients come to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Grease and flour lamb mold.  (Extra batter may be baked as loaves and frozen.)
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Add sugar in a slow, steady stream beating until well-incorporated.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour all at once and mix in. Add vanilla.
  5. Pour into lamb mold. Bake at 300 degrees F for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Check for doneness at 1 hour. A toothpick (or bamboo skewer) inserted into center of cake will come out clean.  Extended baking time may be necessary to achieve doneness; check every five minutes until the center is done.  *Lamb mold cooking times will vary.*
  6. Cool cake for fifteen minutes.  Gently unmold cake, or follow pan instructions.

*Recipe make approximately 8 1/2 cups of batter.

Buttercream Frosting

  • 1  1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1  1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1  1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together.  Add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 20 minutes.  Cool to room temperature in fridge or freezer.  Transfer to a mixing bowl and add butter.  Beat with electric mixer on low until thoroughly incorparated.  Increase speed to medium high and beat until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and continue mixing until combined.  (From Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.  Their red velvet cake is pretty special, too!)

Lamb may be frosted when cooled.  Decorate with candies of your choice,  coconut, ribbons, etc.  Note: choose your decorations wisely or your Easter lamb will look like an Easter poodle.