Hoppy Easter.. & Shopping!

Spring is in the air! At least we all hope so. I don’t know about y’all, but I am absolutely sick and tired of all the winter weather and winter clothes. Yes, they all have their time and place, but I love the bright pastel colors we are seeing this season and I can not wait until it gets just a tad bit warmer and sunnier to whip out summer dresses and cute overalls (or bibs as I’ve always called them!) With Easter this weekend many of you will be shopping for that perfect Easter dress to wear Sunday morning. You’re in luck because so many stores have bright springy dresses for that perfect Easter outfit. I have a passion for color and anything with patterns. My favorite pattern right now is anything floral. Floral prints are being seen anywhere and everywhere from dresses to flowy tops. A nice floral print is the perfect way to brighten up any outfit this season. Here are some of my top picks for Easter Sunday morning (on a budget). Another obsession of mine right now is lips! I can not get enough of this trend from bright lips to nude colors. They are all fabulous and are worth a try the next time you are in Sephora. I tried a lilac purple the last time I was there and fell in love (also included below). Bright lips are the perfect way to accent any outfit this spring! I have also included some of my favorite Easter activities from coloring eggs to baking carrot cake (Yum!) Hope you enjoy and have an amazing Easter celebration with the ones you love!

WHAT TO WEAR ON EASTER DAY: 

Go for something colorful! 

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This is one of my favorite summer dresses! It’s bright and colorful and it flowy to accent any figure. I got this dress last summer on vacation at LoLo’s Boutique and absolutely love it. Whenever I decide to wear something that has a lot going on (such as this dress) I pair it with some shoes that are more neutral, yet are still fun since they lace up. (Dress $60, shoes $46- they were on sale at Younkers!)

Floral is always a go to! 

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 presetThis romper is sure to be an eye catcher! The floral print gives it a fun girly feel while also having a boho flare to it with the flowy sleeves. I absolutely loved it when I saw it at Pink Lily Boutique. This could be the perfect outfit for Easter day or a girls day shopping. I have decided to pair it with my lace up wedges and a panama hat (on sale at American Eagle) to give it an urban feel. This is the perfect outfit for any springy day. ( Romper $38, Hat on sale for $29.96)

In love with pastels, and you should be too! 

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Pastels are so eye-catching this Spring, from makeup to dresses everything is in pastels. Pastel pink is a super popular color and can accent about any skin tone. I bought this dress for a date party for my sorority and can’t get enough of it. It’s super loose and flowy (my favorite style if you can’t tell). It also laces up the back. I paired it with lace up wedges for the perfect outfit on Easter morning or a date. This dress came from Dry Goods, they also have many different color options if pastels are not quite for you! (Dress $65)

BRIGHT LIPS 

One of my favorite trends right now is lips. Lips can brighten or set the perfect tone to any makeup you apply that day. Kylie Jenner is a queen for starting this trend and I have to say it’s so fun. Sephora has some amazing lip sticks, liners, and plumpers to make the perfect lip look for any style. Here are some of my favorites (I think the lilac is perfect for Easter!)

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Nude Lip stain Sephora, $20. Marc Jacobs lip liner Sephora, $20. Lilac lip stick Sephora, $20. Hard Candy lip plumper Sephora, $20. Essie pastel colors drugstores, $8.50. Cherry Blossom Sangria candle Bath and Body, $22.50. 

D.I.Y. (GET CREATIVE) 

Okay, so one of my absolute favorite Easter traditions is dying Easter eggs with my mom then watching the classic Peter Cotton Tail; if you haven’t seen it you are missing out. There are many different ways to dye Easter eggs from getting a kit at the store (which I did this year, I got lazy I’m sorry!) to using shaving cream or cool whip, yum! Dye kits can be purchased at any super market or drug store for fairly cheap. Here are some of the awesome ideas for dying eggs that  I have collected from Pinterest! It is such a fun weekend activity!

Dye Kit Eggs

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Such a cute table accent for Easter dinner! 

Shaving Cream Eggs

Shaving cream eggs

Cool Whip Eggs

Cool whip eggs

HOMEMADE CARROT CAKE!! 

Easter could not be complete without some homemade treats! Carrot cake has been one of my favorite dessert since I was a little kid, and what better time to make it than Easter? This recipe will have you jumping up and running to the kitchen to make it. So grab your apron and bake!

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
6 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups flour
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
1 lb. finely-grated fresh carrots
(optional: 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts and/or 1/2 cup raisins)

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

3 (8 oz.) bricks cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
6 cups powdered sugar (or more if needed to thicken)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. G

Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Or alternately, you can use two 9-inch round baking pans. (Just be sure that every square inch of the pans greased and coated in flour so that the cake does not stick!)

In the bowl of a large stand mixer, mix together oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until combined and smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, and mix until smooth.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, nutmeg and cloves) until combined. Add the dry ingredient mixture to the mixing bowl, and beat on medium-speed until just combined, scraping down the pan at least once to be sure that everything is well mixed. Then fold in the grated carrots by hand, and stir until combined. If you would like to add nuts and/or raisins, stir them in at this time as well.

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans. Then bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Remove pans and let them cool on a wire rack until the cakes reach room temperature.

I then like to pop them in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to cool off slightly. Then remove them and use a large knife or a cake leveler to level off the domed tops of the cakes so that they are level and even.

Layer the cakes with the cream cheese frosting, and then frost the outside of the cake as you desire. Serve that day or store, covered, for up to 4 days.

HOW TO MAKE THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

Using an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter on medium speed for 1 minute or until smooth with no lumps remaining. Add in vanilla extract and salt, and continue mixing until combined. Lower speed to medium-low and gradually add in powdered sugar. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until combined.

If frosting is too thick, you can add in a teaspoon or two of water. If it is too thin, you can add in more powdered sugar.

Credit: Gimme Some Oven

Hope that you all have an amazing Easter spent with your loved ones! Easter is a great time to reflect on how blessed we all are and all that God has done for us. Let me know in the comments your Easter plans!

xoxo Ariel