Happy Easter!

Easter is a special time for my family, and although this is the second Easter we've spent away from extended family, they're always in our hearts and minds. Since the opportunity to spend the holiday surrounded by extended family isn't possible, my husband and I try to make it as special as we can in our own way.

The children woke up this morning to an Easter egg hunt, and they had a great time searching for all the eggs left behind by the Easter bunny. Although my older son found more than the younger one, he was generous in sharing his eggs with his younger brother. They spent a good 45 minutes making sure they didn't miss any, but they still stumbled across a few stray eggs throughout the day.

After we had breakfast and pried the chocolate eggs out of their hands, we headed out to spend a part of the afternoon in the city. We caught the bus to Hotel de Ville and then walked to Ile de la Cite to where the bells of Notre Dame Cathedral rang out after mass. We then walked to the Flower Market held on Ile de la Cite each weekend.

Flower shops are found on almost every street corner in Paris, but purchasing flowers or plants for planting can be quite expensive at those shops. I find they're better for buying bouquets or centrepieces, which are always gorgeous and meticulously presented. For trees or other plants, I recommend the flower market. The prices are more competitive and the selection is incredible. We purchased two small evergreens that we have already planted in one of our window boxes.

We followed up our market visit with lunch at the Brasserie les Deux Palais, located across from the market and across the street from the Palais de la Justice. It's a bit of a tourist spot, evidenced by its menu in several languages, but the building itself is gorgeous inside and out. The prices are also fairly reasonable except for drinks like Coca Cola or Fanta, which is pretty par for the course as it serves to make up for people who order one drink and sit for hours. They have a kid's menu at just under ten Euros, and their steak hache or jambon frites are gluten free. Service was quick and efficient, and the food was good.

We took the scenic bus route back to our apartment, and spent the afternoon relaxing as a family. My husband and I decided that we would have our large Easter dinner tomorrow, as the kids have the day off school. I'm happy we made that decision because it took a ton of pressure off and instead of spending the day in the kitchen, we spent it as a family. Tomorrow I'll put the lamb in the oven and we can share a special meal together for Easter Monday.

It's tough to create new traditions fa from home, and sometimes I feel as though I have no idea what I'm doing. The important thing is to spend time as a family and to make sure that our kids stay in contact with their grandparents and cousins in other countries. We had a great day with the kids today, and made some wonderful memories. If you celebrate Easter, I hope your holiday is wonderful and full of love.