A FANTASTIC Fundraising (and Holiday Gift) Idea for HOCKEY Fans

My boys are huge fans of Summer Skates. They are comfortable, high quality, customizable, and stylish. The front of the sandals are made with REAL HOCKEY SKATE LACES, and you can add your favourite team or player name/number. They are perfect for summer, and we love them for hotel rooms too! Summer skates make great custom gifts, and they also provide a fantastic opportunity for fundraising. I'm sharing all the information you need to know below.

*Disclosure - I was given Summer Skates for free in exchange for my honest review of the product. As always, the views expressed on this blog are 100% my own... and my whole family genuinely loves these sandals.

1) A new ALL BLACK sandal just launched. I love this versatile option, don't you? I ordered a pair for myself, and my youngest is already trying to steal them from me. 😀

2) A new TRAGICALLY HIP sandal just launched. Aren't these awesome? I ordered a pair for my husband for Christmas... but shhhh... don't tell him.

3) Summer Skates has a pink "fight cancer" sandal. The sandals are super-cute, and a percentage of every sale goes to fight cancer at Princess Margaret Hospital. With their customers, Summer Skates has donated over $100,000 since 2014.

4) Summer Skates offers custom team orders. How fun would it be to have a set of custom team sandals? Here's what you need to know:

a) 12 pair minimum order per custom logo

b) $29.99 per custom pair (volume discounts start at 50 pairs)

c) Order needs to be submitted with Vector File Format (or a one-time $50 Vectorization Fee and Summer Skates will provide you a file for future use)

d) You must have the "Rights of Use" of the custom logo you are submitting with your order

e) Summer Skates will send a pre-production photo proof in 2-3 business days for approval

f) Once Approved, Summer Skates will ship in less than 15 business days guaranteed (usually avg 10 business days)

5) Summer skates offers a 25% online fundraising webstore. This is a great fundraising opportunity because it is EASY, and there are NO setup costs. You get a dedicated online store (e.g. here), which will allow you to sell your custom team sandals and koozies plus additional designs... which will allow you to reach a large audience of team members, family, and friends.

The fundraising team gets 25% of net proceeds.

6) KOOZIE (drink holders made with skate laces) make great stocking stuffers. They come in 2 packs, 4 packs and 6 packs.

7) You can get a FREE matching KOOZIE when you buy an NHL player sandal now. Who doesn't love getting something for free? It's a wonderful gift idea for a super fan! We have an array of Toronto Maple Leaf koozies in our house.

As a hockey mom to three boys, I've purchased a lot of hockey clothing over the years. Summer Skates really are the perfect gift for hockey fans. They are stylish, customizable, high-quality, and comfortable. (And as a mom, I love that they are washable. You can pop them in the washer and air dry them to get rid of stinky bacteria!) 

I highly encourage you to add them to your "gift to give" list this year. Let me know if you have any questions.

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

PS (If you have questions about sizing, this chart should help.)

A Birthday Letter to my Oldest Boy on his 15th Birthday

Every year on my boys' birthdays, I write them letters letting them know how special they are to me. I think of the letters as written "snapshots" of the previous year, and I hope my words capture a little bit of my boys' personalities on paper. Today, I am sharing a birthday letter for my oldest son on his 15th birthday.

My sweet first born son,

It seems like only yesterday you were a baby in my arms, and now you are only a few years away from graduating high school. I honestly can not believe how quickly the years are flying by.

It's sad for me to see my little boy slipping away, but I couldn't be more proud of the young man that you are becoming. I am grateful every day that I get to be your mom.

  • This year we lived through a pandemic, and you adapted to it perfectly. You missed your sports, but found other ways to fill your days. You played outside with your brothers, you organized a study group and homeschooled with your buddies, you learned to cook, you played guitar, and you travelled the Atlantic bubble with your family.
  • You broke your arm in two places, and I couldn't believe you broke another bone (the third in three years). You were heartbroken (as was I), but you quickly turned your focus to the things you had control over. You focussed on your diet and fitness, you took a reffing course, and you continued to practice with your hockey team. Your positive attitude and strong work ethic make me so proud of you!
  • Your brothers are your best buddies, you love your cousins, and you have tons of friends. 
  • Peanut butter sandwiches, spaghetti, and steak are your favourite foods. You love the Toronto Maple Leafs, Auston Matthews is your favourite hockey player, and your hockey number is 34.
Happy birthday my darling boy. You may be turning into an adult, but you'll always be my first baby. I love you to the moon and back!




5 Plastic Bulb Ornament Ideas

Clear plastic bulbs are easy to find anywhere craft supplies are sold, and they are wonderful for making unique and personalized DIY ornaments. Adults and children can have a lot of fun creating ornaments with this versatile crafting material. Today, I am sharing 5 of my favourite plastic bulb ornament ideas.

1) Fill the bulb with tiny momentos - Include tiny trinkets that relate to something meaningful that happened in the current year. For 2020, I filled my bulb with an Amazon box, a little roll of toilet paper, and tiny mask.

2) Add a ribbon - This is a great ornament for a child to make. The child can cut a piece of ribbon equal to his/her height and place it in the ribbon. Then, they can add a tag that says "This ribbon is special and I'll tell you why. It's as long as I am high." The child can write their name, age, and height on the back of the tag.

To print the tags, I designed: click on the picture below, right-click, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 4x6 photo.

3) Insert a photo - Nothing is more personal than a picture, so adding a photo to a clear bulb is a wonderful idea. A photo in a bulb makes a perfect gift and/or keepsake. 

4) Fill the bulb with candy - Candy is colourful and fun. I love the idea of filling a bulb with goodies. Last Christmas, I filled bulbs with Skittles and added a "May your days be Merry and Bright" gift tag. It's a cute secret Santa gift or stocking stuffer.

To print the tags I designed: click on the picture below, right-click, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 4x6 photo.

5) Create a keepsake - Find something sentimental, and pop it in a plastic bulb. Graduation tassels and baby hats are perfect options. I made these cute bulbs for my boys, and I hope someday they hang them on trees in their own homes.

Have you ever made a plastic bulb ornament? You can fill them with anything... paper, glitter, trinkets, ribbon, etc. 

You really are only limited by your imagination, which is what makes them so fun!

Let me know what you've made. I'm always looking for new ideas. 

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

5 Ideas for Breakfast for Dinner

Dinnertime can be a challenge for busy families, so it's always fantastic to have quick meal ideas ready to go. Breakfast foods are easy to make and don't require a lot of ingredients, so breakfast for dinner is a wonderful mealtime solution. Today, I'm sharing FIVE of my favourite ideas for breakfast for dinner.

Quiche - Quiche is a wonderful family friendly supper idea. What's not to like about bacon mixed with egg and cheese? You can find my favorite SIMPLE bacon quiche recipe here. Add some fruit, a salad, or veggies... and you are good to go!

French Toast - French toast paired with fruit (and a bit of maple syrup) is one of my kids' favourite meals. 

To make French Toast, I like to use Brioche bread... but any bread works well. For each two pieces of bread, beat together: 1 egg, 1 tbsp milk, and a 1/8 tsp cinnamon. Then, dip the bread slices into the egg mixture, and cook them in a lightly buttered pan until they are brown on both sides. I serve them with a light dusting of powered sugar and real maple syrup.

Scrambled egg wraps - This is a simple option... and younger children love it. Scramble eggs, and pop them in a wrap with some grated cheese. I like adding some salsa... but that is optional.

For younger kids, these little clips from the dollar are great and make the wraps must easier for littles ones to eat.

Pancakes - Pancakes paired with fruit is another simple meal option that is popular with children and adults. I like to have homemade pancake mix in the pantry to make meal time even easier. You can find my favourite pantry pancake mix recipe here.

Egg in a Hole - This id something my dad used to make for me when I was a child, and it was always a favourite of mine. Now, I make it for you my family. Butter the bread, cut out the middle, and pop and egg in the middle. I love this simple breakfast for dinner meal idea!

Is your family a fan of "breakfast for dinner"? What are your favourites? If you haven't tried all of the ideas I'm sharing today, give them a try. I'd love to hear what you think.

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

5 Tips for Making School Lunches that Kids will Actually Eat

We're a couple of months into the new school year, and lunches are already starting to get a little boring. Am I right?!? Are you looking for a few fresh ideas? Today, I am sharing 5 tips for making school lunches that kids will actually eat.

1) Make snacks for lunch - My kids love things that are easy to grab and eat, and serving snacks for lunch works perfectly. Some people opt for fancy Bento boxes, but my older kids prefer a collection of individual dishes. It also makes it easy to hit all the different food groups and create a balanced lunch.

2) Make breakfast for lunch - My kids love breakfast foods, so taking french toast or pancakes in a thermos is always a popular lunch option. Cereal is a simple choice too!

3) Stock the freezer with homemade goodies - I love having individually wrapped goodies in the fridge ready to pop in the lunch boxes. My kids love taking homemade biscuits and cookies.

4) Mix up some smoothies - Smoothies are wonderful healthy options, but making them in the morning can be time consuming. Making them in bulk and freezing them in these jam jars is perfect. Check out the full "how to" here.

5) Include a sweet treat - A sweet treat is something for kids to look forward to receiving in their lunch box, and it can be a good motivator for encouraging them to eat the healthy items. In our house, the rule is that the cookie can't be eaten unless the other items are eaten too. Clever, right?!?

I love finding new, creative, and EASY ideas for kid's lunches, don't you? What are your favourite ways to add variety and fun to lunch boxes? It's a long school year, so I can use as much help as I can get! 

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

7 Covid-Friendly Ways to Celebrate Halloween

Like everything else, Halloween is a bit different this year with Covid restrictions in place. However, there are lots of ways to still keep it fun for kids. Today, I am sharing ideas a few ideas for social distanced (Covid-friendly) Halloween fun!

1) Safe trick or treating - Some people are not comfortable with trick or treating this year, but for those that are, social distancing and proper hygiene are extremely important. People who are handing out treats should sanitize their hands between visitors and keep high touch areas (such as door handles) clean. Trick or treats should try not to gather in large groups, and they should wash their hands before heading out and when they return home.

Having pre-packaged bags of treats (that prevent several kids from touching the same treats) is a great idea too. How cute are these gloves full of goodies? You can even print off a "punny" sign for free here.

2) Decorate - Investing some extra time decorating this year is a fantastic idea. And if you want to get the whole neighbourhood involved, you can opt for a house, window, or door decorating competition. 

It's fun decorating, but driving or walking around looking at other family's decorations is enjoyable too!

3) Halloween movie night - A festive movie night at home is a simple, covid-friendly way to celebrate Halloween. You can find my favourite treat idea and Halloween movie choices here.

4) "Boo" the neighbours - My boys have been "booing" the neighbours since 2011, and it's a perfect activity for this year. Fun treats... and no contact required. Find the full instructions and free printable sheets here.

5) Carve pumpkins, eat the seeds, and make some magic - Carving pumpkins is a tradition in most families, but don't forget to cook the seeds and plant a few to create some magic!

Find a few pumpkin carving ideas here.

Cook the seeds. (To roast pumpkin seeds: clean and pat them dry, spread on a cookie sheet, drizzle with melted butter, sprinkle with salt, and bake at 300 for approximately 45 minutes... stirring occasionally.

Plant a few "magic" pumpkin seeds. Find out how to create the magic here.

6) Play Halloween Bingo or go on a Halloween Scavenger Hunt - Playing games on Zoom or going on an outdoor scavenger hunt is a great way to celebrate this year. You can create your own games, or you can download the scavenger hunt I designed (for free) here.

7) Costume Contest and Parade - DIYing costumes, and showing them off in the neighbourhood is the best way to celebrate Halloween. Organizing a parade or costume party is a wonderful covid-friendly option this year. Check out my 25 FAVOURITE no-sew DIY costume ideas here.

There are many covid-friendly ways to celebrate Halloween this year, but these are 7 of my favourite options. What will you be doing on October 31?

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Simple (and cheap) Ways to Decorate a Door for Halloween

A blank door makes a perfect canvas for inexpensive Halloween decorating. With a few cheap supplies, you can create a vignette that makes a huge impact. Today, I am sharing my favorite easy and inexpensive ways to decorate a door for Halloween.

Creating a large shadowy piece of artwork is a fanastic door decorating option. I used a couple of pieces of bristol board to create this spooky forest scene. I drew it, cut it out, and attached it to the door with painter's tape. Cute, right?!?!

A white door makes a good "mummy" too. Use painter's tape to cover the door in strips of cheesecloth, and add a couple of googly eyes made from cardstock. I love this one!

Alternatively, you can just add a wreath to an interior or exterior door of your home. This is a DIY wreath I made from a pool noodle. It was easy to make, really inexpensive, and I love it! You can find the step by step instructions for this Halloween wreath here.

How are you decorating the doors in your home for Halloween? I hope you try one of my easy and inexpensive DIY ideas.

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

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