This post is sponsored by M&Ms and Dove. As always all opinions are my own.
With Spring on its way, Easter is also quickly approaching. I don’t know about you, but holidays always tend to sneak up on me. That’s why I’m getting a head start this year, and I’m sharing it with you. This past weekend I styled a colorful Easter tablescape and whipped up “bunny baskets” in the spirit of the season. Let me show you what I created!
To help me on this decorating adventure, I’ve team up with Mars Chocolate. They’re the people who make M&Ms, Dove Chocolate, and many of your favorite treats, such as Twix, Snickers, and Milky Way. This year Mars has created two candies available only at Target. I’ll tell you more about them shortly.
Let’s start with the table!
As with any table setting, I like to start with a color story. For Easter, I opted for pastels with a stronger focus on pinks and metallics. (Me? Metallics? Shocking, I know.) Not having much in the way of Easter decor, I also picked up lots of bunnies and other accessories that fit my theme.
I knew that I wanted to use chocolate as part of my display. This large Dove Chocolate bunny was just begging to be the focal point of each of my place settings. And with my bunnies theme running throughout the table, they were the perfect addition.
I paired each of them with an adorable egg cup filled with some chocolate. (There is no such thing as too much chocolate.)
Speaking of place settings, among the things I picked up, were these white and metallic tea towels that functioned as napkins. If you’re ever struggling to find the perfect napkin, check out the tea towels. I prefer the larger size of the tea towels, and they always seem to be available in fun patterns and textures.
To add more color to the table, I filled these adorable copper-topped jars with Dove Milk Chocolate Eggs. They are great for a delicious silky smooth pre-meal treat or fun favors for guests to take home.
I brought the entire table together with a few vases of flowers. I found all of these blooms at a grocery store and assembled the arrangements myself. The two low-profile arrangements are designed to remain on the table during the meal. The larger arrangement will be removed right before dinner is served.
In the center of the table, I used a tray to add texture and corral decorative items. What I love about a tray is that when it’s time to eat, it (and everything that’s on it) can be quickly and easily removed, making room for food and encouraging conversation.
Once dinner is finished, you can return the tray to the table, but this time have it filled with desserts. It’s magic!
Of course, you knew a tablescape wouldn’t be complete without food (dessert, to be specific), right? A few weeks ago I showed you how to make these Soft Peanut Butter Cookies. (You can get the recipe here.) To dress them up for spring, I mixed pastel M&Ms into the batter. I also added a few more M&Ms on the top of the cookies after they came out of the oven so that the colors could really shine.
The combination of peanut butter and chocolate is one of my favorites, especially this time of year, so these cookies are a winner.
I was also inspired to create another dessert thanks to these Vanilla Cupcake M&Ms. (These are one of the new Mars candies for sale only at Target.) While they are delicious on their own, I thought it would be fun to incorporate them into actual cupcakes, so that’s what I did.
Once they were baked (and cooled), I created a hole in the center of each and filled it with Vanilla Cupcake M&Ms. Topped with a mound of frosting and sprinkles, your guests will not know what’s inside until they go in for a bite.
Vanilla Cupcake M&Ms come spilling out for a delicious and unique Easter surprise! You can read more about them and get the recipe here.
I’ve made plenty of cupcakes and cookies so that each guest could have one if they’d like, and take a few home to share with family and friends.
Now, as if all that goodness wasn’t enough, I had some more chocolate that wanted to join the party, so I put together these quick Easter baskets.
Here are my tips for creating a beautiful Easter basket:
1. Select a Unique Basket – Start with a special basket or container. Think of the basket as something that the recipient can reuse and not just throw into a closet. The cuter the basket, the more likely it is to be used. I chose these baskets because of their modern touches, including a thread wrapped handle and pom poms. (Who needs a bow on a basket that is this cute?) I also went for a non-traditional option and used a decorative box as a basket. Remember, any container that you can pack with chocolate and treats will work for an Easter basket.
2. Fill in the Bottom – To create a basket that looks full, use tissue paper or packing material to first fill up the bottom of the basket. Then top the fill with grass and add goodies. Having all of your treats resting high up in the basket creates the illusion of a bountiful basket. Plus, it just looks prettier. Once your treats are tucked in place, add a bit more grass here and there to complete the look.
3. Decide on a Color Scheme – If you’re looking to create something a bit more chic, have a color scheme in mind. I created two baskets, one with a cool theme of blues and greens and one with warmer colors – pinks and oranges. Having a color scheme will leave your basket looking beautiful and intentional. My colors schemes were inspired by the fun colors of the M&Ms containers.
4. Remember the Recipient – When giving any gift, you want to keep the recipient in mind. My intent with these two baskets was to create something for grown-ups. (Adults like receiving baskets full of chocolate, too.) That’s why I tucked in things such as a dishtowel and appetizer plates. While everyone loves chocolates for Easter, it’s nice to have a functional and lasting gift as well.
4. Load it with Chocolate – Because it’s Easter, you’ll want to have lots of chocolate spilling out of your baskets. When shopping for treats, get a variety of shapes and sizes. This will make your basket more visually interesting. I also like to get smaller items to fill in the gaps. These Dove Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs worked perfectly for this. (This is the other new Mars product that’s available only at Target for a limited time, and boy is it delicious!)
5. Skip the Cellophane – If possible, don’t wrap your basket in cellophane. While I’ve used it in the past, I find it to be a bit excessive, wasteful, and distracting from all of the beauty that’s inside. If you will be transporting the baskets and are afraid the contents will move around or fall out, then cellophane is a smart solution. Otherwise, save yourself a few bucks and leave it at the store.
And that’s it, my friends. The table is set, the flowers are arranged, the dessert is served, and the baskets are ready. I think we’re prepared for Easter! I hope you enjoyed my Easter celebration and are feeling a bit more inspired to host your own.
Remember to stock up on delicious Mars Chocolates by visiting Target. Use the Cartwheel app to save on select Mars chocolate purchases. (That way you can buy more! It will be our little secret.)