Cruising Ducks

Have you heard about "Cruising Ducks"? It's a fun activity started by a 10 year old girl named Abby. Basically, you purchase rubber ducks, make little tags for them, and hide them in any public place on a cruise ship. People love hiding and searching for ducks! Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about cruising ducks.

The goal of this activity is to spread some joy and see how far the ducks travel and where their journey might take them. People hide the ducks on cruise ships, and the people that find them are invited to keep them or re-hide them.

Want to play?

To hide ducks:

1) Buy some ducks. You can use any type of rubber duck. I got these ones at my local dollar store.

2) Write your name, date, and where you are from on the bottoms of the ducks with a Sharpie.

3) Attach tags like the ones I designed below. (You can also add a unique hashtag if you like and ask people to use it when posting. It makes it easier to track your ducks.)

4) Hide the ducks. The only rules are that they must be hidden in public spots, you can't hide them in stores, and you can't throw them overboard.

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

Aren't they adorable?

To search for ducks:

1) Look for ducks on your cruise ship. When you find one, take a picture of the duck, and post it to the Cruising Ducks facebook page.

2) Keep the duck you found or hide it again! If you hide it again, consider adding your name and city to the tag or bottom of the duck. It's fun to see where the ducks have been.

These are the ducks I purchased and tagged for my boys and their cousins to hide. 

Buying ducks is great, but you can also get creative and make your own. Look at the cute duck keychains I made for my boys and their cousins to take on our cruise. They were simple to make, and I love that they are flat, don't take up much space, and are easy to pack. What do you think?

Have you ever been on a cruise? Did you hide or find any cruising ducks? I think it's a simple way to have fun and spread a little joy, don't you?

 (aka East Coast Mommy)


Follow East Coast Mommy on Facebook for more DIYs and ideas for easy and inexpensive family fun here.

Edible DIY Mother's Day Bouquets

Flowers are great, but what could be better than a bouquet your "sweet" mom can eat? Below, I am sharing tutorials on how to make you special lady a bouquet made from her favourite treats. Who wouldn't love a Mother's Day Bouquet made from cupcakes, chocolate bars, or donuts?

To make a cupcake bouquet, you'll need to gather a few basic supplies. I used a dollar store mug, a styrofoam ball, toothpicks, tissue paper, and cupcakes (store bought or homemade).


1) Insert a styrofoam ball into a container.
2) Use toothpicks to secure the cupcakes to the styrofoam ball.
3) Glue tissue paper squares to toothpicks, and insert them into the blank spaces between the cupcakes.

Isn't this an adorable bouquet? It would make a wonderful Mother's Day centrepiece too.

If cupcakes aren't your favourite, a tasty donut bouquet is super easy to make. Simple insert donut holes into skewers, secure the bottoms of the skewers with an elastic, and wrap the bouquet in tissue paper.

A yummy chocolate bar bouquet is another fun options. Use hot glue to secure mini chocolate bars to skewers, use an elastic to secure the skewers together, and wrap the bouquet in tissue paper. Easy peasy!

What could be sweeter than edible Mother's Day bouquet crafted and delivered by my sweet boys?

What type of edible bouquet would you like to receive on Mother's Day? I'm secretly hoping to receive a donut and coffee breakfast in bed. If you see my boys, can you please remind them that apple fritters are my favourite? ;-)

Happy Mother's Day!

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Find more Mother's Day DIYs, tips, and tricks here.

Mother's Day Gift (skin care products)... with free printable tags

I love a Mother's Day gift that is actually useful, don't you? And skincare products are a fantastic choice... especially when you add one of the cute tags I designed. Keep reading for a simple Mother's Day gift idea, including adorable free downloadable tags.

Start by purchasing bath bombs or lip balms. 

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

Use the "You are the BALM" tag to package lip balm.

And use the "You are the BOMB!" tags to package bath balms.

I love the way this unique packaging makes these little gifts extra special. And to make mom feel even more pampered, you could also add a gift card for a spa or to her favourite restaurant. Cute, right?
Happy Mother's Day!

 (aka East Coast Mommy)

Simple Beauty and the Beast Afternoon Tea Party

I have always loved the story of Beauty and the Beast, and I have wanted to host a Beauty and the Beast themed tea party for many years. A few months ago, I decided to do it with a group of Preschoolers. I decorated, and we ate cupcakes and tea sandwiches, drank tea (juice) and made a few crafts. It was easy, inexpensive, and lots of fun... and today I am sharing all the wonderful DIY details of my simple Beauty and the Beast tea party.

Like any party, a good tea party needs simple and festive decorations.

I made a doily banner using paper doilies from the dollar store. I basically just used glue to attach folded doilies over a piece of twine. Then, I embellished the banner with flower clothespins and letters that spelled out "tea". 

I also used an old book to make a book page table runner. Such a simple idea... but it turned out really cute and added some visual interest to the table.

In keeping with the "book" theme, I used some colourful hardcover books to display an "enchanted rose" centrepiece that I made using more dollar store supplies. You can find the full tutorial for this dollar store Beauty and the Beast centrepiece here.

And to complete the decor, I designed this "Be Our Guest" sign. You can download it for FREE by clicking on the photo below, right-clicking, saving it to your computer, and printing it like a regular 8x10 photo.

To keep everyone entertained, we did a variety of Beauty and the Beast themed crafts.

The tea party guests made paper crowns that they decorated with jewel stickers.

The kids also made paper flowers with their pictures in the centre. Cute, right?

Everyone also made enchanted mirrors from tin foil, paper plates, craft sticks and jewels.

And the kids created their own enchanted rose artwork by gluing a picture of a rose and dollar store rose petals to a piece of cardstock.

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

Finally, the party guests crafted their own rocking teapots on paper plates folded in half. 

For food, I kept things simple. We had tea (apple juice) in tiny real glass teacups, cupcakes with sprinkles, and tea sandwiches.

The kids loved the peanut butter sandwiches cut out with flower-shaped cookie cutters.

This was a really simple party theme, but it was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

A Beauty and the Beast tea party would be great for a birthday party, a special afternoon, or a movie night. Do you have little ones that would enjoy these treats and crafts?


Mini Egg Easter Tart

Everyone loves a simple holiday recipe, and today I am sharing one of my favourites. Your family and friends will love the simplicity of this delicious soft and chewy chocolate chip mini egg Easter tart. It's easy to make, and it's full of chocolatey goodness!

Doesn't this look delicious? It's basically a giant chocolate chip cookie filled with candy covered chocolate eggs. 

To make this easy and impressive cookie tart... start with my favorite soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe (which you can find here). Then, scoop out a dozen cookies, and press the rest of the cookie dough into a well-greased tart pan. Finish by pressing some candy covered chocolate mini eggs into the top of the dough.

I baked my chocolate chip cookie tart for at 325 degrees for 40 minutes... but I would suggest 40-50 minutes (depending on your oven and the thickness of your tart).

This giant cookie was a huge hit with my boys. It makes a fantastic Easter dessert, and it pairs perfectly with a glass of cold milk or a hot cup of tea or coffee.

I highly recommend giving this yummy treat a try in your house. You will not be disappointed with mini egg Easter tart.

Gina Bell
(aka East Coast Mommy)

Easter Bunny Bar... with free printable sign

When it comes to holiday entertaining (or just celebrating at home), simplicity is key. For Easter, a bunny bar is the perfect way to serve family and friends. Today, I am sharing the details of my easy and inexpensive bunny bar, including a free printable sign.

To download the bunny bar sign I designed: click on the photo below, right-click, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 8x10 photo.

The sign looks adorable in an inexpensive dollar store frame, don't you think? Display the sign with hot chocolate, bunny tails (marshmallows), and bunny kisses (Hershey kisses).

And an Easter buffet needs some festive cookies. You can find my favourite Easter treats here.

I also love the idea of decorating the table with some homemade Easter decor. How cute are these "no sew" sock bunnies?

Look how cute everything looks when it's displayed on a table with a dollar store tablecloth. I'm pretty sure you could put this whole buffet together for less than $20. Awesome, right?

Are you entertaining family and friends this Easter? I highly recommend setting up this simple bunny bar

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Easter Treats for Classmates... Mazes and Bunnies (with free printable tags)

Sharing Easter treats is a fun way to celebrate the holiday. My boys love sharing goodies with their classmates and friends, but we are always concerned with allergies because we never want to make anyone feel excluded. This year, my boys picked out some cute dollar store trinkets, and I designed some super-cute packaging. Today, I am sharing their choices for this year and the free printable tags we are using.

My middle son chose these little Easter "mazes" that we found at the dollar store. We added a couple of nut free chocolate eggs, and we attached a tag that says, "I hope you have an a'MAZE'ing Easter!" Cute, right?

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

I love how cheerful these little treats are, don't you?

My youngest son opted for these little stretchy bunnies. I packed them in clear cellophane bags, and I added a tag that says, "SomeBUNNY thinks you're a good friend. Happy Easter!" 

Isn't this a sweet Easter treat idea?

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

Seriously... who wouldn't love sharing these adorable bunnies with their buddies?

Do your have kids like to share Easter treats with their friends? These allergy safe Easter treat options are easy, inexpensive and fun. How will you be spreading joy this holiday season?

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Don't miss any of the fun....