Monthly Archives: April 2014

Our Easter Baskets


I have read many a blog post about frugal Easter baskets and the best way to avoid creating a basket brimming with too much candy. In my experience, I enjoy filling Jack’s basket with enriching items and toys without going overboard. Each winter and spring I go on the hunt for unique items or stock up on sale items. I usually spend months accumulating items for his basket so I don’t spend too much at one time.

This year I have two baskets to fill and I enjoyed finding specials items for their baskets.

Jack is almost four this Easter; therefore, I figured the Easter Bunny should bring a small amount of candy. Yummy Earth lollipops are pretty much the only candy in our home but Jack does enjoy the occasional piece of chocolate. I found some fair trade, peanut butter cups at our local co-op, and we tossed in some Hersey’s Kisses, as well as a small chocolate bunny. We try to avoid Hersey’s chocolate but I had a coupon for a bag of Easter kisses.

So, with my collection of goods, I grabbed two baskets from my parent’s garage (we retired the basket we used for Jack in the past because we are using it for something else), and got to work.




  • Three Books $9
  • Fair Trade Bunny $6
  • Monster Inc. Crayons $1
  • Crayola Pipsqueak Markers $1
  • 2 Vermont-Made Wooden Vehicles $6
  • Animalz Tiger $3
  • Box of Sidewalk Chalk $2
  • Jason Toothpaste – $3.50
  • Miscellaneous Candy – $6

Jack’s Basket Total: $37.50





  • Two vintage style nursery rhyme books $2
  • Fair Trade Bunny $6
  • Two Under The Nile Veggie Toys $10
  • One gorgeous, hand-made play silk $12 – Check out Mary’s Etsy shop at (

Wesley’s Basket Total: $30

Ideas For Easy and Healthier Easter Baskets!

Honey Sticks

Fair-trade Candy or a small amount of favorite candies

Annie’s Fruit Snacks & Crackers

Homemade play dough or Playdoh

Art Supplies

School Supplies


Wooden Egg Puzzle or other fun shaped wooden puzzle

Amber Teething Necklace


Fun Socks

Cloth diapering supplies

Kid friendly, non-toxic lip balm (such as Badger)

Sunscreen (we like Babyganics and Badger)


Bath and beach toys

Garden tools

A fun hat

Refrigerator magnets

Play silk

Mini kite

The possibilities are endless! I would love to hear some unique ideas or traditions.

Happy Easter,

The Joyful Homemaker

Easter 1leapingfrogdesigns2012

March Homeschool Roundup

We are a few weeks into April and I am finally getting to our March Roundup! Our March homeschool was pretty uneventful and relaxed. We did our normal activities and played outside on nice days. Below are some images of our month. 🙂



We spent a lot of time at the library and checked out a lot of books and some movies. Jack is  into Hayao Miyazaki, so we borrowed Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind from the library. He loves Castle in the Sky, Ponyo, and, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and The Secret World of Arrietty. He does love H. Miyazaki. 🙂 We also started reading, The Boxcar Children series. Jack throughly enjoys them.



We haven’t started a”formal” dinosaur unit, but we play quite a bit with dinosaurs, read dinosaur books, and watch the occasional documentary.



We did a few sensory activities to improve hand-eye coordination and focus. We used tweezers to move objects into containers. One of Jack’s favorite activities is moving pom-poms into an old creamer container. We picked pastels to represent springtime. 🙂

Overall, we played, and read books, worked on some sensory stuff, did some crafts, and simply had fun.




Happy Homemaking,

The Joyful Homemaker

April Giveaway!


Oh, BABY! This month The Joyful Homemaker is giving one lucky reader a brand new, one-size, Alva Cloth Pocket Diaper! The diaper comes with one insert and is a gender neutral, spring / summer orange. Retail value is $5.00.

I use Alva (and a myriad of other cloth brands) on my 6-month old. I find Alva diapers are well made, no leaking issues, and the suede lining is super soft. They also run slightly bigger, so they tend to fit most babies very well.

To enter the contest:

  • Like The Joyful Homemaker on Facebook for +1
  • Comment on my Facebook post for +1
  • Leave a blog comment for +1
  • Share the contest to your Facebook page for +5!!
  • Pin to Pinterest for +3

Due to the narrowness of the right hand widget column, the entry box is located on the bottom of my homepage.

Contest runs 4/5/14 – 4/7/14. Winner is picked at random using Rafflecopter’s randomizer. Winner will be notified via email no later than 48 hours after the contest. Product will be shipped at no cost to the winner.

The Joyful Homemaker is no way affiliated with Alva diapers. I simply love their fluff and wish to share them a diaper with one lucky reader.

Good luck!

The Joyful Homemaker