Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Munchface's 2014 Easter Basket

My mom is like the boss of gift baskets.  She's always asked to provide prize baskets for raffles and they're *like* over-the-top fab!  Her Easter baskets were no exception.  I got porcelain dolls, new sandals, Barbie dolls and more while my brothers got video games and swimming trunks, cars and movies... She NEVER bought those store-made baskets.  NEVER.  I remember walking into stores and always wanting the most expensive basket (you know with the doll AND the dress-up gear... with those cheap click-clack dress-up heels?).

"Mommy, pleeeeease?  It even has LIPSTICK and eye shadow..."

No lie, my mom would get all Easter-basket-snob and toss her nose in the air.  She'd announce that she would NEVER pay that much for a basket and go on and on about how those baskets fool you with that big ol' bunny but they're HOLLOW and she'd only buy solid bunnies and... Islanders, you'd be surprised how snooty Easter basket people can get... I didn't get it then but I do now.  She was a basket-makin' diva! 

As kids, we got gifts for our birthday, for Christmas and for Easter... It was like my parents strategically built anticipation for the holidays that mattered to our faith... Much like Christmas, we'd wake up early and rush to the living room to find amazing gifts... then, we got dressed in our new clothes and excitedly loaded into the car (with our baskets, of course).  On our way to church, Dad would explain the real meaning of the holiday but I could barely hear him over the choir of bubble gum smacking we made in the backseat.  Man, those were the days....

Mom always made baskets for more than just her kids - my friends, her family, our neighbors.  I loved watching people's faces light-up when we'd deliver them... how they'd revert to toddler-aged kids rummaging through their goodies.  Garden-themed baskets, Italian dinner-themed baskets, BBQ-themed baskets... man, I have some big basket-building shoes to fill. 

Easter 2014

I was so proud of myself! I started stocking up on clearance items for Munch's basket two months ago.  Don't give me that look.  The Target dollar bins had erasers (robot erasers and diva-themed) marked down for $.25 and there were these cute lavender costume glasses she wanted on clearance for less than $3.  I purchased the items and tucked them away for her Easter basket.
OK.  I admit.  I do that a lot - buy things with the intent of using them later.  Only, I usually don't actually remember I purchased them so I find them months after their intended usage date... but STILL.  In the new place... with my new craft room... that is clean now (yeah, I cleaned it... you feel bad for judging my early Easter purchases now, huh? GOOD!).  Anyhoo, in my craft room, I have a shelf for unopened goodies.  It stores small trinkets I can use for prizes at events or toys for the last-minute birthday parties, extra goodies for gift toppers, etc.  With this area easily accessible, I was able to locate these little finds while putting together her basket!
My other go-to spot for awesome basket stuffers is Five and Below! It's a step-up from the Dollar Tree because it has MAJOR deals on brand name games, toys, books, crafts, clothes and much more!
I talked about the other awesome deals I found there last Christmas.  You can read more about it here.  Some of the cool basket stuffers I got for Munch include:
The cool keychain speakers for her iPod.
Interesting reads for her to read aloud to us (jokes, riddles and science facts).
I used to LOVE my Etch-A-Sketch as a child and the Easter-themed versions were too cute to pass up.
I also got her the 5 and Below version of one of my favorite perfumes, Aqualina's Pink Sugar.
In addition to the perfume, I use the hair perfume.
It's a grown-up cotton candy, sweet-n-flirty scent.  In recent months, however, Munch has been using up all my smell good before leaving for school.  One squirt of each (the hair and the body perfume) is all she uses... but everyday?  UGH.  She announced her classmates always say her pony tails smell GOOOOOD when they line up for lunch. 
*rolls eyes*
I was so excited to see Five and Below had their own version that smells just like it! The pluses of this version are the cost, the plastic bottle and keeping her out of MY perfume.  If she takes care of it, I'll buy her the REAL one for her birthday or Christmas... maybe.
I got the Tic Tac candies she always asks for, the sunflower grow kit, loomies supplies, Orbitz gum for kids, cool shades and art supplies.
She loves to write and draw so neon colored pencils, Crayola dry erase markers and crayons, lots of mechanical pencils and cute erasers will restock her supply.  I also wanted to have outdoor activities so the cool jump rope, neon aviator shades and kite will be perfect for sunny weather.
OMG! How could I forget my thrifty addition?!
During a visit to The Village thrift store last month, I picked up Easter grass on the EXTRA cheap, and I saw several Easter-themed Ty beanie babies.  Maybe 10 of these little bears:
I picked up three of these same bears, chose the one in mint condition and decided he was worth every bit of the $.45 I paid (it was a half-off sale day).  The best part? His birthdate is the SAME as Munch's!
All-in-all, I pulled together this Easter basket (the caddy was purchased from personalization mall 3 years ago) over time.  It's filled with more activities and craft supplies than candy.  My goal with our Easter gifts is to trade the candy and useless toys for items that will get some use... like my mom used to do for us :)
Sure, I spent more on supplies ($43 total this year) but I got started early AND the VALUE added to her spring activities is so much more important! 
How are you filling your baskets?  Where are you go-to places to shop?


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