Expat Life

Celebrating Easter London-Style

You want to know one more thing I love about London? Instead of just the usual 3-day weekend for the Easter holiday, we got four days off to celebrate. Four! The best part was, we’d just returned from Ireland two days prior, so that extra long weekend was much needed before our lives had to get back to “normal”. (I’m not really sure what normal is for us anymore, though.)

We ordered take-out for almost every meal and I watched a bunch of shows on TV that shall remain unnamed because I’m embarrassed to admit I watched them. (But they might have been about a few filthy rich, catty women living in Beverly Hills. Don’t you judge me!) And then there was Easter itself. A practically perfect in every way day – except for the rain. The unpredictable English weather foiled our plans once again, yet we found a way to work around it, as you do.

Celebrating Easter London-Style

Celebrating Easter London-Style

Celebrating Easter London-Style Celebrating Easter London-Style

Easter morning began as it always does, with the basket full of candy and little surprises. Finding a wind-up chick in your Easter basket isn’t nearly as fun as playing with real ones, but it made us all smile remembering the year we got to spend Easter with our fourteen baby chicks. I miss my babies.

Funny story about those watercolor paints – I bought them a couple weeks before Easter to put in Lexie’s basket, then two days before Easter I hear Lexie rummaging through boxes in the laundry room. She’s looking for her old paint set and can’t find it anywhere. (What happened to it in the move, we’ll probably never know.) But I felt terrible because she literally looked for over half an hour, getting more and more frustrated, and the whole time I wanted to tell her not to worry about it because she’d be getting new paints in a couple days, but that would have spoiled the surprise! At least we got to have a good laugh about it on Easter morning.

Celebrating Easter London-Style Celebrating Easter London-Style

You’re welcome for that fascinating picture of my hallway! There is a purpose for sharing that. Normally Lex makes us cards for holidays and our birthdays. We don’t let her buy us anything because, you know, we’re anti-stuff. And we don’t want her spending her own money on us because that’s backwards – we can spend on her, but not the other way around. Anyway, she wanted to do something special for us, so she made us hide in the other room while she prepared a trail of Easter notes and pictures leading from the living room, down the hallway, and into our bedroom where she was hiding with the last one. It was super sweet and creative. Man, I love that girl.

Celebrating Easter London-Style

Our traditional family photo suffered this year because of the rain. Our flat is a rather uninspiring place to take photos, not to mention kind of small for setting up a tripod. Last year we had a creek, wooden bridge, and gazebo as a backdrop. This year we had…a white wall. Yippee. Given the fall-ish look of our clothes, you’d never guess this was an Easter photo either, would you? But hey, it was 48°F and raining – who wants to wear a bright, sleeveless dress in that?

By the way, if you click that link above, check out how much Lex has grown in a year. I’m so close to being the short one in the family. I had much better hair last year, too. Life is so unfair.

Celebrating Easter London-Style

Celebrating Easter London-Style

Celebrating Easter London-Style

Given the fact that we haven’t lived around family who would normally cook Easter dinner for us for seven years now, we’ve started having a picnic lunch every Easter just the three of us. (Lex and I even had one on our own last year just to keep the tradition going since Cory was already living in London.) I don’t do anything crazy like actually cook for it – we just pick stuff up at the store and eat it outside. This always worked out well at our home in Tennessee since we had a multitude of great places to picnic on our property and a gazebo to sit under if it were raining. Here in London, we don’t have quite the same luxury. We do, however, have a small garden that we share with the other tenants in our building and that’s where we’d planned to have our picnic, but then rain happened.

I refused to let it thwart our plans entirely, though. So even though it was a little lame, we spread a blanket out on the floor in the middle of our living room and had our picnic – all while trying not to feel weird that we weren’t eating at the table three feet away. Darn you, English weather! But hey, we had cupcakes decorated with flowers and bunnies – how much more Easter-y can you get than that? So there you have it, Easter London-style. How was yours?

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  • Sara Louise
    May 13, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    I think the picnic lunch idea is fantastic, it’s the perfect way to usher in and celebrate spring!
    You know what else is fantastic… that photo of the three of you! Beautiful family :)

  • Stacie Stamper
    April 25, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    Oh, that sweet Lexi, you are doing something right there, you should be proud! And mini Smarties? Elise has just discovered “marts”, that and sixlets or mini M&M’s are about the only candy we let her have, so she would go crazy for those.

    • Sarah Shumate
      April 27, 2014 at 7:55 AM

      Smarties in London aren’t at all what they are in the US! They’re more like M&M’s, so the Smarties inside her chocolate bunny were just like mini M&Ms. Weird, right?

      Sixlets! I love those! I remember being thrilled when I’d get them in my pumpkin on Halloween! {For some reason, that’s the only time I ever remember getting them!}

  • topchelseagirl
    April 24, 2014 at 10:23 AM

    She has grown and what are you talking about your hair looks lovely. Indoor picnics are fun. I had to work all over Easter :-(

  • andrea
    April 24, 2014 at 2:25 AM

    Aw, I think the pictures are lovely! And I miss the UK chocolate at Easter :)

  • Sammy @ Days Like This
    April 23, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    Wait, you only get 3 days break in America for Easter!? Lexie has grown SO much!! I was on a plane back to London on Easter Sunday, but my friend gave me a chocolate bunny that morning, which I ate as I watched Erin Brockovich on the plane

  • rorybore
    April 24, 2014 at 1:38 AM

    Canada has a 4 day weekend too – and it IS fabulous. The kids love it of course because they get 2 short school weeks then. It gives me enough time to clean, shop, cook for Easter meals and goodies. We had mix of rain and sun, but mostly it was much warmer so that is good enough for me!
    I see no Maltesers?? I love those things. They are hard to find over here – you have to settle for those Whoppers instead often.

    • Sarah Shumate
      April 24, 2014 at 11:15 AM

      That is really funny that you mentioned Malteser’s! They were some of the candies we used to fill her eggs with! She loved them! Personally, I think I like Whoppers better. I like how crunchy they are!

      I’m glad you guys had a good Easter! I’m sure you’ll take any bit of warmth Mother Nature sends you!

  • Emma @ AdventuresofaLondonKiwi
    April 23, 2014 at 8:25 PM

    Indoor picnics are SO fun – no ants, no grass in weird places, no sunburn… :D

  • Amy | Club Narwhal
    April 23, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    4-day weeekend!? What a beautiful idea :) It looks like you had a lovely holiday (and now I want to pull out my watercolors :)

  • Alyx
    April 23, 2014 at 1:50 PM

    What a gorgeous family picture! And even though the weather sucked, it sounds like a good easter weekend!! Love how many days you get off in Europe – Germany was the same way.

  • Mandy Southgate
    April 23, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    What a super post Sarah! I love your colourful Easter basket and I really liked Lexie’s paper chase. Our Easter was spent on a road trip in France and it was super!

    • Sarah Shumate
      April 24, 2014 at 11:08 AM

      Wow! That’s one way to celebrate the holiday! Where all did you go? I’d love to see more of France.

      • Mandy Southgate
        April 24, 2014 at 6:30 PM

        We were in the Normandy region so we visited Camembert, Mont St Michel and the American Cemetery and Juno Beach Centre. We also saw the towns of Dinan and Bayeaux. It was amazing!!

        • Sarah Shumate
          April 25, 2014 at 8:35 AM

          A friend of ours went to Normandy over the break and loved it! I hope to make it that way one day. I’m so glad you were able to see so much – it’s nice when you’ve got a car and can see everything on your own time!

  • Katrin
    April 23, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    Sounds like a fantastic Easter weekend, even when the weather was stupid! I can imagine how much you miss your real chickens though! I would do so too! And that is fantastic about the pain, she must have been so happy! I am sure it was hard not to spoil the surprise!

  • Tina @ Girl-Meets-Globe
    April 23, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    It sure was is dismal day, weather wise! You sure made the most of it!!

  • Asmaa
    April 23, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    Aaaw! Lex’s surprise is so cute! Creative :) and hey nothing weird about having a picnic inside- It’s about the ‘mood’ and ‘setting the scene’ things like that… *we’ve done it before :D* It looks like you had a lovely Easter though!

  • Margo @ The Overseas Escape
    April 23, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    Despite the unpleasant weather it looks like you guys had a wonderful day! Happy belated Easter! :)

  • Dannielle @ Chicadeedee
    April 23, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    This still sounds like a nice easter! Stupid English weather. We go to Adam’s mom’s for a big dinner and exchange chocolate easter eggs. I’ve got to admit I love the eggs, but I miss easter baskets! More variety than just chocolate. Glad Lexie got her paints in the end!