SIMPLE Way to Save Money on Summer PJs

Every Spring I pack away the winter clothes and fill all the kids' drawers with summer clothes.  This year, I realized that I had very few pairs of summer PJs for the boys, and I came up with a great alternative to going out and spending a lot of money on a bunch of new summer PJs.


Want to know how I saved some money?  I went to Walmart and bought a bunch of plain white t-shirts.  The shirts were 2 for $6... so $3 each.  I think they work great as tops with the bottoms of their winter PJs.  Pretty clever, right?


I love how simple this idea is... and I am excited about the money I am going to save on summer PJs.  More money for ice cream!


Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Indoor Campfire

Today I want to share a really simple indoor activity that my 4 year old came up with.  We decided to play "indoor camping", and my little guy had a fantastic idea for an indoor campfire.


We put a flashlight inside a container (which was actually our play tunnel), and then we covered the flashlight with crumpled up tissue paper.  Doesn't it look like a real fire?


We sang songs around our fire and pretended to "roast" marshmallows.  Such a fun way to spend an afternoon!  Have you ever played "indoor camping" with your little one?


Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Alphabet Crafts - Letter N

My 4 year old and I are "crafting our way through the alphabet", and yesterday we had some fun with the letter N.  We made an adorable little paper necktie (that you can really wear), and we did some letter N printing practice.


To make the paper necktie:

1)  Download the template here.
2)  Print the template onto white card stock.
3)  Color the tie with crayons. 
4)  Punch two holes in the tie, add some reinforcements, and tie on some elastic (so that the child can easily put the tie around his/her neck).


I think this would be a fun craft for Father's Day too, don't you?  It's easy, inexpensive, and really cute.

After our craft, we did a little printing practice. If you want to practice printing the letter N with your little one, you can right-click on the picture below, save it to your computer, and print it.


Interested in more letter N crafts? What about this adorable "N is for nest" picture. The next is made from ripped up pieces of a lunch bag.



Or... you could decorate an N to look like "night". Use star stickers and a paper moon.



Fun, right? Next up, the letter "O"!


Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)



You can find all our alphabet crafts here.


Alphabet Crafts - Letter M

My four year old and I are still "crafting our way through the alphabet".   Yesterday we hit our halfway point, and we had some fun with the letter M.  We made a cute paper bag monkey puppet, and we did a little letter M printing practice.



To make a paper bag monkey puppet:

1)  Print out the template onto card stock.  You can download a pdf version of my monkey puppet template here.


2)  Color the pieces of the monkey, and cut them out.  Then, use glue to add two googly eyes.


3)  Use glue or tape to put all the pieces in place.  Make sure to put the top half of the mouth above the fold and the bottom half below the fold.  This will allow you to make the monkey "talk".

Cute, right?  After our craft, we did a little printing practice. If you want to practice printing the letter M with your little one, you can right-click on the picture below, save it to your computer, and print it.


And you if you are looking for more "letter M" crafts and activities, why not try decorating a letter M with crayons and stickers?



Or you could transfer a "letter M" into an adorable mouse. All you need is some paper, crayons, glue and googly eyes.



Fun, right? Next up, the letter "N"!


Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)


Find more alphabet crafts here.


Alphabet Crafts - Letter L

My four year old and I are still "crafting our way through the alphabet".  Yesterday, we had some fun with the letter L.  We made a fun paper plate lion mask, and we did a little letter L printing practice.


Seriously... doesn't he make an adorable lion?

To make your own lion mask:

1)  Cut a circle from the centre of a paper plate.
2)  Cut strips of yellow and orange construction paper.  (Mine were about 10cm long.)
3)  Glue the strips to the outside of the paper plate, and allow to dry.


After our craft, we did a little printing practice. If you want to practice printing the letter L with your little one, you can right-click on the picture below, save it to your computer, and print it.




And if you are looking for more Letter L activities, you could make this adorable "L is for Ladybug" craft. Draw an L, color it black, glue on a black circle head, glue on a red circle cut in half, glue on googly eyes, and add a few details with black marker.


You could also decorate a letter L with crayons and stickers.


Fun, right?  Next up, the letter "M"!


Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Alphabet Crafts - Letter K

My four year old and I are continuing our "crafting our way through the alphabet" adventure. Last week, we had some fun with the letter K. We made a paper bag Kite, and we did a little letter K printing practice.




To make a paper bag kite:

1)  Use a hole punch to make four holes in the corners of the open end of the bag.  Use reinforcements to make the bag a little stronger around the holes.

2)  Cut two equal lengths of string, and tie each one through the holes (on the same side of the bag).  Then, attach the two loops with a longer piece of string.  Attach the loose end to a popsicle stick.

3)  Decorate the paper bag with crayons.

4)  Use tape to attach strips of tissue paper to the closed end of the paper bag.  The tissue paper really "flies" in the wind.



After our craft, we did a little printing practice. If you want to practice printing the letter K with your little one, you can right-click on the picture below, save it to your computer, and print it.


And if you are looking for more letter K crafts, check out this adorable "King" craft made from a letter K. Start with a letter K, add a paper crown decorated with jewel stickers, and then glue on a mustache, googly eyes, and a button nose.



And this fun "K is for key" craft is a great way to work on fine motor skills. Draw a key shape on a piece of paper, rip up tin foil, and glue the tin foil to the key.



Or, for something really simple, just decorate a letter K with crayons and stickers.



Fun, right? Next up... the letter "L"!


Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)


Find more alphabet crafts here.


Preschool Graduation Treat...with free printable

Did I mention that my youngest boy is heading off to "big" school in September?  I can hardly believe it!  It is a huge milestone, and to mark the occasion, I came up with this simple Preschool Graduation Treat.


Isn't it cute?  I put this cupcake in a plastic drinking glass, popped it into a clear loot bag, added a cute tag, and tied it with twine.  

You can download your own copy of the tag I designed by right clicking on the 4X6 picture below.  Save it to your computer, and print it like a regular photo.  (There are two tags per print.)  With one hour photo processing, you can quickly put together enough treats for an entire graduation class of pint-size cutie pies!

I just love an easy and inexpensive treat idea, don't you?  These Preschool Graduation Treats are sure to be a hit on your little graduate's special day.


Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Stuck on You {Review and Giveaway} - CLOSED

And the winner is... Kathleen Mc18 May 2014 23:42
Is it bad I want to keep one for myself? I love the flowers!

When I was a child, I could never find anything with my name on it.  I think that is one of the reasons why I am so in love with the adorable products from Stuck on You.


I was recently sent these stainless steel drink bottles for my boys.  Each boy picked their own design, and they are all totally cute!  And the good news... I have one to give away to one of you.  If you are the winner, you'll be able to choose your own name and design.  Cute, right?


All you need to do is leave a comment below (before June 5) letting me know which design you think you'd choose.  (You can find all the fun designs here.)  Easy peasy... just make sure you log in or leave your email address so that I can contact you if you win!

While you are there, you'll also want to check out all the other fun products from Stuck on You.  They have name labels, shoe labels, book labels, clothing labels, party in a cup, bag tags, backpacks, lunch boxes, library bags, wall art, height charts, t-shirts, wooden name puzzles, and more.

This contest is open World Wide, so everyone can enter.

Good luck!


Gina Bell
(aka East Coast Mommy)

Disclosure: I received free products in association with this review and giveaway.... however (as always) the opinions on this blog are my own.

Contest Rules {I am a mom... I can't help it}:
1) The winner of the contest will be chosen by the Random Number Generator.
2) To enter the contest, you must leave a comment on this post. Contest is open worldwide.
3) This contest is not being hosted or sanctioned in any way by Facebook.
4)  Contest closes on June 4, 2014 at 11:59pm.
5)  Prize will be accepted as awarded. 
6)  Winner will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to respond. After 48 hours the prize will be forfeited, and another winner will be selected. 

14+ DIY Party Themes and Tutorials

There are many fabulous kid party ideas on the web, but many are put together by companies and teams of designers.  The great thing about these DIY parties {that I hosted for my boys} is that there are are many easy and inexpensive DIY elements that are totally "doable" by real moms.  I even provide many free templates and printables.



Click on the links {party titles} below for all the fun DIY details.

1)  The ultimate DIY LEGO Party

2)  The cutest DIY Circus  and a sweet Carnival Party



3)  A stupendous DIY Super Hero Party

4)  A rip roaring DIY Race Car Party

5)  An out of this world DIY Star Wars Party

6)  A magical DIY Harry Potter Party

8)  A marvellous DIY Music Party

10)  A rootin' tootin' Cowboy Party

11)  A perfect DIY Pirate Party

12) A wonderful DIY Jake and the Neverland Pirates Party (perfect if you have an affection for Peter Pan and Neverland)

13) A heavenly DIY Hockey Party and a simple DIY Hockey Party

14) A Marvellous DIY Movie Party

15) Simple Backyard Olympics

16) Fun Pool Party (The shark cutout and pool noodle garland are adorable!)



17) Sweet "ice cream for supper" party (It requires very little prep, and it is a fantastic way to mark the end of summer.)


Aren't these DIY party themes fabulous?  I just love a good DIY party.  What was the theme of the best birthday party you have hosted?


Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)
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