A Delicious Easter Feast

the best recipes for Easter dinner at happyhomefairy.comI keep turning around and being surprised by how fast the weeks are flying.

Happy Buddy said to me on Sunday that next week was Palm Sunday and I was like, “That’s ridiculous, no it’s not.”

And sure enough – it is.

The Easter season is here!  I have a BIG printable for you that I am hopefully going to get to work on this weekend if I give my kids a bag of pretzels and put them in a cage.

But today I have been thinking about some of the yummy recipes I have on this site and I wanted to share what, in my humble opinion, would be the perfect Easter feast – a delicious combination of flavors that is sure to make everyone’s tummies sing right along with their mouths after belting, “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” at church.

honeybaked ham

Image Source – HoneyBaked.com

First, buy a ham from Honeybaked.  You’re welcome.

potato casserole at happyhomefairy.com - perfect dish for potlucks - never any leftovers and SO easy!!!Next, make THIS amazing potato casserole.

the best salad EVER.jpgThen make THIS salad (it is my most-requested, most popular recipe EVER).

The-BEST-Banana-BreadBake a batch of banana bread – (you can find this recipe at chef-in-training).

IMG_0329Serve up a side of THIS applesauce Jell-O.

lemon bars2And for dessert, enjoy THESE lemon cheese bars.

I promise that everyone will be in hog heaven (quite literally, if you are eating ham).

I’d love to know if you plan to use any of these recipes with your families this year!  Feel free to leave a comment below or drop me an email.  It always warms my heart to know how this site is helping you build a happy home – and stomach, for that matter.

Happy Easter Feast-ing! :-)

Will You Lent With Me?


Based on the photo above I would imagine that some of you are wondering if I converted to Catholicism. :-)

To answer your question – no.  The hubs is a pastor at a PCA church and after many years of in depth study about church history, he came to the conclusion that recognizing the Lent season (beginning with Ash Wednesday) is a beautiful part of the Christian church’s story.

As a result of his careful study, our little church celebrated Ash Wednesday this year by holding a few worship services where we were able to receive the ‘imposition of ashes’ on our foreheads – a symbol and reminder of our sins and His great sacrifice, inspired by the verse,

“You are dust, and to dust you shall return,” Ecclesiastes 3:20.

We are but dust without His breath of life.

Under this humbling truth (plastered right on our foreheads – our very minds, so to speak) we are then able to rejoice because even though our bodies will return to dust one day, our souls get to be in eternity with Him forever – all thanks and praise to the work He did on the cross (Easter!).

I so long to be a person of the cross.  I want others to know without a shadow of doubt Who I love most.

When the hubs and I picked up the boys from school, Happy Baby took one look at his daddy’s forehead and said, “WHY YOU HAVE DAT?”

And as I explained this season to my boys, I thought maybe my sweet blog readers would benefit from it as well.

One of my favorite things about Lent is that we are called to remember the 40 days that Jesus was led into the wilderness to be with God, to be tested, and to fast (Matthew 4:1-11).

Wait, did you catch that?

He did not eat for 40 DAYS.

Sometimes I can’t even skip a snack without getting grumpy!

Jesus denied himself some incredibly basic needs in order to humbly submit Himself to His Father.  His willingness to surrender EVERYTHING is so beautiful and inspiring and makes me keenly aware of the 100 million times a day I hold on to worthless idols (fear, insecurity, jealousy, pride, being judgmental, wanting to be in control of everything, Hobby Lobby, how many Facebook ‘likes’ I have) and cling to my earthly comforts (my hair iron, dark chocolate – ahem).

I told Happy Buddy that it was as if Jesus wanted to declare to His Father that He loved Him even more than food (Job 23:12).

Try getting a child to understand that when he has a chocolate chip cookie sitting in front of him.

Try getting ME to understand that when standing at the entrance of a Target (more like emotional food, I guess – ha!).

This year the hubs and I have been prayerfully considering what we might ‘fast’ from in order to make ourselves more like Christ this season.

I thought about fasting from laundry, dishes, and making lunches every day, but I guess that’s not really the point. :-)

Although Happy Buddy informed me today that he wanted to give up wearing clothes for Lent so our fasts would compliment one another rather nicely.

Are you giving something up for Lent?

I wanted to encourage you today to think and pray about it.

When I was explaining this to my boys, I tried to help them understand that the item you choose to fast from should be something that is important to you and involve a bit of sacrifice.  It should draw you to Jesus every time your flesh wants to have the item, eat the item, use the item, etc.  It should daily make you aware of the depth of your need for Him.

Happy Baby announced that he wanted to give up his minion toy and I knew that God was inspiring his little heart.

Happy Buddy on the other hand is still thinking about this (after I squashed his no-clothes scheme) and is convinced that giving up vegetables is a worthy Lenten fast.

Pray for him. :-)

I wanted to share with you an incredible resource Ann Voskamp is sharing at A Holy Experience – 40 days of printable prayer cards you can use on your Lenten journey – find them HERE.

I just printed mine and am planning to use them.

In this world that seems to be ever-increasing in evil and darkness, we must cling to the light.  We must embrace and walk in it.  Humbly, obediently, and fully surrendered.

So, dear readers, will you Lent with me?

– Julie

“I love you, Lord, my strength.” Psalm 18:1

He’s Alive!

Worship at church today was especially precious and joy-filled.

We sang over and over these words, “Death could not hold you – you are victorious!  Praise to the risen King!”

Jesus is RISEN!

Nothing – not even temper tantrums at egg hunts (I’ll spare you those photos) or meltdowns during Easter photo shoots was going to rob me of that joy today!happy easter!.jpghappy easter 1.jpghappy easter 2.jpghappy easter 6.jpghappy easter 3.jpghappy easter 4.jpghappy easter 5.jpghappy easter 7.jpg


Praying you all have a beautiful day basking in His wondrous and glorious love for YOU.

Happy Easter!

“I am the Living One.  I was dead.  But look!  I am alive forever and ever!” Revelation 1:18 (NIRV)

Joy Is Coming…

I just got finished putting fresh sheets on all the beds in our little Happy Home.

I mean, can you think of a greater feeling than crisp, new linens?

I think not.

It might sound silly, but I thought having clean sheets would be a tangible way for my family to remember how He washes us clean.


Tonight we sat around the table with a cupcake and a solitary, lit candle.

I told the Happy Buddy that when Jesus died on the cross, it was like a light had gone out and darkness covered the earth.

The Happy Buddy blew out the candle.

The room went black.

We waited quietly.

Suddenly the candle flickered and burst into flame again.

The Happy Buddy stood back, shocked (thank you, $2 trick candles from the Publix party section).

I think God’s Word tells the rest of this story perfectly,

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness CAN NEVER EXTINGUISH IT.” John 1:5 (NLT)

So, dear reader, remember this truth when you are faced with what could be perceived by the world as ‘darkness.’

Sickness, death, pain, betrayal, struggle, hardship…

The night – the dark – never lasts forever.

Because this is what we are PROMISED“Weeping may last for the night, but…”

joy comes in the morning.jpgHappy Easter, Sweet Happy Home Friends.

The Blood

the blood 2.jpgToday is Good Friday.

It’s the day we remember the suffering of our Lord – the utter and complete surrender of His perfect life in exchange for our messy ones.

And during this Holy Week, I have been made so unbelievably aware of my mess.

Let’s start with my never-ending need to please people.

I drove a little too fast through our school zone on Monday (didn’t even realize it).  Several women I respect got very upset with me and I’ve been feeling so bad for disappointing them.

I got angry that the Happy Baby dumped his pee-filled toilet-training potty all over the bathroom floor and then went and pooped on the carpet in his brother’s room.

I had some insecurity about my job – wanting people to like me and desire to have their kids in my class.

I spent too much money on groceries.  Again.

I let the words of another make me doubt my calling in a particular ministry that I love.

I pushed the hubby too far in a conversation instead of wisely holding my tongue.

I paid too much attention to my phone.

I got jealous of a woman who has a super cute new baby with no health issues.

I wasted an entire afternoon feeling sorry for myself over a situation I have yet to fully surrender.

I think my kids ate chicken nuggets 3 times within a span of 3 days.

Add in some pride, fear, impatience, and unbelief and that about sums up my week!

the blood 1.jpgIf you didn’t already consider me a highly questionable source, you can do so now.


The point is, there’s a whole lot of ugly going on in this heart of mine.

 And being that I am a perfectionist, when I am faced with the realities of my sin, the temptation is always to let the above listed wretchedness take me down.

I mope around or overeat or complain to the hubs that I am worthless, nobody likes me, and a big, fat failure.

Oh, but Jesus didn’t die on the cross so that I could drown myself in a pint of ice cream and self-pity.

the blood 3.jpgDo you remember in the story of Moses when Pharaoh kept refusing to let the Israelites leave Egypt, even under the stress and horror of all the plagues?

The final plague was the worst of all – the death of every firstborn son in Egypt.

God had a plan, however, for His people, the Israelites.  He instructed them very specifically to kill a lamb and paint its blood over the door of their homes.  If they obeyed these instructions, then the Angel of Death would pass over their house and the firstborn sons would be spared.

When the angel saw the blood, he simply passed over the house.

He didn’t open the door to peek inside and make sure everyone was behaving properly.

God didn’t expect the Israelites to be perfect behind those doors.

It was THE BLOOD that saved them.

And that is our own sweet story, dear friends.

Our lamb is Jesus.

His blood is painted on the doorpost of our hearts.

And we are saved – we are set free!

I am not condemned for that laundry list of ugly I wrestled with this week BECAUSE OF HIS BLOOD.

This news is way more satisfying and joy-filling than ice cream (trust me on this).

the blood 4.jpgWhen I picked the Happy Buddy up from school recently and asked him how his day was, he immediately burst into tears and confessed that his name had been written on the board due to a poor choice.

In the past, being that darned perfectionist that I am, I have acted disappointed and upset with my son for daring to represent our family so poorly.

As if I really wanted him to feel bad for sinning.

But the Lord showed me awhile back that holding a grudge, looking at my child with condemnation, flailing my arms and shouting, “How could you do that?!” is not at all the picture of the cross.


His response to the sin of His children is always love.

Because he just sees the blood.

Now when my son cried about his consequence at school, I wrapped my arms around him in a giant hug and whispered in his ear, “We all make mistakes, son.  Now we must make it right.”

He went to his teacher to apologize for disobeying the classroom rules and then we went to Jesus and apologized.

As our prayer drew to a close and we opened our eyes, I looked at my boy’s tear-stained face and said gently, “It is finished.”

I saw the burden lifted in an instant.

And he said, “Mommy can we have chicken nuggets for dinner?”


the blood 5.jpgWe are imperfect people living behind the doors of our homes.

We will have bad moments, bad days, bad weeks…

But all that bad is why Good Friday is so good.

Take that never-ending list of badness and daily remember the all-sufficient, unfailing power of our Savior’s goodness.

He sees the blood.

And today, my friends, it is finished.

Anyone want to celebrate with some Breyer’s? :-)

- Julie

He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.” Ephesians 1:7 (NLT)

FREE Printable Easter Treat Tag

FREE Printable Easter Treat Tag at Happy Home Fairy!!!.jpgSo I found THIS PIN and I was like, “Oh, this is so happening.”

I called our church’s children’s ministry director and asked her if she wanted a little gift idea to give all of her amazing volunteers on Resurrection Sunday.

She said yes and boom.

I present you with the cutest Easter treat ever!

You will need some Rolos candy, the FREE Printable tag at the bottom of this post, some Ziploc snack bags, a hole punch, and some yarn.FREE Printable Easter Treat Tag at Happy Home Fairy - so cute.jpgFREE Printable Easter Treat Tag at Happy Home Fairy.jpg

 Put together a few bags and add them to your Happy Buddy’s Easter basket.

Or surprise a neighbor!

Or a teacher.

Or the mailman.

I think chocolate and the Good News of Easter go pretty well together, don’t you? :-)

Click HERE for your FREE Printable Easter Treat Tag

Happy The Stone Was ROLO-ed Away-ing!

How To Make Minion Easter Eggs

how to make minion eggs for Easter! couldn't be easier! and so cute!!!!!!

The Happy Baby loves those adorable minions from the Despicable Me movies (I mean, who doesn’t??).

For his birthday party a few weeks ago we made some of these super cute Minion Easter eggs.

I thought I would share with you how to make your own because it is SO EASY.

You can whip a few together in about 2 minutes and sneak them in your Happy Buddies’ Easter baskets on Sunday morning.

minion eggs suppliesSupplies -

Bag of bright-colored Easter eggs (these are from Wal-Mart)

Self-adhesive googly eyes (if you just have googly eyes, you can use Glue Dots to attach the eyes to the eggs)

Sharpie marker

minion eggs - step 1Step 1 – Separate out all of the blue and yellow eggs from the bag.

minion eggs - step 2Step 2 - Open the eggs (you may have to cut the hinges off) and then attach blue tops with yellow bottoms and yellow tops with blue bottoms.

minion eggs - step 3minion eggs - so cute and easy!Step 3 - Add a googly eye and Sharpie marker hair and mouth details.

You can draw a black band around the egg to finish off the whole goggle look, but I personally thought it looked too busy.

how to make minion eggs for Easter! couldn't be easier! and so cute!!!

how to make minion eggs for Easter! couldn't be easier! and so cute!Step 4 - Make sure you make an army of them.

Or at least make sure you make Dave, Stuart, Jerry, Kevin, Bob, Carl, Steve, Tim, Phil, Mike, Tom and Donny.


They are so easy to put together that I just finished making a dozen for the Happy Buddy’s preschool class’ egg hunt on Wednesday.

We thought the kids would be delighted to find these egg-stra special little guys along the way!

Happy Minion Easter Egg-ing!!