Simple Beauty and the Beast Afternoon Tea Party

I have always loved the story of Beauty and the Beast, and I have wanted to host a Beauty and the Beast themed tea party for many years. A few months ago, I decided to do it with a group of Preschoolers. I decorated, and we ate cupcakes and tea sandwiches, drank tea (juice) and made a few crafts. It was easy, inexpensive, and lots of fun... and today I am sharing all the wonderful DIY details of my simple Beauty and the Beast tea party.

Like any party, a good tea party needs simple and festive decorations.

I made a doily banner using paper doilies from the dollar store. I basically just used glue to attach folded doilies over a piece of twine. Then, I embellished the banner with flower clothespins and letters that spelled out "tea". 

I also used an old book to make a book page table runner. Such a simple idea... but it turned out really cute and added some visual interest to the table.

In keeping with the "book" theme, I used some colourful hardcover books to display an "enchanted rose" centrepiece that I made using more dollar store supplies. You can find the full tutorial for this dollar store Beauty and the Beast centrepiece here.

And to complete the decor, I designed this "Be Our Guest" sign. You can download it for FREE by clicking on the photo below, right-clicking, saving it to your computer, and printing it like a regular 8x10 photo.

To keep everyone entertained, we did a variety of Beauty and the Beast themed crafts.

The tea party guests made paper crowns that they decorated with jewel stickers.

The kids also made paper flowers with their pictures in the centre. Cute, right?

Everyone also made enchanted mirrors from tin foil, paper plates, craft sticks and jewels.

And the kids created their own enchanted rose artwork by gluing a picture of a rose and dollar store rose petals to a piece of cardstock.

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

Finally, the party guests crafted their own rocking teapots on paper plates folded in half. 

For food, I kept things simple. We had tea (apple juice) in tiny real glass teacups, cupcakes with sprinkles, and tea sandwiches.

The kids loved the peanut butter sandwiches cut out with flower-shaped cookie cutters.

This was a really simple party theme, but it was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

A Beauty and the Beast tea party would be great for a birthday party, a special afternoon, or a movie night. Do you have little ones that would enjoy these treats and crafts?


Mini Egg Easter Tart

Everyone loves a simple holiday recipe, and today I am sharing one of my favourites. Your family and friends will love the simplicity of this delicious soft and chewy chocolate chip mini egg Easter tart. It's easy to make, and it's full of chocolatey goodness!

Doesn't this look delicious? It's basically a giant chocolate chip cookie filled with candy covered chocolate eggs. 

To make this easy and impressive cookie tart... start with my favorite soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe (which you can find here). Then, scoop out a dozen cookies, and press the rest of the cookie dough into a well-greased tart pan. Finish by pressing some candy covered chocolate mini eggs into the top of the dough.

I baked my chocolate chip cookie tart for at 325 degrees for 40 minutes... but I would suggest 40-50 minutes (depending on your oven and the thickness of your tart).

This giant cookie was a huge hit with my boys. It makes a fantastic Easter dessert, and it pairs perfectly with a glass of cold milk or a hot cup of tea or coffee.

I highly recommend giving this yummy treat a try in your house. You will not be disappointed with mini egg Easter tart.

Gina Bell
(aka East Coast Mommy)

Easter Bunny Bar... with free printable sign

When it comes to holiday entertaining (or just celebrating at home), simplicity is key. For Easter, a bunny bar is the perfect way to serve family and friends. Today, I am sharing the details of my easy and inexpensive bunny bar, including a free printable sign.

To download the bunny bar sign I designed: click on the photo below, right-click, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 8x10 photo.

The sign looks adorable in an inexpensive dollar store frame, don't you think? Display the sign with hot chocolate, bunny tails (marshmallows), and bunny kisses (Hershey kisses).

And an Easter buffet needs some festive cookies. You can find my favourite Easter treats here.

I also love the idea of decorating the table with some homemade Easter decor. How cute are these "no sew" sock bunnies?

Look how cute everything looks when it's displayed on a table with a dollar store tablecloth. I'm pretty sure you could put this whole buffet together for less than $20. Awesome, right?

Are you entertaining family and friends this Easter? I highly recommend setting up this simple bunny bar

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Easter Treats for Classmates... Mazes and Bunnies (with free printable tags)

Sharing Easter treats is a fun way to celebrate the holiday. My boys love sharing goodies with their classmates and friends, but we are always concerned with allergies because we never want to make anyone feel excluded. This year, my boys picked out some cute dollar store trinkets, and I designed some super-cute packaging. Today, I am sharing their choices for this year and the free printable tags we are using.

My middle son chose these little Easter "mazes" that we found at the dollar store. We added a couple of nut free chocolate eggs, and we attached a tag that says, "I hope you have an a'MAZE'ing Easter!" Cute, right?

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

I love how cheerful these little treats are, don't you?

My youngest son opted for these little stretchy bunnies. I packed them in clear cellophane bags, and I added a tag that says, "SomeBUNNY thinks you're a good friend. Happy Easter!" 

Isn't this a sweet Easter treat idea?

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

Seriously... who wouldn't love sharing these adorable bunnies with their buddies?

Do your have kids like to share Easter treats with their friends? These allergy safe Easter treat options are easy, inexpensive and fun. How will you be spreading joy this holiday season?

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Easter Ideas for Hockey Fans

*sponsored post*

As a seasoned hockey mom, I am no stranger to holidays that revolve around hockey. So, when Easter rolls around, hockey themed Easter baskets are a must. This year, I was inspired by Gongshow's new Spring/Summer 2019 line of awesome products. You are going to love how I made my boys' unique Easter baskets. Keep reading for all the fun details!

First, I headed to the Gongshow website and picked out some cool gear for my boys. We're going on a cruise, so I was super-pumped to find sun hats with anchors on them. They will protect my boys from the sun... and they are cool, so they will actually wear them.

My favourite finds were these t-shirts, fanny packs, and sun hats.

I also picked up some summer socks, pucks, and hockey tape.

Then, I flipped the hats upside down to make super-cool "Easter baskets", and filled them with my purchases. Cool, right??? Isn't this so much better than a boring, traditional Easter basket?

You could leave the baskets "as is", but I wrapped mine in cellophane and added pretty ribbons.

My boys LOVED their baskets. Look at those smiles!

And look at them all decked out in their new Gongshow gear. Ignore the tags! lol

If you have a hockey fan in the house, I highly recommend creating your own hockey-themed Easter basket this year. Everything on the Gongshow website is high quality, functional, and super-cool... and if you order it now, it will arrive before Easter.

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

*Disclosure - I was given GONGSHOW products for free in exchange for my honest review and promotion of the products. As always, the views expressed on this blog are 100% my own... and my boys genuinely loved everything they received.

DIY Spring Wreath Ideas... that are surprising easy to make

There is something wonderful about the arrival of Spring, and there is no better way to say goodbye to the "winter blahs" than hanging a bright and colourful Spring wreath on the front door. You can easily make something cheap and cheerful, and you don't need to be super-crafty to do it. Today, I'm sharing some simple and cute DIY Spring wreaths that are sure to keep you smiling until Summer arrives.

This umbrella wreath is one of my favourites. The supplies cost less than $10, and it takes less than 5 minutes to make. It's the perfect craft project for beginners. Find the full tutorial here.

I'm a big fan of felt flowers, and the possibilities and colour combinations are infinite. I love the combination of a grapevine wreath and felt flowers, don't you? You can find the full tutorial for this felt flower Spring wreath here.

Crafting doesn't get any easy than this birds on a twig wreath. If you can work a glue gun, you can make this adorable piece of decor. Find the simple "how to" here.

Crafting is fun at all ages, so you are going to want to check out this Spring tissue paper wreath that kids can make. All you need is a paper plate, tissue paper, and the instructions you can find here.

Another fun thing to make is this Spring color monogram. Choose your colours, and follow the tutorial here.

If boho is your thing, you are going to want to make this simple yarn wreath for Spring. It's easy to make, and the bright and cheerful colours are delightful. Find the full instructions for this DIY boho wreath for Spring here.

And I absolutely love this matching turquoise grapevine wreath. Grab a can of spray paint and some felt, and follow the instructions here.

What do you hang on your front during for Spring? If you want something that you can DIY and customize, I hope you craft up one of these fun DIY Spring wreaths. Which one is your favourite?

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

You might also like this cute DIY Farmhouse Picture for Spring. Free download included here.

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