Halloween 2016

Just a quick post to share my boys' Halloween (and costumes) with you. I hope you are having a spook-tacular day with your little ones. There is definitely a lot of excitement (and chocolate) around here!

My oldest decided he wanted to be a robber, so we threw together a simple DIY robber costume. We started with a striped shirt and black pants, and we added a felt mask (that I sewed using this pattern) and a dollar store black hat. We finished the look by adding a dollar sign (with fabric paint) to a bag we purchased at the dollar store.

My middle son decided to be Captain America. We bought a second hand costume, and I made a DIY Captain America shield from a dollar store frisbee and some duct tape. Easy peasy!

Finally, my youngest wanted to be a Power Ranger, and he borrowed a costume from a friend. He loves it, it cost me nothing, and it doesn't get much easier! lol

My boys all got to be exactly what they wanted to be, and they love their costumes. Isn't it great being a kid?

Happy Halloween from my family to yours. I hope you have a super-fun night, and eat lots of chocolate and treats. The tiny bars don't have any calories on October 31. I'm pretty sure I read that somewhere! ;-)

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Hilarious (and simple) Screaming Pretzels

Do you know "The Scream" paintings by Edvard Munch? These paintings are the inspiration for these adorable screaming Halloween pretzels. Aren't they cute? They are also super-easy to make.

To make these simple treats:

1) Melt baker's chocolate according to the package directions. I melted mine in the microwave at 50% power for 1 minute, stirred the chocolate, and then melted it for another minute. I also added a little bit of vegetable (canola oil) to make the dipping a little bit easier.

2) Dip the pretzels in the melted chocolate, and lift the pretzel out of the chocolate with a fork. (This will allow the chocolate to empty out of the "mouth hole".

3) Place the chocolate dipped pretzels on a piece of wax paper, and add candy eyeballs.

4) Allow the chocolate to harden, and then remove the treats from the wax paper.

These screaming pretzels are simple to make, they are adorable, and they taste great. Do you think your kids would like these festive Halloween treats? My boys love them!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Simple Halloween Treat... for moms

For kids, Halloween is all about candy, but moms deserve a special treat holiday treat too. And after a night of trick-or-treating, doesn't every "mummy" deserve a glass of wine? How cute is this Halloween themed wine bottle?

It's adorable, AND it was super-simple to make. All I did was rip up some strips of masking tape, wrap the tape around the top of the bottle, and attach a pair of googly eyes.

I think this mummy wine bottle is festive and fun for after the kids go to bed on October 31st. It would also be adorable at an adult Halloween party.

Do you know someone that would like this not-so-spooky Halloween treat? Feel free to share this post with them. Happy Halloween!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Disclosure: I receive compensation as part of my affiliation with Woodbridge Wines.... however (as always) the opinions on this blog are 100% my own. #WoodbridgeWines

PS - You can find more easy and inexpensive Halloween ideas here.

DIY Teacup Bird feeder... using a dollar store mug

Recently I was at a craft show where they were selling bird feeders made from tea cups, and I knew it would be simple and inexpensive to make my own. I used some dollar store supplies to create an adorable and charming teacup bird feeder, and today I am sharing all the DIY details.

All you need for this super-easy project is: a teacup, a spoon, a strong adhesive (like E-6000), twine, birdseed, and peanut butter or suet.


1) Use the adhesive to attach the spoon to the cup, and let dry according to package directions. My glue suggested a 48 hour drying time.

2) Tie a piece of twine around the handle.

3) Fill the mug with a mixture of birdseed and peanut butter or suet.

Isn't it a charming little bird feeder?

I've already had some black capped chickadees visiting my new teacup bird feeder. It's such a darling little feeder, and it was extremely simple to make. You could make a bunch for gifts, or you could craft them for your own use. Will you be making one for the birds in your backyard?

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

7 Netflix Inspired Halloween Costumes

Deciding on a Halloween costume is a big decision for a kid, but fulfilling a child's wishes doesn't have to be an expensive or difficult task for a parent. Today I am sharing some simple DIY Halloween costumes ideas inspired by Netflix. I'm also including delightfully frightful titles to add to your Halloween watch list. 

Check out these adorable DIY Halloween costume ideas, and click on the links for more info:

1) LEGO Ninjago inspired costumes - 
I based this no-sew ninja costume on "Zane" the white ninja from LEGO Ninjago. It cost less than $10 to make, and it was a huge hit with my 7 year old. You can find the full tutorial here.

And, if you prefer a black ninja, you can find a fantastic step-by-step tutorial here.

2) Walt Disney Short Films Collection inspired costume - Who doesn't love the characters from Frozen? A couple of years ago, I made this adorable "no sew" Olaf costume for my five year old, and I loved how it turned out. If you have a Frozen fan in your house, you can find the full tutorial and free templates here.

3) Pirates of the Caribbean inspired costumes - Dressing up as a pirate is simple and fun, and it's perfect for kids that ARRRRR on the hunt for adventure. Click on this link to see how my boys and I recycled old clothes and transformed them into simple pirate costumes. 

I have another pirate costume tutorial (including a template for a cardboard sword) here

4) How to Train Your Dragon inspired viking helmet - If your kids are a fan of the movie or the Netflix series, they will love this DIY viking helmet. It's made from paper, tinfoil, and tape, and you can find the full tutorial here.

5) Pee Wee's Big Adventure inspired costume - Seriously... you need to check out this adorable Pee Wee Herman costume here.

6) Care Bears inspired costume - I don't think I could get my boys to dress up as a Care Bear, but if they were younger, I will totally opt for this adorable costume. You can check out the Care Bear cuteness here.

7) King Julien inspired costume - I love how simple and original this costume is. You should totally check out the tutorial for this DIY King Julien costume here.

Once you have settled on a costume, kick back and watch a spooky flick on Netflix. Halloween may only be one day of the year, but with the ultimate guide to streams and screams, there’s enough spooky titles and inspiration to get you in the Halloween spirit all month long. Check out this fantastic stream and scream guide.

What are you planning for Halloween this year? I hope this guide to costumes and scary movies makes your Halloween a little more Spooktacular. Happy Halloween!

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.

Halloween Scavenger Hunt (with free printable)

Halloween is about more than candy. It is about decorating, dressing up, and having some fun. Today, I am sharing a fantastic Halloween scavenger hunt that you can share with your kids. It is perfect for a Halloween party, but it would be great for a simple activity at home too. And... you can download it for FREE below!

To download the scavenger hunt: right-click on the picture above, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 8X10 photo. I printed mine at my local office supply store for $0.39.

You can send the kids out in the neighbourhood looking for the items, or you can print the cards (below) for an easier search. To download the cards: right-click on the picture below, save it to your computer and print it like a regular 8X10 photo. I printed mine onto card stock (for heavier cards) at my local office supply store for $0.48.

If the weather is good, I love the idea of making this an outdoor event.

Isn't this Halloween scavenger hunt a fun idea? If you use my free downloads, let me know.

Happy Hunting!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

PS - You can find more easy and inexpensive Halloween ideas here.

15 Halloween Class Party Treats

Halloween class party treats are one of the reasons kids love October 31st, and my boys really enjoy sharing unique Halloween goodies with their friends.  Sometimes the treats are edible, and sometimes they aren't, but they are always easy, inexpensive and fun.  Here are 15 of our favorite Halloween Class Party Treats.

1) Mummy wrapped treats - Use cheese cloth and googly eyes to transform boring treats into something spooky and special. This is one of my favorite ideas because it is versatile, simple and cute.

2) Vampire treats - Use inexpensive dollar store treats to create unforgettable vampire goodies. You can check out some sweet packaging ideas and download adorable tags (for free) here

3) Halloween play dough kit - This adorable treat includes a package of orange Kool Aid, a pumpkin cookie cutter, and a recipe for homemade Halloween play dough. Click here to download the free printable playdough recipe gift tag.

4) Graham cracker bandaids - Cut up some graham crackers, add some white frosting for gauze, and finished with a smear of red gel icing blood. Simple, fun... and a little gross!

5)  Tic Tac Toe game - Click here to download this adorable Halloween "tic tac toe" board for free. You can use candy, buttons or googly eyes for the markers.

6) Treat bags with special tags - Make traditional treat bags extra special by adding a customized tag.  Click here to find out how I transformed pictures of my boys to make these tags.

7)  Googly eye glasses - These googly eye glasses are fantastic alternatives to candy.  You can find the full "how to" and a free downloadable bag topper here. (These toppers would work with "eyeball" candies or bouncy balls too.)

8)  Cookies with candy corn or candy eyeballs - For a simple treat, make your favorite cookie recipe and add a piece of candy corn or a candy eyeball to the top.  It doesn't get any easier than this! You can find the recipe for our favorite Halloween cookie here.

9)  Photos with treats - For a candy free treat, try pairing pictures with little toys or pencils.  You can find the full tutorial here.

10)  Mazes This little "maze" game is inexpensive and guaranteed to be a hit with little ones. You can download the "I think you are an a'MAZE'ing friend" free printable gift tag here.

11) Ghost Pops - Ghosts are always fun for Halloween, and we have two favorite ghoulish treats.  To learn how to make our Oreo Ghost Pops, click here.  To make the sucker ghosts: cover a sucker with a piece of tissue paper, secure with an elastic, and add a face with googly eyes and a marker.

12)  Cupcakes with rings - To make these simple cupcakes, just bake mini cupcakes and insert a plastic ring (after washing, of course).

13)  Wormy cupcakes - These are an annual favorite around here. Bake cupcakes, frost with chocolate icing, dip in dirt (Oreo cookie crumbs), and insert some gummy worms.

14) Cookie pops - To make super-easy cookie pops, just add some sticks to "ready to bake" cookies.  Isn't everything more fun on a stick?

15) Eyeball treats - Nothing says "spooky Halloween treat" like a goodie with an eyeball (or two) on it.  You can find the full instructions for an eyeball cake (here), Halloween candy bark (here), and screaming pretzels (here).

And don't forget the teacher.  Click here for all the cute DIY details you'll need to make this cute teacher treat!

What is your favorite class party treat?  Did it make my list? I'm always looking for new ideas, so feel free to share your favourites in the comments.

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

PS (These pretzel brooms are cute too! Package pretzels with a paper straws and tie them with ribbons. Pretty cute, eh?)

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