The BEST Ideas for Celebrating NEW YEAR'S EVE at Home

When you have kids (and even when you don't)... sometimes dressing up and heading out to a fancy New Year's Eve party isn't always desirable. So, hosting a family-friendly celebration can be the perfect way to ring in the new year. Today I'm sharing the BEST ideas for celebrating New Year's Eve at home.

Activity Bags
- I love making activity bags that can be opened each hour leading up to midnight. The bags can contain noisemakers, the supplies for a midnight toast, games, and more.

I love having one bag contain the items needed to set up a photo booth.

And including a year in review questionnaire is fun too. 

To download a FREE copy of the one I designed: click on the picture below, right-click, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 8x10 photo.

Special New Year's Eve Treat
- To make this festive treat, simply add candys to the bottom of a wine glass and top with a decorated cupcake. Cute, right?!?

Adorable New Year's Eve Mocktail - To make this adorable beverage, add sparkling water or 7up to a champagne flute, add a bit of cotton candy to the top, and insert a straw. Easy... but so much fun!

New Year's Eve Party Favours - Every party needs a party favour, and I have three simple options to share.

Breakfast for tomorrow - Add a tag to a small box of cereal or a pop tart.

Midnight Kisses - Add a tag a little bag of Hershey kisses.

Rings to ring in the new year - Add a tag to candy rings.

For a closer look (and full instructions), check out the YouTube video I made.

Will you be celebrating at home this year? I hope you find some of these ideas fun and helpful. Happy New Year!!!!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

7 DIY Gifts Made Using DOLLAR STORE Blanks

I love a budget friendly gift, don't you? And when it comes to saving money, the dollar store is your best friend. Today, I'm sharing the BEST dollar store blanks for making DIY gifts!

1) Movie treat caddy - These caddies are great for school and cleaning supplies, but they are even better for holding movie treats. There is a section for popcorn, a drink, and a treat. Cute, right?

2) Personalized drinkware - The dollar store has so many fantastic glasses, water bottles and mugs. They are inexpensive, practical, and perfect for personalizing.

3) Dog/cat treat container - If you have a cat or dog on your list, you can make them an adorable personalized container for their treats. I love the paw print on the top, don't you?

4) Personalized cookie jar - I love the shape of these jars, and they make perfect cookie jar containers. I added the words "Mom's Cookies... hugs accepted as payment" to mine, and I absolutely love how it turned out.

5) Treat bowls - Putting together gift baskets is one of my favourite things to do, and I love using a reusable container. Who wouldn't love to receive this family movie night popcorn bowl filled with goodies?

6) Tray for Santa - I love this tray, don't you? It's made from a dollar store cutting board, handles I salvaged from my kitchen renovation, and a Cricut decal. Santa is going to LOVE it!

7) Custom night light - Dollar store nightlights can be customized for any gift recipient. I made a Santa Cam, but characters or names can be added instead.

For a closer look at all these projects, check out the short video I made (below).

Do you have a favourite?

If you are looking for a thoughtful, unique, and budget-friendly gift idea, you should definitely try one of these DIY gifts.

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

You might also like the Christmas DIYs here.

15 TOP Christmas Family Movies... and a FREE printable checklist

Aren't Christmas movies a special part of the holidays? I really feel like the season isn't complete until I watch all my favourites with my boys. Today, I'm sharing a fun checklist of family-friendly Christmas movies you can all watch together. You can even print off my list to keep you on track -- that's what my family is doing. 😄

To print a copy of my top 15 family Christmas movies: click on the photo above, right-click, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 8x10 photo.

Did YOUR favourite make my list? What would you add? I found it really hard to narrow it down to just 15. There are so many great ones!

1) Elf

2) Home Alone

3) The Polar Express

4) The Santa Clause

5) It's a Wonderful Life

6) Christmas Classics (Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and Santa Claus is Coming Town)

7) National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

8) A Christmas Story

9) Miracle on 34th Street

10) Arthur Christmas

11) A Christmas Carol

12) A Charlie Brown Christmas

13) The Grinch

14) The Christmas Chronicles

15) One Magic Christmas

I put my list in a cheap dollar store frame, so we have it handy when we are picking movies.

I hope you enjoy this list and it inspires you to have some themed movie nights with your friends and family this year.

Happy holidays!!!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

You may also enjoy the fantastic Christmas ideas here.

11 Inexpensive, unique, and fun STOCKING STUFFER ideas

Still need stocking stuffers? These ideas are inexpensive, original, and fun!

***Disclosure -This gift guide contains affiliate links. Please be assured that the opinions in this blog are 100% my own, but if you make a purchase using one of my affiliate links, I may get a small commission on your purchase. Thank you!***

1) Handmade ornaments - I love a personalized ornaments, don't you? I sell them in my shop (Cute As A Button Designs) for $10 each, and I can ship anywhere in Canada for $3.

2) Variety pack of lip gloss - These flavours are soooo fun... and perfect for a stocking.

3) Labels - The best way to make sure you don't lose your stuff is to label it, and these labels are super-cute and make great stocking stuffers. (This site and fun personalized stickers too!) Check out all the designs here.

4) Hot chocolate - This coloured hot chocolate is stinking adorable! It comes in purple, blue, and orange too.


5) Coupons - I love the idea of including coupons in a stocking, and these ones are FREE here.

6) Chocolate - Who wouldn't love to find chocolate in their stocking? This Reese gift pack is a favourite in my house.

7) DIY Candy ornaments - Fillable ornaments are cheap and easily customizable. I filled them with Skittles for my boys. Find the details and the FREE printable tags here.

8) Slippers - Give the gift of being cozy. Socks and slippers make great stocking stuffers.

9) Books - I love books, and I think they make fantastic gifts. You can find something to suit every interest.

10) DIY Snowmen gum - This a quick and fun DIY. You can easily turn a pack of gum into a bunch of these adorable snowment. You can find the full instructions here.

11) Screaming Goat - I don't know why, but I think this is hilarious! lol Wouldn't it be great sitting on a desk?

What stocking stuffer are you hoping to find in your stocking? Do you have a favourite on my list? Feel free to leave me a comment below. Merry Christmas!!!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

You might also like the Christmas DIYs here.

NEW Budget-friendly Christmas HACKS... including FREEBIES and dollar store DIYs

I absolutely love saving money during the holidays, don't you? Today, I have some fantastic HACKS for you--including freebies and dollar store DIYs. For more info, check out the video at the bottom of this post!

One of my favourite traditions is "The Polar Express" adventure my family goes on every year. I print tickets to the Polar Express, we grab cookies and hot chocolate, and we head to our van to tour around looking at Christmas lights. Then, when we get home, there are gold bells on my boys' pillows. Fun, right?

To grab your free "bell tags" and "Polar Express tickets": Click on the picture below, right-click, and print like a regular 4x6 photo.

Another fun HACK is to use dollar store supplies to create a DIY candy dish. I used a dollar store candle stick holder, the bottom of a clay pot, a round glass vase, and a cabinet knob. I spray painted the candle stick holder and clay tray red, glued it all together, and filled it with candy. I think it adds a nice bit of whimsey to the holidays.

This HACK is SUPER-EASY. Grab a dollar store cloche, add a bit of ribbon to the bottom, add an ornament and fake snow, and place it on a dollar store candle stick holder or riser. EASY PEASY!

How beautiful is this dollar store wreath? I wrapped a dollar store wreath form with a dollar store scarf. Then, I added some greenery and fake flowers. What do you think?

For a closer look at (and instructions for) these hacks, check out the YouTube video below.

Let me know what HACKS you like the best, and make sure to "like" my YouTube video and hit "subscribe". It means a lot to me and REALLY helps my channel.

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

You might also like the Christmas DIYs here.

HOCKEY Holiday Gift Guide 2022

***Disclosure -This gift guide contains some products I own, some items that I received for free and a few affiliate links. Please be assured that the opinions in this blog are 100% my own, and I've only included items I think would make fantastic gifts for hockey fans and players. 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!***

If you regularly read my blog, you know that I'm a hockey mom to three hockey-loving boys. Every year, there are several hockey-related items on my Christmas shopping list, so today, I am sharing my top 10 gift ideas for hockey fans and hockey players. There really is something on this list for all ages and budgets.

1) Gongshow Gear - My kids and I LOVE this high quality clothing line, so it's no surprise it made my top ten list. This year, my boys are all getting new Gongshow hoodies. They're our favourite hoodies -- fantastic quality and design, and as my mother says, "they wash like a rag". We have several that have been handed down from my oldest to my youngest, and they still look brand new. I haven't included a picture of the hoodies I purchased (as they are Christmas gifts), but you can check out all the fantastic styles here.

Gongshow also has a wide variety of games that make fantastic Christmas gifts. We have the sauce off game set and the saucer king game set. Both are a lot of fun!

2) Ollie Bots - These cute little wooden robots are made with love and tied together with hockey skate laces. The Ollie Bots project was started by my son's buddy and teammate (Oliver Smith) who sadly passed away at the age of 12 to a rare form of bone cancer. For a $20 donation, you can help raise funds and awareness for Ewing Sarcoma. Find out more here

3) NHL23 - If your hockey fan loves video games, you probably already have the latest version of this game on your Christmas shopping list. Grab a copy here.

4) Hockey books - Books always make fantastic gifts, and hockey books are perfect for hockey fans. Check out this fun option...

5) Personalized Hockey Ornaments - I love a personalized, handmade gift, don't you? I make these high quality tree ornaments in my online shop, and you can order them here for only $10. (Shipping anywhere in Canada for $3.)

6) Hockey Shot - Hockey players can't always be at the rink, so "off ice" training aids are a must. My kids are big fans of the dryland flooring tiles -- and you can buy as few (or as many) as you like. Check them out here.

7) Bauer Mystery Mini Sticks - My youngest loves these, and they make a fun and inexpensive Christmas gift for kids. 

8) Wall decals from Oliver's Labels - Personalized wall decals make wonderful gifts for kids. And, and how cute is this large jersey wall decal? Use my link, and save 10% with code: EastCoastMommy.

9) Hockey Nightlight - This is such a cool nightlight for a hockey fan... and they make them for goalies AND players. Check out all the options here.

10) Pacific Rink -  If you are shopping for a hockey bag, you need to check out Pacific Rink. Their hockey bags are the absolute BEST! We've had the Junior Player Bag, The Player Bag, and the Pond Pack... and they are all fantastic. 

This is the pond pack... which is perfect for a trip to the pond, but my oldest son also loves using his for reffing.

And here's the Junior Bag. It was perfect when my kids were small, and they've since moved on to the The Player Bag (which they also love).

Any one of the these TEN products would make a wonderful gift for the hockey fan or hockey player on your Christmas list. My boys and I love all these products. We've tried all the items (except for the alarm clock), so if you have any questions, please just let me know!

Happy shopping!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

5 Ways to Save Money on CHRISTMAS DECOR by DIYing Things you Already have in your Home

Who doesn't love saving money? And what better way to save money during the holiday season than using stuff you already have to decorate your home? Check out these 5 budget friendly DIYs!

1) Use glass vases/jars/containers/bowls - Everyone has a glass vessels in their home, and they are easy to transform into Christmas decor. I added Epson salts and glitter to this jar, and then I added bottle brush trees, mini lights, and a fun ornament. Cute, right?

2) Use greenery - We had a lot of fallen branches and trees in our back yard, and I harvested what I needed to make an arrangement. I added a few dollar store picks, and inserted everything in a pot of soil I had leftover from my Fall mom. I can't believe this gorgeous arrangement only cost me a few dollars!

3) Raid the recycling bin - How cute are these fake cookies? I cut house shapes from an old cardboard boxese, and I added "icing" with a white chalk marker. They look cute on a plate, but they also look nice strung up on a piece of twine.

4) Use existing artwork in your home - My walls are filled with artwork, so it's fun to add a Christmas spin to them. You can wrap them like presents, or change out the artwork to something with a Christmas theme. You can grab some free "Movie Quotes" that I designed here.

For a closer look (and more step by step instructions, check out the video below.

I love this these ideas, don't you? Let me know your favourite in the comments. 

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

You might also like the Christmas DIYs here.

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