LAST DAY OF SCHOOL Traditions... 2022 and still going strong

My boys are getting older, but they are still humouring me by letting me continue our last day of school traditions. I think it's the promise of ice cream that gets them every time. 😁 Here's a peek at how we celebrated today... on the last day of school.

1) First, we always get ice cream on the last day of school. I don't have a picture for 2019, but here's a look at our ice cream trips from 2011 to 2022. Pretty cute, right? It's amazing how much my boys have grown up.

2) The boys always get a little gift. In the past it has been a book, but this year I thought I'd change it up a little. We always have a "gift card" day as part of our summer checklist (where we gather up all our gift cards, and venture out to spend them... all in one day). So this year, I purchased a few gift cards for my boys to take with them on our "gift card adventure" day. I think it's an inexpensive, practical and fun grading gift idea.

3) And, of course, my boys always run through a "finish line" on the last day of school. We started this tradition in 2012, and we've done it every year since. Here's a peak at our first year... 

And here's how it looked this year...

How are you celebrating the end of the school year? Congrats to all the kids that have finished school... and happy summer!!!

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

5 GENIUS Dollar Store DIYs for Canada Day

I love celebrating with family and friends... and it's even better with the addition of a few easy and inexpensive details. Today, I'm sharing 5 GENIUS dollar store DIYs for Canada. You are going to love these simple decor and food ideas!

First, you'll want to head to the dollar store and get some supplies. Check out the Canada Day aisle, but look for red and white items in other sections of the store too.

Check out the 5 DIYs below, and don't forget to watch the "how to" video at the end of this post.

1) Canada Day vase (made from straws) - Start with a jar or can from your recycling bin, and cover it with paper straws (using hot glue). Then, insert red and white dollar store flowers and flags. Easy peasy!

And how cute is this "photo bomb" by my youngest son? lol

2) Napkin covered vase/lantern - Cover a dollar store vase with a Mod Podge and a napkin. Then, you can style it with a Canada Day pinwheel, or you can insert the top of a solar light to make a lantern. Which do you prefer?

3) Super cheap pillow - Take a dollar store Canada Day cinch bag, cut off the straps, stuff it with cotton batting, and seal it with hot glue. It doesn't get much easier than this one.

Here's a peak at the first three DIYs together on my patio. Don't they look festive and fun?

4) Red and white dessert buffet - A barbeque followed by a red and white dessert buffet is perfect for Canada Day. Purchase dollar store red and white dishes and containers, and serve red and white food. Check out some options, and my recipe for these adorable individual cheesecakes, here.

5) Canada Day photo booth - Setting up a simple photo booth with dollar store props is a great idea for entertaining guests. I also love the idea of crafting a giant flag. Grab a piece of dollar store foamcore, use duct tape on the sides, cut a maple leaf fro the centre, and trace the leaf with red Sharpie. Isn't this fun? You can find the step by step tutorial here.

For a closer look at all my projects and some bonus info, check out my YouTube video below.

How are you celebrating Canada Day this year? I hope you are inspired by my post and spend some time celebrating with family and friends.

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

You might also enjoy the simple ideas for celebrating Canada Day here.

6 Genius TIPS and DOLLAR STORE PRODUCTS for organizing under the KITCHEN sink

I love getting organized... but I never seem to have a lot of time or money to invest. So, I'm always on the look out for cheap dollar store solutions that work well. Today, I'm sharing the tips and dollar store products that REALLY worked for me.

Here's a peek at the BEFORE. Pretty bad, right?!?

And here's how I fixed it...

1) I emptied the cupboard, gave it a good cleaning, and covered the bottom with contact paper.

I used these wipes (from the dollar store for cleaning).

And I used this contact paper to cover the bottom of the cupboard. It is only $1.25 at the dollar store, and it makes the area easier to clean... and it looks better.

2) I assessed the space, and headed to the dollar store to get bins and baskets for the items I needed to organize. These two baskets were inexpensive, and worked well for storing items I don't use often in the back of the cupboard. I can just pull out the basket for easy access when I need them.

3) This tall and narrow container fit perfectly into a narrow space at the front of my cupboard. I used it for my dishwasher tabs so they are easy to grab every time I need them.

4) These stackable baskets are perfect for using the vertical space at the front of the cabinet. I purchased two, and filled them with the items I use most frequently.

I organized everything, and inserted my garbage can, and here's how it turned out. Pretty great for a little time and money, right?!?

5) I also put a couple of hooks on the door. They are easy to stick on, and they are perfect for hanging items like cleaning spray and scissors. I can now grab them quickly and easily any time I need them.

6) The dollar store towel racks are also great, and I hung one on the outside of my cupboard door. It's a perfect place for my dishcloth.

For a closer look at how I organized under my kitchen sink (and the inexpensive products I used), take a peak at this short (under 5 minutes) video.

What do you think? If you have a genius idea for organizing under the kitchen sink, let me know. I'm always looking for new, easy, and inexpensive ways to make my home more organized!

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

You might also be interested in my interior door painting tips and tricks here.

10 NEW Dollar Store Finds and DIYs for SUMMER | inexpensive decor and more! ☀️

Who doesn't love a good dollar store find? Last week, I went to the dollar store and picked 10 products that are absolutely perfect for summer. I'm sharing my favourite finds and DIYs (and a fun video) below.

1) Summer glassware - The dollar store has tons of cheap and cheerful glassware, and these are two of my favourites. For me... summer is all about ice cream! Who's with me?

2) Candle handle - There are many options for summer candle holders, but I love the colour and style of this one. The glass mixed with the wood gives off a cool, summer, boho vibe.

3) Summer supplies - The dollar store has great prices on summer essentials, so make sure you stock up. I love this heat bag, and the advil and suntan lotion that fits in my purse.

4) Home improvement supplies - Summer is a great time for home projects, and the dollar store is the best place to get inexpensive supplies. I've been doing a lot of painting lately, and these brushes are great.

5) Frames - The dollar store has fantastic and inexpensive frame options. Here, I painted one with yellow spray paint and printed the free lemon picture here. I also framed a napkin! Clever, right?!?

6) Citronella candles - I love summer... but I hate bugs... so candles that keep bugs away are perfect for me. The dollar store has tons of citronella candle options that are pretty and function. Check out my favourites below.

7) Summer travel essentials - The dollar store has wonderful items that are perfect for summer flights and road trips. I love these little pouches. They are cheap and perfect for a variety of items.

8) Baskets and bins - Dollar store baskets and bins are perfect for getting organized, and I love this basket for containing countertop clutter. It's the perfect place for papers that need to be sorted.

9) Socks - The dollar store has variety of fun clothing and sock options. I love these cute socks I found for my husband for Father's Day. Cute, right?!?

10) Nautical craft supplies - I'm loving the nautical rope that is plentiful at the dollar store right now. It comes in a variety of colours and weights. I used mine to make summer coasters. I added some hot glue to the middle of a dollar store circle board, and twirled the rope around and around (securing with hot glue). I LOVE how they turned out!

For a closer look at the fun products and projects, check out this video!

I hope I've inspired you to add some easy and inexpensive fun to your summer. Let me know which one is your favourite!

Gina Bell
 (aka East Coast Mommy)

You might also like the summer DIYs here.

Dollar Store Finds and DIYs for FATHER’S DAY 🎁

Father's Day is coming up, and I have some FANTASTIC gift ideas to share today. These gifts are thoughtful, budget-friendly, and perfect for the special man your life. Check out the instructions and step-by-step video below.

1) Chocolate bar bouquet - I love the variety of mugs at the dollar store, and I thought this "Top Gun" / "Top Dad" mug was perfect for Father's Day. I inserted a bit of floral foam in the mug, added some dowels to chocolate bars with hot glue, and inserted the chocolate bar "flowers" into the flower foam. Then, fill in blank spaces with scrunched up red tissue paper. Cute, right?!?

2) Campfire treats - A family campfire is a great way to spend time with the special dad in your life, so a personalized s'more bucket makes a great Father's Day gift. I purchased a tin at the dollar store, added the words "making s'more memories" with a decal I made on my Cricut, and filled the bucket with cookies, chocolate, and marshmallows.

3) Father's Day picture frame - I purchased a cheap 5x7 frame at the dollar store, I used dollar store contact paper to cover the glass, and finished by adding a black clothespin with hot glue. I love that you can add a 4x6 photo, and switch it out easily.

4) Handmade Father's Day card - Handmade cards are the best, and I love this simple dress shirt card made from dollar store supplies. Follow the photo (or watch the video) below for full instructions.

And don't forget to check out this video for all the info you are going to need to make all these wonderful Father's Day gifts.

Happy Father's Day! I hope you make these simple DIYs for the special man in your life. I'm sure he'll love them!

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

You may also like the Father's Day ideas here.

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