April Fools Day Breakfast {donut seeds}

I never put a lot of effort into April Fools day because I am not a big fan of "pranks", but this year, I came up with a simple idea that my boys are going to love. Check out this cute little April Fools Day Treat -- donut seeds.

I filled a clear bag with Cheerios, and I added a little tag that said "donut seeds". To download and print the adorable tag I designed: right click on the picture below, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 4X6 photo.

I plan on adding some purple milk (i.e. milk tinted with food coloring). Cute, right? Do you know someone that would enjoy this special April Fool's Day breakfast? Enjoy!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Simple Easter Teacher Gift {with free printable tags}

My boys and I love their teachers, so we like to give them little treats on special occasions. This year, we put together simple Easter gift bags for our "EGGS"tra special teachers.

I placed a chocolate bunny and chocolate eggs in a clear bag. Then, I used some curling ribbon to attach a cute little tag.

To download this tag (for free): right-click on the picture below, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 4X6 photo.

This really is a simple way to recognize the special teacher in your life, and the free printable tags are sweet, don't you think?

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Sharpie 3D Artwork

My boys have always loved crafting, but as they get older, I like to challenge them with more sophisticated art projects. Last week, my oldest son came home raving about a 3D Sharpie art project that he did at school. I thought it would be fun to replicate it at home with my other boys.

This simple art technique uses: old cereal boxes, yarn, white glue, a glue stick, tin foil, felt, tape and Sharpies

1) Cut a "canvas" from an empty cereal box.
2) Draw a simple design, and cover the design with glue and yarn. Allow to dry.
3) Cover the dull side of a piece of tinfoil with glue (from a glue stick), and place on top of the yarn design.
4) Fold the edges of the tinfoil, and secure to the back of the canvas with tape.
5) Smooth the tinfoil with the piece of felt to make the design "pop".
6) Color with Sharpies. Allow to dry.

I was really impressed with the designs my boys came up with. Doesn't the combination of tin foil and Sharpies create a beautiful effect?

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Leprechaun Trap {with leprechaun bait}

Each year my boys build a leprechaun trap the night before St.Patrick's Day. They spend a lot of time designing and creating their traps, and today I am sharing their 2016 version.

My boys decided that last year's design wasn't tall enough, so they made this one extra tall by stacking boxes. They cut holes in the top of the bottom box, the bottom of the top box, and the top of the top box. Then, they covered the top hole with tissue paper. When the leprechaun steps on it, he'll fall right through!

Of course, the leprechaun will need stairs, so my boys built one set from Lego and another set from pipe cleaners. To set the trap, they used leprechaun bait.

Here is a close up of their final trap.

We have our fingers crossed for success this year... but even if our leprechaun manages to escape, I'm confident he'll leave some gold behind!

Do you set a leprechaun trap for St. Patrick's Day? If you catch one, take a picture and send it to me so I can show my boys.

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)


We didn't catch a leprechaun, but the tricky little guy dropped some gold while he was trying to escape. Maybe next year!

7 Simple Ideas for LEGO Lovers (and new LEGO shows on Netflix)

I have three boys, and they all love LEGO. It really is the perfect toy. It's colourful, and the possibilities for creating are limitless. So... today, I am sharing some of my favorite ideas for LEGO lovers!

1) Make LEGO treats - LEGOs' simple shapes and bright colors make them perfect for creating easy and fun snacks. Rectangle cookies, coloured icing and Skittles can be used to create yummy LEGO cookies. You can also bake LEGO cupcakes (using LEGO chocolate molds) and LEGO cakes (using the "step by step" instructions found here).

2) Make LEGO crafts - You can melt old crayons in LEGO molds to create new bright and cheerful LEGO crayon bricks. You can also design your own LEGO minifigure using the free printable here, or you can make your own life size LEGO (using the tutorial you can find here).

3) Visit LEGOland - If you want to take your LEGO love to the next level, you can plan a trip to LEGOland. Check out my my top 10 LEGOland tips here.

4) Celebrate the holidays with LEGO - With a little imagination, it's easy to incorporate LEGO into holiday celebrations. For St.Patrick's Day my boys used our LEGO to build a leprechaun trap, and at Christmas our "Elf on the Shelf" built himself a LEGO chair.

5) Throw a LEGO party - LEGO makes a perfect party theme. It's a great source of inspiration for games, food, and party favours. When my boys turned four and six, I threw them a fantastic LEGO party, and you can check out our all the DIY LEGO PARTY details here.

6) Organize your LEGO - With mountains of mini figures, LEGO kits, and loose pieces/bricks. I have found a perfect solution for our LEGO organizing needs. Click here to find out what works for us.

7) Watch LEGO shows on Netflix - On March 4, Netflix launched two new shows: LEGO Bionicle and LEGO Friends. My boys are already big fans of LEGO Bionicle.

Do your little ones love LEGO as much as my boys do? Will they be watching LEGO Bionicle, LEGO Friends or both?

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Disclosure: I receive special gifts and perks as part of my affiliation with Netflix.... however (as always) the opinions on this blog are 100% my own.

Easter Treats for Classmates (with free printable tags)

My boys love sharing holiday treats with their friends, but their school has a strict nutrition policy so I like to come up with simple "non food" options. Over the years, I have found that the key to making the treats fun and inexpensive is the packaging. Today, I am sharing the printable for the simple Easter treats my six year old is sharing with his classmates this year.

I found some adorable stretchy bunnies and tiny Easter notebooks at the dollar store. I put them in a little Easter egg covered bags, and stapled the tags I designed to the tops. Cute, right?

To download the tags I designed: right click on the picture below, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 4X6 photo.

These notes could be used with any Easter trinket that your little one chooses, and the treat bags are super-easy to put together. I think it is a fantastic sugar-free Easter treat... don't you?

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

St.Patrick's Day Breakfast (Rainbow Seeds)

I don't usually buy sugary cereals, but I do make an exception on St. Patrick's Day. My boys always look forward to a special breakfast on March 17th, and this year I will be serving RAINBOW SEEDS.

I bought some little green bowls at the dollar store, filled the bowls with Froot Loops, popped the bowls in clear party favour bags, and attached adorable "RAINBOW SEEDS" tags that I designed. Cute, right?

To download the tags I designed (for free): right click on the picture below, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 4X6 photo.

I am planning to serve my rainbow seeds with some green milk (which is regular milk with a drop or two of green food colouring). I am also going to place a few Froot Loops on a straw for an extra touch of fun!

My boys always enjoy their special St.Patrick's Day breakfast, and this year they are going to be delighted with the "rainbow seeds" I will be serving. Do you have a special St.Patrick's Day meal planned?

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Easter Candy Bark

I have been making almond bark for years, and last year I made a Halloween version that was a huge hit with my boys. So, given my love for mini eggs, I decided to make some Easter Candy Bark, and it did not disappoint!

To make Easter Candy Bark:

1) Melt the chocolate according to package directions. (Break up pieces of chocolate, microwave on medium for 1-2 minutes, and stir until smooth.)

2) Pour the melted chocolate onto a piece of waxed paper, and spread it out (gently with a spatula).

3) Place mini chocolate eggs and rainbow sprinkles on top of the melted chocolate.

4) Allow to cool and harden, and then break up the chocolate. (I put it in the fridge to speed up the process.)

It is a simple treat to make, and it tastes delicious. I think this Easter candy bark would be great for "egging" too. Have you ever "egged" your neighbours? You can read all about our "egging" adventures here.

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Find more easy and inexpensive ideas for Easter crafts, recipes, and activities here.

Simple Leprechaun Trap

One of our favorite Saint Patrick's Day traditions is setting a leprechaun trap.  We have been doing it for years, and we have never caught one, but we keep trying.  Leprechauns are tricky, but one of these years, I know we are going to get lucky.  Here's the leprechaun trap we built (from LEGO) last year.

Last year, the boys thought they had designed a fool-proof trap, but the leprechaun managed to escape.  According to my middle son... when the leprechaun fell in the trap, he grabbed the ladder as he was falling, and used it to get out.  Luckily, the tricky leprechaun dropped a bunch of his chocolate gold coins while he was trying to escape.

We always use Lucky Charms as leprechaun bait, and my boys like to package it up and share it with their friends.  You can check out the adorable free printable tags here.

This year, my boys will design a new trap, and I will enjoy watching them do it.  You never know... this might be the year we catch a leprechaun, he will give us his gold, and we can take a super-fun family vacation.  Fingers crossed!

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

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