Elf on the Shelf Tip {for busy moms and dads}

The moment every parent dreads... the moment you realize that your Elf on the Shelf is in the same spot in the morning that he/she was in the night before.

GOOD NEWS... you can let your kids know (and I have it on good authority from Santa) that sometimes the Elf on the Shelf returns to the same spot after his/her long trip to the North Pole.  There are times when a spot in the house is just so much fun that an Elf on the Shelf likes to spend two days in it.

So there ya go... one less thing to worry about this holiday season.  :-)

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Remembrance Day Craft for Kids

Remembrance Day is a special day to honour the veterans that have served our country. It is important to me that my kids understand the sacrifices that have been made by veterans on their behalf. Making a remembrance day craft is a great way to honour November 11th, and spending time crafting together provides a special opportunity to talk to kids about gratitude and remembrance. 

Cute, right?  You can find the full tutorial here.

Happy Remembrance Day!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Harry Potter Glasses and Ties with free printable templates

I am in the middle of planning a Harry Potter party for my seven year old, and I thought it would be fun if all the guests had their own Harry Potter tie and glasses. Of course, I had to come up with something inexpensive, so I made mine from card stock. Cute, right?

To make the Harry Potter ties, download the template here, print it onto card stock, and have the children color the ties with crayons. Then, punch two holes in the tie, add some reinforcements, and tie on some elastic (so that the kids can easily put the ties around their necks).

To make Harry Potter glasses, download the template here, print the glasses onto card stock, and cut them out. Then, add a piece of pipe cleaner to each side.

Feel free to pin this post and share it with friends, but please don't link directly to the downloads. Thanks so much, and enjoy your Harry Potter glasses and ties!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Elf on the Shelf North Pole Hot Chocolate

I know there are a lot of people who are collecting Elf on the Shelf ideas, so I thought I would share a fun Elf on the Shelf idea that didn't make it to the blog last year.  Our Elf on the Shelf brought my boys some special hot chocolate from the North Pole.

This hot chocolate is like a regular can of hot chocolate you can buy in the grocery store, but this one has an adorable label that shows that it is a special blend from the North Pole... and trust me... Santa knows how to make some delicious hot chocolate.  You can download a copy of the label here.  (Feel free to "Pin" and share this idea, but please don't link directly to the download... thank you.)

Do you think your little one would enjoy warming up with this yummy treat from your Elf on the Shelf?

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Easiest Way to Cook Squash

With my family's busy schedules, I am always looking for shortcuts when it comes to making meals.  So today, I am sharing my secret for the easiest squash ever.

Here's what I do:

1)  I use a sharp knife to cut a buttercup squash into quarters, and then I carefully cut off the peeling.  

2)  I cut the quarters into smaller pieces and place them in a microwave safe dish.

3)  I cover the dish and use the sensor setting on my microwave to cook it.  (In my microwave, it cooks at 75% for about 12 minutes.)

4)  When it is finished, I drain out all the excess water, add a little butter, and mash it.

I often cut it up ahead of time, and keep it in the fridge.  Then, at dinner time, I just need to pop it into the microwave.  I just love squash, don't you?

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Magical Stories and A Free Bookmark

Recently, I watched the classic Disney film Peter Pan with my boys.  It got me thinking about children's books, storybook heroes, and magical adventures.  

I love the story of Peter Pan.  I think it is a great celebration of childhood and the idea that anything is possible.  There is nothing I love better than cuddling on the couch with my boys and reading them a fantastic story, and with this in mind, I have created a story discussion bookmark that you can print and share with your little ones.

This bookmark is adorable, and it is a great way to prompt some discussion with your children after you have finished reading them a story. You can download this bookmark {for free} here.

J.M. Barrie said, "The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it."  I hope my boys believe in magical adventures forever!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

“Disclosure:  I’m part of the Disney Junior Mom program andI receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinionson this blog are my own.”

Review and Giveaway - South Hill Designs (CLOSED)

*This contest is now closed.  Thank you to everyone that took the time to enter.  The winner is Laura Snow.

As you know, I don't do a lot of giveaways on this blog, but when Amy from South Hill Designs contacted me about doing a giveaway, I didn't hesitate for a second.  I LOVE her adorable jewellery!  Here's the necklace she made for me...

Isn't it sweet?  I love a piece of jewellery that is customizable, and this necklace is too cute for words.  You pick out a locket, and then you pick out charms that fit inside.  Here are the charms I selected...

I chose charms that reflected my personality.  I selected:

  •  birthstones for each of my boys
  • a "Hockey Mom" charm because I spend most of my time at the rink
  • a coffee cup because I love coffee and couldn't survive without it
  • a camera because I love taking pictures of my boys and sharing pictures on my blog
  • pink flip flops because I love the beach, and this charm reminds me of vacations I have taken with my family... and it is nice to have something pink in my house full of boys!  :-)
So... do you want a chance to win your very own necklace (worth $50)?  All you need to do is leave a comment below letting me know which charm is your favorite.  You can check out the website here to see all that Amy has to offer.  (Also, she has periodic promotions and giveaways, so you should totally check out her facebook page here.)

I think these necklaces would make fantastic Christmas gifts, and if you agree, you should contact Amy ASAP.  She is offering my readers a free charm with any purchase of $50 or more (before taxes and shipping).  Just email Amy at muis.amy@gmail.com with your free charm selection once you have placed your order, and it will arrive separately.

Good luck with the contest!  I can't wait to hear about the beautiful necklace the winner selects.

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Rules {I am a mom... I can't help it}:
  1. The winner of the contest will be chosen by the Random Number Generator.
  2. To enter the contest, you must leave a comment on this post.  Contest is open to Canadian and US residents only.
  3. This contest is not being hosted or sanctioned in any way by facebook.
  4. Contest closes on November 15, 2013 at 11:59pm.
  5. Prize will be accepted as awarded.
  6. Winner will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to respond.  After 48 hours the prize will be forfeited, and another winner will be selected. 
Please note:  I was provided with this product (free of charge) for reviewing purposes only.  No monetary compensation was received, and all opinions are 100% my own. 

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