Super Fun Giveaway - CLOSED

June 14, 2011 {edit} ... and the winner is... comment #7...Jennifer Verge!  Congratulations!

As a mom of three boys, it isn't always easy to find cute accessories. However, at Easter, I found (and bought) the most adorable "little man ties" from a crafty mom who runs an online boutique called Baby D.  

My boys LOVE music so the cute guitar fabric was perfect and, of course, they looked ADORABLE -- see for yourself {shameless I know!}.  


Baby D  has tons of great stuff -- the ties are my favorite, but I also really love the suspenders.  

So, ready for the good news????  When I let Baby D know how much I loved the guitar ties, they sent me one to give away to one of my readers.  How nice is that???

Want to win this 9 inch tie ($19 value)?  Just leave me a comment telling me which Baby D product is your favorite.  I will select one lucky reader on June 14, 2011 (contest closes at midnight on June 13, 2011).  Easy!  Just the way I like it.  :-)

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 me a comment telling me which Baby D product is your favorite.
  3. Contest is open to Canadian and US residents only.
  4. This contest is not being hosted or sanctioned in any way by facebook.
  5. Prize will be accepted as awarded.

Making Magnets: Three Ways

My fridge has become a catch-all for pictures, appointment cards/invites, notices, and artwork. I thought it would be fun to make some super cute (not to mention... easy, quick, and inexpensive!) magnets.  I am already feeling more at peace with the chaos covering my fridge.  :-) 

Check out the three magnet projects I did, and let me know what you think.

Project #1:  Clothespin magnets

You'll need:
  • clothespin
  • magnet strip (I cut mine from a roll)
  • ribbon
  • button (or other embellishment)
  • glue gun
1)  Using your glue gun, glue the ribbon to the outside of the clothespin.  Add a button for embellishment.

2)  Attach a strip of magnet to the back of the clothespin.

Project #2:  Photo magnets

You'll need:
  • Pictures
  • Photo Magnet paper (I got mine at the Dollar Store)
  • Scissors

1)  Cut the paper to the rough size of the photo.

2)  Remove the paper from the back of the magnet paper, and attach photo.  Cut out the picture.

Project #3:  Photo pockets

You'll need:
  • Labels or stickers
  • Magnetic Photo Sleeves

1)  Attach labels or stickers to identify the contents of the photo sleeve.  Then, use the sleeve as a "pocket" for loose papers that you might need to keep handy.  I like to use mine for appointment cards, birthday invites, etc....

Which is your favorite?

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Super Summer Checklist

We had our first sunny day yesterday, and it got me thinking (and excited) about summer.  I LOVE summer!  So.... I made a "to do" list today... and it doesn't involve cleaning the dust bunnies out from under my couch.  :-)  Here is a list of:

50 fun things the boys (including my handsome husband whenever possible) and I are going to do this summer.

1) Celebrate Canada Day
4)  Go to a splash pad
5)  Swim in our blow up pool
6)   Go to a farmer's market
7)   Go to the library
8)   Make homemade bubbles
9)   Play pirates
11) Collect shells at the beach
12) Build a sandcastle
13) Swim in the ocean
14) Visit a wildlife park
16) Run through the sprinkler
17) Play baseball
18) Play soccer
19) Ride our bikes
20) Take a ferry boat ride
21) Spend time at a cottage
22) Do a science experiment
23) Watch fireworks
25) Make cookies
26) Play mini golf
27) See a play
29) Make play dough
30) Play hopscotch
31) Camp in the backyard
32) Take a trip to Halifax
33) Take a trip to PEI
34) Play with our giant Frisbees
37) Go on a scavenger hunt
38) Make a summer craft
40) Play street hockey
41) Visit a museum
42) Attend the Antigonish Highland Games 
43) Paint with chocolate pudding
44) Have ice cream for supper
45) Roast marshmallows 
47) Mail a letter
48) Take a bubble bath
49) Have pancakes for supper
50) Have a PJ day

The boys decorated our lists, and we bought some cheap frames at the dollar store.  Every time we do something on the list, they "check" it off by putting a sticker over the number.  This is already so much fun!

You can download a pdf version of our list here.

What is your favorite summer activity?  Did it make my list?

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

PS...**You can find the 2013 version here.**

Featured at:

Come Together Kids

Double Duty Felt Flower

This craft is great because the end product can be used in two ways -- as an adorable felt flower ring (for a child or an adult) or as a tiny ponytail holder for a little girl with fine hair.

You'll need:
  • Hair Elastic (the small ones -- about the size of a Cheerio
  • Scrap felt
  • Button
  • Scissors
  • Needle & Thread
  • Paper and Pen (to make a template for the flower)

First, cut two tiny flowers out of felt. (Use a paper template to make it easier.)

Second, sew the button onto the middle of one of the flowers, and stitch the two felt pieces together (button side up).

Third, sew the elastic onto the back of the flower.  (For the ring, or fine hair, use a tiny elastic.  But for thicker hair, you can use a bigger elastic.  I have a big one for myself!  :-)

That's it... easy as 1, 2, 3

These are so easy, you could make a bunch for Christmas gifts or for party favors (for a birthday, a shower, or a destination wedding)

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Learning through Planting

Let me start out this post by being perfectly honest.... I know NOTHING about gardening.  {Seriously!}  However.... I have been wanting to plant something with the boys for a long time.  So... armed with some advice from a friend, the boys and I headed to Canadian Tire and the Dollar Store to collect the things we needed. 

We bought:
  • Three pots... one for each boy
  • Potting soil
  • Watering Can
  • Seeds
We are growing Nasturtium.  The seeds are big (which made for easier planting), and the flowers will be bright yellow and orange.  Also, the package says they are "very easy to grow and tolerant of drought and poor soil".  Sounds foolproof, right?  We'll see!  lol

First, the boys filled the pots with soil.

Second, the boys planted the seeds 1 inch apart and 1 inch deep.  They loved pushing the seeds down into the dirt.

Third, the boys watered their seeds.  (These plants like damp watering and full sun.)

That's it!  Not sure how successful this will be... but I will keep you posted.  :-) 

If nothing else, the boys learned something, and we had a fun afternoon planting seeds!

**Update (June 26):  Look what we did!  The plants grew, and we moved them outside.  Fun, eh?  Maybe next year we'll tackle a real garden.  :-)

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

** If you haven't already "liked" me on facebook, I would love to have you join me here.

Tiny Tooth Fairy Bag

Think about it... if you were a child, wouldn't you be afraid of a fairy coming into your room while you were sleeping????  This little tooth fairy bag is the perfect solution because it can be hung outside a child's room.  

It is a great size for a tooth and a coin or two, and it is quick and easy to make with scraps of felt and ribbon.

You can make your own using this tutorial as a guide, or you can buy one from me at Cute as a Button Designs.  Here is how I made it:

You will need:
  • a 6cm X 12cm piece of scrap felt
  • a small piece of white scrap felt (for a tooth)
  • a 19cm length of ribbon
  • thread and a needle
  • scissors

Cut a small tooth shape out of a piece of white scrap felt and stitch it to the top section of the 6cm X 12 cm rectangle of felt.

Flip the felt over (so that the "wrong side" is facing up and the tooth is on the bottom) and stitch on the ribbon.

Fold the fabric in half (so that the tooth is on the front of the bag) and stitch the two sides closed -- leaving an opening at the top.

I made three blue ones for my boys.

Now everyone can sleep soundly knowing that the tooth fairy won't be going in anyone's room in the middle of the night {wink}!

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

PS (If you like this, you should also check out this post on how to make a "tooth taxi".)

* If you haven't already "liked" me on facebook, I would love to have you join me here.

5 Unique "Loot Bag" Ideas

Children love "Loot Bags", but as a parent they are something I struggle with.  I am always on the lookout for fun alternatives to the "traditional" loot bag. Today I am sharing five of my favorite easy party favor ideas.

Here are five things I think are easy, inexpensive, and unique:  
1)  Something Personal/Handmade:   
  • These cute "treat jars" {see below} can be easily put together using a picture of the birthday boy/girl, an old baby food jar, some paint, and some Modge Podge.  Super easy!
  • Frames can be painted/decorated, and a picture of the guest can be taken at the party and delivered at a later date.  {You could write something like.... "The content of this frame is currently hollow, but a really cute picture is certain to follow.  Thanks for coming to my party."}
  •  Bags can be filled with balls, and a tag can be attached that says "Thanks for coming.  I hope you had a BALL at my party."

2)   Something Practical:

Check out these personalized labels from Oliver's Labels.  What a fantastic idea!  For $4.99 (with a minimum order of 6), each party package contains: 5 original labels, 5 mini labels, 2 shoe labels, and a mini bag tag.  Fun and practical... it doesn't get much better than that.

3)  Something Yummy:

Who doesn't like cookies?  ... and these ones from Noelle's The Custom Cookie Company are delicious and fun!  For $5.25 each, you can get custom cookies to match the theme, colours, or decor of the party.  I love the idea of a number with the birthday boy/girl's name on it.  The Pirate happy faces are also adorable, and would be popular with my boys.

4) Something Girly:

Full disclosure... I make these Personalized Princess Wands {and sell them here}... but I had to include them because I think they are so really cute.  The Wands are $10 each, but you could make your own if you wanted to keep costs down.  I painted a dowel pink and added a hand-stitched felt star to the top. 

5)  Something Educational:

I love books, and so do my boys!  I really like the idea of letting the birthday boy/girl give out their favorite book to their friends.  

Now aren't each of these things better than a bag full of candy?  What are some of your favorite loot bag ideas?  

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

PS (I have a great list of 30 unique loot bags ideas that you can find here.)

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