Out of the Basket Easter Ideas

Here’s a complete list of the products shown on Wake Up with the CW on March 24, 2016.


This basket is full of fun and flavorful (and healthier) alternatives to chocolate rabbits and sugary marshmallow chicks.


  • Sugar-free, naturally flavored water
  • A healthy alternative to sugary sodas and drinks
  • Available in four flavors, Fruit Punch, Orange, Berry Frost and Grape,
  • Features fan favorite characters from Disney’s Frozen, Disney Princesses, Marvel Avengers, and Disney Classic Characters.
  • ($1-$1.19/bottle)

Bauli Chocolate Mini CroissantsChoc

  • Looking to fill Easter baskets with something other than candy?
  • 50 calories a pop, they’re the perfect, guilt-free basket filler
  • Made in a REAL oven with no preservatives and naturally leavened dough
  • Available at select retailers for $1.99/2.64 oz bag (6 mini croissants per bag).



Viki’s GranolaVikis Granola

  • Replace the sugary treats that often come in Easter baskets with delicious snacks kids will love
  • Great tasting, GLUTEN-FREE, and made with 100% ALL NATURAL ingredients
  • Available in Original, Blueberry Almond, Maple Cranberry, (NEW!) Banana Walnut & (NEW!) Apple Cinnamon.
  • Available at retailers nationwide and online at VikisFoods.com

Welch’s® Fruit SnacksWelchs

  • Perfect for Easter Baskets and stuffing eggs.
  • Custom Easter-themed graphics with fun shapes which include a Chick, Egg, Flower and Bunny
  • Every pack is made with REAL Fruit, is Fat Free, Gluten Free, and contains No Preservatives




This basket is perfect for the foodie in your life who loves to cook and enjoys delicious foods.

Veestro Veestro

  • Tired of cooking or love to cook, but don’t have the time with all the hustle and bustle of everyday life and events?
  • All-natural, preservative-free food, packed with nutrients and high in protein and fiber.
  • Virtually no prep time! Meals are fully cooked, ready to heat-and-eat when you are, shipped frozen, and able to last in your freezer for up to 8 weeks.
  • Visit Veestro.com for more info

T-fal OptiCook Non-Stick Skillet Tfal pan

  • Foodies love this non-stick fry pan by T-fal
  • With Thermospot technology, your meal will be cooked to perfection every time
  • The Thermospot indicates when the pan is perfectly preheated to seal in flavor and prevents burning
  • T-fal’s Non-Stick skillet makes the cleanup even easier, to ensure more time spent with your friends and family!
  • To learn more, visit tfalusa.com

Explore Cuisine Chickpea Fusilli Explore pasta

  • Perfect for the pasta-lover in your life!
  • Healthy alternative to white pasta with a soft, supple texture and mild taste
  • In just one serving, Chickpea Fusilli has:
    • 11 grams of protein
    • 5 grams of fiber
    • 15% of your daily recommended iron intake
  • Vegan, certified gluten-free, non-GMO, made with organic ingredients
  • Available at supermarkets nationwide for $4.99

Omega – Fresh Juice and Healthful Recipes CookbookOmega Juices

  • Carefully handpicked and arranged
  • Comes with a remarkable assortment of recipes
  • Make a variety of fresh fruit juices, vegetable and green drinks, a medley of smoothie sorbets, creamy nut milks and nut butters, dips and purees, and many more practical and delicious recipes.
  • $14.99 at http://www.omegajuicers.com/books/a-juice-boost-274.html




Make sure to spoil your loved ones with an Easter basket full of relaxing and rejuvenating products.  

Coyuchi  Women’s Sateen Terry Robe Coyuchi Robe

  • Perfect addition for a relaxing Easter morning
  • Available in Alpine White and Pale Gray
  • Robe lined with velvety micro terry, it’s soft, absorbent and cozy
  • Retails for $128; Coyuchi can be found at fine retailers across the US and Canada, as well as available for purchase online at coyuchi.com


Hotel Collection Ultimate Micro Cotton Bath Towels Macys Towels

  • Add these high-quality, ring spun cotton towels for the ultimate spa basket
  • Durable and ultra-absorbent
  • Extra-soft and plush feel
  • Available exclusively at Macy’s; $31 per bath towel



Santa Margherita Prosecco SuperioreSanta M Prosecco

  • Celebrate Easter with Santa Margherita’s Prosecco Superiore
  • Perfect base for a variety of bubbly cocktails at your Easter brunch such as mimosas or bellinis.
  • Additional brand varietals include Pinot Grigio Alto Adige and Chianti Classico Riserva ($17.99-26.99)






Merle Norman Revitalizing Bubbly MaskMN Mask

  • With soft towels at your feet, a warm robe wrapped around your body and a glass of wine in hand, be sure to treat yourself even more with this sensational mask
  • Brightening bubbles recharge skin and take dull to dazzling with this new multi-sensory formula that transforms from a gel to a foam while on the face.
  • $30; Merle Norman Studios MerleNorman.com


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Easter 101: Baskets, Decor and More

Easter rabbit on fresh green grass

Easter is almost here! And that means, baskets to be assembled, tables to be set, and spring cleaning to be tackled.


iphone april 2012 053No basket? No problem! Get tips for alternatives to a plain ‘ol wicket basket that adds to the gifty-ness of this year’s Easter treasures. And some non-candy gift ideas, too!





Powder and basket 018Basket brush-up: Once you’ve got that basket (or non-basket!) use these principles and tips to create professional-looking gift baskets.





Easter centerpiece collageTable time: Need a quick and cheap centerpiece! Try this $12 idea!






Yellow TulipsFlower power: Keep spring flowers fresh as a daisy with these pro tips.






March 2014 030Last minute decor: Add a splash of color to your Easter festivities with scarves!






(c) Africa Studio/Fotolia

Clean it up: Get tips on spring cleaning, although maybe just a tidying up before Easter. It’s early this year after all, and nobody’s going to see the garage. I hope.





Need more inspiration? Browse all my Easter articles here for bits of history and even some extravagance.

Rabbit photo copyright levranii/Fotolia.com.

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Tie Up Spring Decorating with Scarves

The other day I met a business associate for coffee, and on my way back to my car I popped into Charming Charlie just to see what’s new. They were having a “2 for $20” deal on most scarves. That got my creative juices flowing! I love to decorate with scarves.

I found one that is gray, black and raspberry in a trendy suzani print–perfect for the living room.

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I styled it with apothecary jars from Urban Home and Cost Plus World Market.

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I also turned the fun Stockholm bowl ($20 from Ikea) into a candle sconce by placing it on a plate holder and just setting a pillar in front. (It looks awesome at night!)

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I still needed a second scarf for my “deal” at Charming Charlie. I looked around and almost gave up, but then I found a botanical print in hues of lime and aqua and I thought it would be great to wear.

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But when I got home, I happened to set it down on the table in the foyer (when I was putting the other scarf on the console!) and thought – wait a minute! This looks great right here.

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It looks great with the Bosphorus bowl from Pottery Barn, layered with river rock and moss, plus some spring branches and a rabbit ready for Easter.

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So maybe I’ll wear the scarf someday. But for now it’s a great spring look.

Scarves make a great table runner or a topper for a decorator round table. More ways to use them in your decor:

  • Tie two square scarves together and use as a decorative pillow cover.
  • Use the scarf as a wall hanging, attaching it with 3M strips or, if it has fringe, tie the fringe to a few nails or hooks in the wall.
  • Cotton bandanas can be used as napkins for a casual meal.
  • Drape scarves over chairs, benches, or sofas — anywhere you need softness, pattern and color.
  • Tuck a couple of scarves into your suitcase to liven up your hotel room.

Why not raid your scarf collection with a new perspective and see what might look fabulous in your home? Have fun with it.

That’s a wrap!

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The $12 Easter Centerpiece

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Even the most casual Easter meal needs a fresh, fun centerpiece. And for just a few dollars, this centerpiece is an easy, budget-friendly addition to your holiday meal. Here’s how to create the perfect centerpiece for about $12.

Two potted tulips ($3.99 each at the grocery) nestle in fun paper pails ($1 each, Target). Topped with green moss and colored eggs that I had on hand, they’re festive and cheap! In between the flowers, a white pillar candle sits on a clear saucer on top of a jar full of jelly beans ($2 a bag).  Another ring of green moss and a few more jelly beans complete this centerpiece. (Note: If you don’t have moss, try green paper shreds or natural Easter basket filler such as green excelsior, raffia, or straw.)

Look around and see what you have on hand to put together a festive but frugal centerpiece. The keys for Easter are color, color and more color!

Easter centerpiece collage

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Easy Easter Menu

Any time I want to make something easy and hands-off, I think of my slow cooker. For an easy Easter main dish, I adapted a classic French slow-roasted leg of lamb recipe for the slow cooker, while the two side dishes roast side by side in the oven. Easily served on one platter or on a buffet, this meal is full of spring flavor and lets you enjoy the day!


Hands-Off Lamb Roast

Prep Time: 15 mins.
Cook Time: 5 to 6 hrs.
Serves: 4

(Note: The roast may be bone-in or boneless. Be sure it will fit in your slow cooker; you may need the butcher to remove the shank portion.)

4 to 5 lb. leg of lamb
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 c. white wine
1 c. water
1 yellow onion, quartered
1 small bunch fresh thyme (about 7 or 8 sprigs)
1 small bunch fresh rosemary (about 7 sprigs)
2 cloves garlic. minced
4 bay leaves

Rub the roast generously with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper, gently massaging the seasonings into the meat. Heat a large, nonstick Dutch oven over medium high heat. Brown all sides of the roast well, to render off excess fat.

Place the onion quarters in the bottom of a slow cooker (4 qt. or larger). Place the roast on top.

Deglaze the Dutch over by pouring about a cup of the wine into the pan (make sure the heat is off!). Scrape up any brown bits and pour the wine and drippings around the roast.

Add the remaining wine and water to the slow cooker, pouring it around the roast. Add the garlic and bay leaves to the slow cooker. Bundle the fresh herbs together with kitchen twine and snuggle it down next to the roast. Cook on high 5 to 6 hours, basting occasionally.

When the roast is fully cooked, remove it to a platter and cover with foil. Strain the liquid into a saucepan and bring to boil over medium high heat, then lower to a simmer and allow the sauce to reduce, about 15 minutes. If a thicker sauce is desired, make a slurry by removing a ladle of liquid to a small bowl and whisk in 1 T. of cornstarch. Return to the pan and whisk until the mixture thickens.

Serve the roast with the sauce and/or a nice fruit chutney.


Roasted Potatoes

1 ½ pounds new red potatoes (or red creamer potatoes)
2 cloves of garlic, cut in half
Juice of 1 lemon
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Scrub the potatoes and remove any spots or eyes and cut in half (or quarters if necessary for a roughly uniform size). Place the potatoes in a medium mixing bowl, add the garlic and lemon juice. Drizzle well with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss well. Pour the potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Roast in oven, 25 to 40 minutes until fork tender and brown. Stir/turn the potatoes every 10 minutes to ensure browning on all sides.

Serves 4.


Roasted Spring Asparagus

Pencil-thin asparagus roast right next to the potatoes and take only minute to prepare.

1 bunch asparagus
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Rinse and trim the asparagus; pat dry. (To trim the asparagus, hold each end of a spear and bend until it snaps at the naturally perfect spot.) Place the asparagus in a shallow baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil (enough to coat) and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake in a 400 degree about 8 to 10 minutes, shaking the pan halfway during the cooking time to cook the asparagus evenly. Serves 4.

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6 Alternatives to an Easter Basket

The Easter basket is the quintessential Easter gift. It’s pretty much a no-brainer this time of year. Traditionally, a wicker basket (usually in a pastel color) is filled with artificial, plastic grass that in no way resembles what a bunny might ingest. When I was growing up, my parents would reuse both our baskets and the grass from year to year, and at at some point the baskets were past their prime.

Reusing items year to year is great, and my parents certainly got their money’s worth from our baskets. But today another great tradition is re-purposing items for something other than what they were originally intended. In that spirit, here are 6 ideas to ditch the wicker basket this Easter and create a “basket” where the vessel becomes part of the gift and can be used by your recipient every day—not stored away and used once a year.

As a bonus, several of these ideas are less expensive than a traditional handled basket. Still, it’s a good idea to include the cost of the vessel in your overall Easter gift giving budget.

Beach bucket – Include beachy accessories like sunglasses and sunscreen among the expected Easter fare like marshmallow chicks and chocolate rabbits.

Paint can – Most home improvement stores will sell you clean, empty gallon-size paint cans. They’re lightweight yet sturdy, and with their simple, strong lines they’re a great alternative for little boys. After Easter, they can be used to store art supplies, toy cars – really anything small and collectible that seems to multiply. Hang them on the wall with a coat hook, screw them right into the wall, or simply place on a shelf for easy organizing.

Organizing basket or tote – This is oh-so-practical and great for any age group or decorating style. Available in a range of sizes, materials, colors and prices at retailers nationwide.

Storage box – This is similar to the organizing tote idea, but this one has a lid to keep the contents under wraps. I always seem to find a good supply of these at Home Goods. (Tip: This would also be a good alternative for creating a gift basket for Mother’s Day.)

Garden pot – This idea is a huge hit with boys and girls alike! In addition to traditional Easter candy and toys, include seed packets, small gardening gloves and a few garden hand tools. After Easter, children will have a fun activity that teaches them about nature and responsibility (they have to water their plants!).

Felt character bucket – These little gems are inexpensive and quite popular. They may be found at major retailers around the country. And while they don’t really have an everyday look or use, they’re just so fun I had to include them!

In each instance, fill the vessel with paper shreds, excelsior or plastic grass, just like you would a basket, and include the same goodies and gifts. Each of these options may even be wrapped in cellophane (use a clear cello gift bag, available at craft stores and Cost Plus World Market stores, for greater ease) and tied with a simple grosgrain ribbon bow.

But don’t stop here. Wherever you’re shopping this season, look around for more alternatives. There’s no need to rush around looking for an “Easter basket.” Think about photo boxes, galvanized metal pails, or even a wastepaper basket. Pretty much any container can become an Easter basket! There’s even one idea on Pinterest using a beer carton for a man’s Easter basket! Now that’s ingenious.

Click here for tips on putting together a gift basket – perfect for Easter!

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