a fit easter basket (and flashback friday.)

by Janetha on April 6, 2012

in family time,flashback,tips

hey there! it’s friday and my antibiotics are doing their job.. i am feeling lots better! well, i should give some of the credit to you guys for all the get well wishes, thanks for those, but most of the credit goes to the drugs.

well, in case you haven’t heard, easter is on sunday. i am sure you noticed the aisles at your grocery store lined with colorful baskets filled with fake grass, plastic eggs, jelly beans, and giant chocolate rabbits. just what we need, another holiday to give people everywhere a reason to eat candy. because halloween and christmas aren’t reason enough.


when i was a kid, i was usually more excited about my new dress than i was about the candy. my sisters and i always got a new dresses to wear to church on easter sunday. the dresses were always super stylish. see?

pretty sure momma b sewed this blue number herself. what’s with the collar?

easter 1987 – i was almost four

this fancy number even had easter bunnies ON THE EASTER DRESS. again, what’s with the collar? and the large bow?

easter 1990(?) – i was almost seven

not sure what my brother got.. a new tie, maybe?

after going to church on easter sunday, we would come home and have the obligatory easter egg hunt in our backyard.

judging by my sister’s sweet hair on the left, this had to be from an easter in the 80s.

sometimes the eggs would even find their way to the front porch.

easter 1985 – i was almost 3 and ALWAYS rocked this pink silky nightie.

clearly in 1985 we had the egg hunt before church.. note the pink sponge curlers. i was such a trend setter. pretty sure the photo from 1987 (above) is the result of those sponge curlers…

anyway, some of my friends got to look for those plastic eggs that were filled with candy and quarters.. but not us benson kiddos. we hunted for hard boiled eggs that we’d dyed saturday afternoon so the easter bunny could hide them.


side note: the easter bunny is kiiiinda creepy, no? i saw it snowboarding one time and was definitely creeped out. but not creeped out enough to avoid a photo op, obviously.

snowboarding with allie – easter 2009

anyway, back to the eggs and my childhood. like i said, we would hunt for our hardboiled easter eggs. i was always bitter about this because my friends all got to hunt for candy and money. all i got was a basket of smelly eggs!

what’s with this hardboiled egg nonsense?!” – easter 1985

after finding the eggs (there was always at least one we never, ever found…) we’d take them inside, make deviled eggs, and have our easter dinner. easter dinner ALWAYS included ham, scalloped potatoes, rolls, and the deviled eggs. other menu items would come and go, but these four things were always at easter dinner.

there i go again, straying from my topic (and shifting my focus to food, of course)… i was trying to talk about easter baskets!

my dad – easter 2010

thanks, dad, for helping me get back on track with this blog post.

as a kid, our easter baskets always included some candy. there would be a chocolate bunny, hershey’s kisses, and jelly beans. if we were real lucky there would be a few snickers eggs in there, too. those were my favorite. but in addition to the candy, there were always practical items. like deodorant. or floss. or socks. or silly putty. yes, that’s practical!

what i am trying to get at is that our easter baskets didn’t revolve around candy like those prepackaged ones at the store. momma b always tried to fill them with other odds and ends and take the focus OFF the candy. i may not have appreciated that at the time, but looking back, she made a wise choice. err—i mean—the easter bunny made a wise choice. right.

these days, we don’t hunt for hardboiled eggs anymore. momma b (wait, i mean the easter bunny…) has started the tradition of filling plastic eggs with quarters. no complaints here, i like quarters! and they don’t give me cavities. even though the egg hunt has changed, the easter baskets are still always stuffed full with practical items.

easter basket – easter 2011

like movies. and dog bones. and word search books. and gift cards for groceries… and ice cream. yes, that’s practical! marshall and i gave up candy for our 2012 new year’s resolution, so there won’t be any candy in our basket this year. i can’t say i am disappointed, i am not a huge candy lover to begin with. give me ice cream. or cereal.

it’s probably better that i won’t be eating any candy this sunday, because we’ve started a new easter tradition that i like to call “eat-as-much-of-the-sugar-loaded-carrot-cake-as-possible-and-then-lick-your-plate”.

cake monsters – easter 2011

it’s a fun tradition.

for the past two years, i have made this carrot cake that is real good. and real bad. good for your tastebuds, bad for your waistline. and probably bad for your teeth, too.

easter 2010, easter 2011

you may remember last year after devouring so much of this carrot cake that i ended up with a killer headache and decided to do a full week of eliminating all types of added sugar completely. yes, it was this cake that did that to me. and yes, i am going to make it again. i never learn. plus, tradition is tradition! right? right.

there i go again.. getting distracted by food. back to the easter basket talk! momma b is ridiculously sweet for always carrying on the tradition and giving each family a easter basket full of awesome stuff. this year, i want to pay her back and give her an easter basket full of fun stuff she can enjoy. (and i told her not to read this post til after easter, so MOM you better not be reading!)

because i plan to feed my entire family a sugar bomb disguised as a cake, i want to keep her easter basket healthy and fit. i have been brainstorming some of the fun, fit items i can fill the basket with and i plan to go shopping for them tomorrow.

here are the things i have in mind!

fitness & healthy food magazines.


she has a subscription to oxygen, but i plan to get her a few current issues of some other magazines. my favorites (aside from oxygen) are cooking light and women’s health.

homemade nut butter.


store bought is nice, but homemade is nicer! plus, it’s ridiculously easy. i am going to whip up a jar or two of nut butter.. i am thinking of making it fun with at least two kinds of nuts and some maple extract.



these single-serving bags of chips are a great 100 calorie snack. granted, my dad will probably steal them all from her basket because she LOVES them.. but that’s ok, she likes to share.

itunes gift card.

image [source: apple.com]

momma b has an ipad, an ipod, an iphone, and an itouch. pretty sure an itunes gift card will come in handy!


individual servings of protein powder.

image image
[sources: teraswhey.com, jayrobb.com]

whole foods has lots of different kinds of single-serving protein powders. this is a great way to find a kind you like and a fun filling for an easter basket!



we have lots of these and i gotta get them out of the house so randy doesn’t find them again!

adora calcium discs.


momma b LOVES chocolate, so it wouldn’t be right to leave it out completely. i am going to sneak some in with a bag of these dark chocolate calcium discs.

and… of course…

hardboiled eggs!


no easter is complete without them!

i am excited to put together this basket for momma b!

hope you all have a great weekend! and if you celebrate easter, hope it’s eggcellent. corny jokes are the best, right? hope you cracked (get it? egg? cracked?) a smile at that one.. and if you didn’t, there’s no way you can’t laugh at little old sponge curled janetha g.



what would YOU put in a healthier easter basket?

xo. janetha g.

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Erica April 6, 2012 at 5:17 pm

How about some homemade liquid hand soap? I found a really easy recipe on pinterest and it makes plenty to share http://www.thefarmersnest.com/2011/11/liquid-hand-soap-diy.html?m=1. The Easter bunny brings bathing suits to my kids and wii games, and small amounts of candy.

KaraHadley April 6, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Can you make my Easter basket this year?
I haven’t gotten an Easter basket since I left for college. And this year, since I’m in London, I won’t even get to buy my own Easter candy. I think my mom is still saving me some Starburst jelly beans, though.
I do remember that I always got at least 1 movie in my basket.

Josie April 6, 2012 at 5:36 pm

I just got accepted to nursing school (SCORE!), so my healthy basket would have to include those tiny little hand sanitizers! I would also probably put funky socks in there, as well as books and gift cards. :o)

Emily April 6, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Is it weird that I think you look the exact same in both pictures…even though you were 3 years older in the second one?
Happy Easter!

chelsey @ clean eating chelsey April 6, 2012 at 5:44 pm

I hope Momma B doesn’t read this!!!

Erica April 6, 2012 at 5:47 pm

What a great post!! First off, you were such a cute kiddo (still adorable today ;)). I really enjoy hardboiled eggs! I made a batch today to dye. The nut butter and magazines would be great in a basket! No sugar added dried fruit or just fruit in general would be great too

Kris April 6, 2012 at 5:55 pm

what a cute kid!! ;)

Kerryne April 6, 2012 at 6:11 pm

WHAT? You still get an Easter basket? That is so not fair. I think momma B needs to adopt me. I haven’t gotten one since I was probably 12. :( My kids will be filled with goodies, and a few other things among them new toothbrushes ;)

Those pictures of you are ADORABLE. Love the curlers!

Maren April 6, 2012 at 6:26 pm

oh my goodness you are adorable! I have been wanting to get some weight lifting gloves because my calluses are horrible! I’ve seen some cool different colored ones around…bet she’d like those!

Happy Easter! xoxo

melissa April 6, 2012 at 6:38 pm

So cute! This made me miss my parents on the other side of the country so much! I’d put some loose-leaf tea in the basket, and maybe a tea ball/egg :)

Melissa @TryingtoHeal April 6, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Ah, so cute as a kid!

My mom always gives us a bit of candy but now a days she gives us things like movies, books and toothbrushes. lol!

cathy@1970kikiproject April 6, 2012 at 7:10 pm

oh, i love when you talk about your mom, j! such a great relationship you enjoy!
for my nieces’ easter baskets, i avoided chocolate. they got paint-by-number (markers instead of paint) easter-themed pictures to colour, bunny ears, and an easter-themed book.
i have happy memories of easter hunts (my mom did chocolate + other fun stuff, too!), dying eggs and yes, always a new easter dress!
happy easter weekend! love the photos!

Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) April 6, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Rabbit is low cal right? KIDDING!

OK wow those girlie-girlie photos of you have left me in a bit of a state of shock. And I think I’ve mentioned this but in 1987 i was in college, which is frightening. To me anyway :-)

Love the flashback- so fun.

Tara April 6, 2012 at 7:19 pm

Oh my gosh–I’m pretty sure our moms used the same sewing pattern for that dress in your first pic. I have pictures of me in a dress that looks EXACTLY like it except mine had different “Eastery” fabric. Hilarious. I am making a sugary carrot cake this year too. Hopefully it will be so good we all want to lick our plates :)

Annette@EnjoyYourHealthyLife April 6, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Ummmm wow! Want to gift me an Easter basket too?!! hah ;)

Seriously–great ideas! I’d also say, some good smelling/natural soap or body wash or handwash?

Sarah @ The Healthy Diva April 7, 2012 at 3:21 am

My mom used to put fun little toys and things like coloring books in our baskets as kids. And when we went for our egg hunt the majority of the eggs were filled with similar non food items like stickers or stamps etc. If I were putting together a healthy easter gift basket I might add some organic fresh fruit (a bit more expensive so it’s special!), a workout dvd they might enjoy or maybe even some workout accessories like hair-ties or a skipping rope. And of course throw in a fun easter treat like some homemade cookies…because we all need a little something sweet in our lives!

Kelly O-ski April 7, 2012 at 5:58 am

My Easter basket (up until last year) ALWAYS revolved around candy–yes, I’m 25, and my mother still insists on making me an Easter basket. haha. However, last year and this year have been more health-oriented. This year, I asked for running shoes instead, because my current ones are about near the end, in terms of mileage, and the Pittsburgh Marathon is in a month, so I gotta break in a new pair. I also asked for Picky Bars, because they look good, and I’m always trying new things pre-long run. We’ll see how it goes!

Nut butter is ALWAYS a good addition to anything. Ever…including Easter baskets.

Have a wonderful holiday :).

Calee April 7, 2012 at 9:37 am

I’m so glad you posted the healthy Easter basket idea. I would LOVE to not get a buttload of candy. I will eat my mini eggs (let’s hope I only get 1 bag of them — mom forgets that those are my favorite) and see about getting rid of the rest. Though, I feel bad giving away all that crap to others, but at least it prevents me or the beau from ingesting it.

So your headache from the sugar incident? Glad I’m not the only one. I can’t even believe how much sugar I used to eat on a daily basis. I actually started WW in January to shake my sugar addiction, because fruits / veggies as snacks were FREE. And I’m pretty much off the sugar train.

And totally related, I was at Toyota this AM getting my oil changed and this mom / 6-ish-yr-old girl were there. Her mom was going through all her coupons for groceries and all the shit she was going to buy was processed, refined crap. But she wouldn’t let her kid have a doughnut that the dealership gives away for free. I guess you have to draw the line somewhere, but I don’t see the difference between a white bread jelly sandwich and a jelly doughnut. (I wouldn’t / couldn’t eat either, but if held at gunpoint would choose doughnut).

And my answer to your question? Tea. You could buy a couple different packs or steal from your stash. Just as fun as Easter eggs.

Cash is always good too. ;)

PS Love the nighty + curlers combo. Lovely.

Have a happy Easter!

Kalyn April 7, 2012 at 11:04 am

Happy Easter! Carrot cake is just about my favorite cake, so I can totally understand the need to eat ten pieces and lick the plate clean. You really couldn’t help it, I’m sure.

natasha April 7, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Glad you’re feeling better…just in time for Saturday which I’m sure helped maybe as much as the drugs (:

Technically, my Easter is next weekend (Russian Orthodox) but we always had baskets on the “regular” day filled with lots of chocolatey and chewy junk. Hard-boiled eggs were a must have for breakfast and we had a traditional game: two people hit each other’s eggs at the same time and who ever had the uncracked egg got to eat the other one. Key was to initiate the “hit”.

Russian Easter involved an overnight church service, vodka shots and breaking the Lenten Fast at 4am…yeah, even when you’re ten!

Love the healthy basket…I’d throw in a few fun fruits too because I love fruity things.

Diana April 7, 2012 at 1:49 pm

OMG you were precious!!

Vanessa April 7, 2012 at 4:20 pm

That’s such a cute idea for your mom!

sherice@foodieluvsfitness April 7, 2012 at 4:34 pm

I’d much rather have an Easter basket like Momma B’s than one filled with the traditional junk.. I love love Lara bars. I just purchased the vanilla and choc Jay Robb protein powders and LOVE them too!! your Momma is one lucky lady :) Happy Easter!

Em (Wine and Butter) April 7, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Your mum is so pretty! I was thinking nut butters and my current obsession… beef jerky! You cant get it in England and its sooooo good, right?! (And so expensive so also a nice treat! :) )

Lara April 7, 2012 at 5:58 pm

OMG…the curler pics. You were/are so freaking cute!

kristen @ livinlifeinlouie April 7, 2012 at 7:04 pm

So glad you are feeling better!
For easter we would always get a book and a TON of candy. Even one of those BIG chocolate bunnies. About 5 years ago, I asked my mom (easter bunny) for healthier things. Her response “like what?!?!” haha. Larabars was the first thing on my list! And now five years later, she always gives me something sweet but healthier.

Sarah April 7, 2012 at 7:07 pm

This year, the kids’ baskets are much healthier than they had been in the past. This year, we bought our kiddos swim lessons and are putting a certificate telling them about the lessons in their baskets. We also added some lacrosse balls because they just started learning how to play along with bubbles and leggos. Yes, there is candy, but very, very little this year compared to years past.

Sara April 7, 2012 at 7:31 pm

The pictures of you in your rollers–ohmystinkin’heck! SO CUTE. I, too, have my share of photos where my hair was up in pink foam rollers. Once, my mom (wait, I mean The Easter Bunny) got “lazy” and my brother and I found those big, family sized bags of pastel colored M&Ms outside our bedroom doors. No baskets. No eggs. Just the big bag plopped outside the door. Hilarious!

Janetha April 11, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Haha.. it’s the thought that counts, right?!

Mary Legare Whaley April 7, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Gosh. I remember when the Easter Bunny would bring me a basket full of (always) a chocolate bunny, malted eggs (still awesome), Snickers eggs, and the little egg carton of robin’s eggs bubble gum. Last year, my mom gave me an adorable blue glass rabbit, can’t really describe it without a photo, but it was filled with Dove dark chocolate eggs. Perfect. The rabbit now sits atop my medicine cabinet in my bathroom with my reed diffuser, and the dark chocolate was perfect since it was just enough not to be overkill/guilty candy. I think my glass bunny filled with dark chocolate trumped an Easter basket. A fully packed “healthy” basket could be a bummer. I like carrots, but if they were in my basket, I’d be sad. And any sugar-free candy, destroys my digestive system. I’d rather have a handful of Dove dark chocolate over a basket full of healthy snacks (and I am uber healthy and a lover of fun stuff). I wonder if the Easter bunny will leave me anything fun this year…

Khushboo April 7, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Love these ideas! To keep up with the egg focus of Easter, what about a print-out of a few of your favourite egg recipes (cool font necessary)- eggs are always a great idea for meals in a pinch!

Jenni April 7, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Just had to share that that is my favorite carrot cake ever. You can’t help but lick the plate! I’ll be sharing in that tradition with my family tomorrow, too! Bring on the sugar rush! (followed by gym time and water on monday :)) Happy Easter!

Debra@FitandFab365 April 8, 2012 at 6:19 am

Love your healthy Easter basket. Thanks for sharing! Have a wonderful holiday.

BroccoliHut April 8, 2012 at 8:12 am

Our Easter baskets were always kinda similar to our Christmas stockings–filled with useful things like underpants, fancy body wash, and a few M&Ms for fun. For Margot’s first Easter this year, I decided to buy her her very first frisbee and a few Nylabones (she LOVES them).

Marisa April 8, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Oh my hair is terrible but I do live the dresses! And I think my Girk’s look so much like you! Thanks for doing a basket for mom… That is sweet of you! Happy Easters!

Lea April 8, 2012 at 8:46 pm

A healthy Easter basket is an awesome idea! I would throw in a gift card to a sporting goods store or TJ Maxx, you can never have enough sports bras/shorts/athletic socks/etc.

Momma b April 8, 2012 at 9:42 pm

What a sweet surprise! I LOVE my Easter basket of goodies but even more I love how thoughtful of others you are!!! You are always so quick to be generous with others and it’s never all about you!!

I loved the flash back photos….you were certainly a doll, love the curlers and pink slicky nightie but most of all I love you!!

Thanks sweetie and thanks to Marshall the bag is a great idea!!


Kait April 9, 2012 at 2:20 pm

OMG those photos of you are ridiculously amazing. I love it!

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