Halloween 2018

Just a quick update to let you know how our Halloween went down this year. As always, there was a mad dash between school, hockey practice, and getting ready to trick-or-treat... but we managed to get everything done. Pumpkins were carved, and three boys left our house happily with the three costumes they designed and I put together.  Check out their DIY costumes below.

This year, my oldest son went as Clark Kent (aka Superman). We bought an $8 t-shirt from Walmart, and added a shirt, tie, and glasses. Everything was secured with safety pins... and voila... a super hero in disguise.

My middle son went as Chewbacca. We already had the mask, so he added brown pants, a brown sweater, brown fuzzy mitts, and a duct tape bandolier. It was the perfect costume for this Star Wars fan.

My youngest son decided to be a "fancy waiter zombie". I'm not entirely sure this is a real thing, but he seemed to have a very clear idea of what he wanted: a fancy outfit, white make-up, and a body part on a tray. He was happy with how it turned out, and I think he looked great... so we'll call it a success.

Kids are dressed, pumpkins are carved, and everyone is out collecting candy. It doesn't get much better than that.

I can't wait for the kids to get home and tell me all about their adventures... and I won't mind if they share a bit of their candy with me too. Happy Halloween everyone!

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Halloween Candy Alternatives Kids Will LOVE... including lots of free printable tags

No child should feel left out at Halloween, so it's important to have some candy-free, allergy-safe Halloween treat options available for trick-or-treaters. I love finding fun trinkets and packaging them in a cute way, and today I am sharing some of my favourite options (and free printable tags) with you.

1) Halloween "Booo"bles - These adorable (free) printable tags transform boring bubbles into a fun Halloween treat. Find the tags and details here.

2) Halloween Straws - How cute are these Halloween straws that can be packaged with these adorable "Eat, Drink and Be Scary" tags? Perfect when you want to be allergy friendly! You can download the free printable tags here.

3) "Fang"tastic Treats - These treats (and their cute packaging) are wonderful additions to a class Halloween party. They are perfect when you want to be sugar-free and allergy-friendly! You can download the free printable tags here.

4) Eyeball Treats - The super-cute packaging and tags make these the perfect treat to share with friends on Halloween. Everyone can enjoy them because they are allergy-friendly! You can find out all the details and download the tags for free here.

5) Funny glasses (sugar-free) Halloween Treat - It's always great to have a non-food Halloween treat option... and these silly glasses are fantastic. You can download the FREE printable gift tags here.

6) 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.

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

8) Googly eye glasses - These silly glasses are sure to make little ones giggle.  You can download the free "'Eye' am lucky to have a friend like you" bag toppers here.

10) Pictures with pencils or little toys - Add a personal touch by attaching little gifts to photos.  You can find all the "how to" details here.

11) Tic Tac Toe game - This tic tac toe board is definitely more "treat" than "trick".  You can download the tic tac toe boards {for free} here

12) Playdough Treats - These party favours / Halloween treats are perfect for sharing because they are allergy safe and sugar free. You can download the "punny" tags for free here.

With these candy-free treat options, you are going to be the most popular house on the block. They make perfect Halloween class treats too. Happy Halloween!

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

PS (You can find MORE "FANGtastic" Halloween ideas here.)

The Best Halloween Tradition: BOOing

Boo'ing is one of our family's favourite tradition. Basically, you sneak up to a house, ring the door, and run away... while leaving treats behind. We have been doing it for years, and it is always a Halloween highlight for us.

If you have never done it before, you need to print off two copies of the instructions and the "We've Been Boo'ed" sign. To download and print the signs: click on the photos below, right-click, save them to your computer, and print them like regular 8x10 photos. I get mine printed at the local copy store.

Then, you leave notes behind with some treats. This year, we are leaving behind gloves filled with goodies. Cute, right?

My boys can't wait to get out "BOOing" and leave behind some of our treats.

Have you ever tried "BOOing"? If you haven't, I highly recommend giving it a try this Halloween. It really is one of our favourite Halloween traditions.

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

PS (You can find MORE Halloween ideas here.)

Halloween Cookie Decorating Kit... with free printable tags

Isn't everything cute in a mason jar? I am absolutely in love with these adorable Halloween Cookie Decorating Kits. Today, I am sharing all the easy DIY details and the FREE printable tags that I designed.

To make a Halloween cookie decorating kit for someone special: place two or three homemade cookies at the bottom of a wide-mouthed mason jar, add a condiment container filled with icing, and add a condiment container filled with Halloween sprinkles or candy. Then, cut a piece of felt for the top of the jar, glue a spider to the top, and add a tag using a piece of twine.

This cookie decorating kit is perfect for parents or grandparents to make for their kids or grandkids. It's also a fun gift to make for neighbours and friends.

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

For our jars, we used my favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe and some chocolate icing with a little bit of black food colouring.

These mason jar cookie kits are super-easy to make and share. It's fun putting the kits together, and even more fun decorating and eating the cookies.

Who would you like to decorate Halloween cookies with? It's a wonderful way to spend some time together before the kids head out on October 31st.

Happy Halloween!

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

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

How I am learning to provide cleaner air for my kids

*sponsored post*

Several weeks ago, I posted about my new ally in my battle against my son's airborne allergies. I was sent a Philips 2000i Air Purifier to try, and I have been testing it in my 9-year-old son's bedroom for several weeks. I have been impressed with the unit and how it removes potential allergens from the air, and today I am sharing what I have learned in the hope that it might help you too.

As someone that has never had to deal with airborne allergens, it has been a bit of a learning curve for me. How do you battle something you can't see? The key for me has been the ease of use of my Philips 2000i Air Purifier. My new appliance lets me see what had previously been invisible (in two ways):

1) The Philips 2000i Air Purifier has a colour coded ring display (blue = good, blue-violet = fair, red-purple = poor and red = very poor) and a numerical display (1=good and 12=bad) that indicates the level of allergens and pollutants in the room. Then, the Philips AeraSense technology continuously monitors the air and automatically adjusts the fan speed when it detects a change in particles. (In fact, there are three modes on this appliance, so you can make it work for your particular needs. There is an allergen mode, a general mode, and a bacteria & virus mode.)

2) The AeroSense shows the air quality through a connected app. The app looks at indoor and outdoor pollutions and pollen and gives you a complete picture of air quality. It even gives you advice to help with your allergen management regimen.

The app also lets you know when it is time to change the filters, which is a huge bonus for me. One less thing I need to remember!  

My son is an active boy who spends a lot of time outside, which I love, but it makes it difficult to manage his allergies. There is very little I can do to limit his exposure to outdoor allergens, but I can control the air quality in his room while he is sleeping. The Philips 2000i Air Purifier senses, reacts, and visibly works to reduce the allergens in my son's room. (It also works to reduce odours, volatile organic compounds and even certain bacteria.)

As a mother, it is so comforting to know that I am doing everything I can to ensure that my son gets the best sleep possible. Lately, he has been sleeping well, and I haven't heard him coughing at night, so I am going to take that as a "mom win".

If you want to read more about our new Philips 2000i Air Purifier, you can do so here. You can also leave me any questions you have in the comments (below), and I will do my best to answer them.

Do you or your child who struggles with airborne allergens? What are your tips for managing indoor air quality? I'd love to hear what works for you.

(aka East Coast Mommy)

Disclosure: I have partnered with Philips Canada and have received compensation for this post. However, as always, all opinions expressed in this blog are my own. This post reflects my own opinions and experience with this product and does not necessarily reflect claims from Philips Canada.

HOCKEY Gift Guide 2018... including a giveaway for the hockey player on your list

**Note: This gift guide contains some products that I received for free and a few affiliate links. Please be assured that the opinions in this blog are 100% my own. Also, if you make a purchase using one of my affiliate links, you will not pay any extra, but I may get a small commission on your purchase. Thank you!**

My boys eat, sleep, and breath hockey. If they aren't playing hockey, they are watching it or talking about it. So at Christmas, it's no surprise "hockey" gifts are at the top of everyone's list. Today, I am sharing some of my favourite gifts for the hockey fan in your house. I have something for everyone in the family at every price point... and I have a giveaway at the bottom of this post too!

Here are some great ideas for hockey products that are sure to bring a smile to the face of the hockey player in your house.

Teags & Ry Hats - How cute are these unique hockey hats from Teags & Ry? My boys love them... and they are good quality too. Check out all the wonderful hat options from Teags & Ry here.

Gongshow clothes - My boys love the style and comfort of these high quality hockey clothes, and the hockey skate lace details are awesome. Gongshow has great clothes for kids, but hockey moms and dads will love the Gongshow fashions too. You can check out Gongshow clothing here.

NHL 19 - If your hockey fan loves video games, you probably already have the latest version of this game on your list. My boys LOVE playing this on their PS4, and you can order it here.

Gongshow sauceoff party set - The rink isn't always open, and Gongshow has some great games that can be played off the ice and any time of year. We love our Gongshow sauceoff party set, which you can find here.

Heating pad for cold feet - If you are shopping for someone that spends a lot of time at the rink, chances are they suffer with cold hands and feet... and this heating pad may be the perfect gift for them. You can order it from Amazon here.

Hockey Mom / Dad Survival Kit - If you are someone who likes to DIY, you might want to create your own gift basket for the hockey mom or dad in your life. Don't forget a warm blanket, warm socks, a coffee mug with gift card, and a tasty treat.

Gongshow bags - Everyone needs a good bag for hockey gear, overnight trips, and transporting school books, and Gongshow has some functional and fashionable options. My boys have the hockey bag and the backpack, and they love them... and you can buy them here.

Hockey stocking stuffers - There are many fun options for hockey-themed stocking stuffers, and I have included three of my favourites below.

     1) These sneaker balls are great for stinky hockey bags. 

     2) These custom ornaments (from Personalization Mall) are perfect for the hockey-lovers Christmas tree.

     3) And these cool Gongshow socks are great for chilling out and watching the game. 

Hockey-themed labels and wall decals from Oliver's Labels - Personalized labels and wall decals make wonderful gifts for kids. I've recovered a lot of my boys clothes because of name labels, and how cute is this large jersey wall decal?

Hockey bag and travel coffee mug from Teags & Ry - This duffle bag is the perfect gift for the hockey mom in your life. It's cute, and there is lots of room for all the rink essentials. It's a great overnight bag too! (And don't forget to get mom one of these cute travel mugs. A hot coffee will keep her warm, awake, and ready to cheer!) You can find tons of fantastic Teags & Ry products here.

Hockey picture canvas from Canvas Factory - It's easy to create unique artwork with your favourite hockey picture. Check out the cute canvas picture I made for my youngest son using a picture from a hockey camp he attended this summer. You can order your favourite photo here. 

And... because I love contests during the holidays, I am giving you a chance to WIN a canvas like the one I had made. Great, right? You can enter below. (Note: Contest is open to US and Canadian residents only.) LEAVE a comment in the comments section below (and click the box in the Rafflecopter widget... and don't forget the bonus entries!) 


Do you have a hockey fan on your Christmas list this year? Is there something on my list that you are considering? I'm happy to answer any questions you have. Just send me an email or leave a comment below.

Happy shopping!

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

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