Warm and Fudgy Valentine's Day Chocolate Cakes (with only three ingredients!)

Valentine's Day is synonymous with chocolate, and today I am sharing a recipe you are definitely going to want to try this year. You literally only need 3 ingredients and 2 minutes to make delicious warm and fudgy Valentine's Day chocolate cakes

To make these quick and delicious chocolate cakes, you'll need: 
  • 3 tbsp chocolate fudge cake mix
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp semi sweet chocolate chips

Combine the ingredients in a microwave safe ramekin, stir, and microwave for 50 seconds. 

(Note: Be careful when you remove it from the microwave because it will be hot.) 

You can eat the cakes plain, or you can dress them up. I like mine with a little powered sugar and raspberries, but they are great with whipped cream and sprinkles too!

And, of course, milk pairs perfectly with the rich chocolate flavor.

Check out this short video I made with my boys... and don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more great recipes, crafts and ideas!

These cakes are perfect for Valentine's Day, but they are great any time of the year. If you love warm and fudgy chocolate cakes, you should definitely give this recipe a try. If you make them, let me know what you think. I'm pretty confident that you won't be disappointed!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

You can find MORE easy and inexpensive 

Socks Valentine... with free printable tags

I love a DIY Valentine, don't you? I love creating unique Valentines, for my husband, kids, and my kids's friends and classmates. This year, I decided to make a cute Valentine with an adorable pair of Valentine's Day socks I found at the dollar store. I paired them with a tag I designed, and I'm in love with the result! Check out the details, and the FREE downloadable tags below.

You can use any style of socks for this Valentine, so it works for any recipient. I think my boys would love a pair of sports themed socks, and my husband can always use socks for work. I also like the idea of festive dollar store socks for babies and class Valentines. The possibilities are endless!

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

You can also put the socks in clear cellophane bags, and attach the tags with curling ribbon. Cute, right?!?

I am absolutely in love with this DIY Valentine idea. The socks are inexpensive, and the "You know my SOCKS off!" tags are totally adorable!

Who would you share these Valentine's Day treat with?

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

You can find MORE easy and inexpensive 

Gumball Class Valentine... with free printable labels

Kids have a lot of fun giving and receiving Valentines on Valentines Day, but I've always struggled to find versions my boys aren't embarassed to pass out to their classmates. They NEVER want to share anything that says "LOVE" on it. lol To solve this problem, I usually purchase little treats and trinkets and add a cute / "punny" tag. Today, I am sharing a fun "gumball" Valentine that works perfectly for classrooms.

To make the gumball Valentines, you'll need: gumballs, curling ribbon, clear plastic bags, and the tags I designed.

Don't you love the adorable "I couldn't CHEWS a better friend" tags I designed?

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

This is such a unique and inexpensive Valentine idea, and it's a little more fun than just a plain paper card.

I'm absolutely in love with how bright and colourful these Valentines are. This really is an easy and inexpensive class Valentine idea. Would your child like to share these free printable Valentines with their friends? I bet they would!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

You can find MORE easy and inexpensive 

Valentine's Day Fortune Cookies... with free printable tags

I love a unique DIY gift, and these simple sweet treats are perfect for Valentine's Day. With some store bought fortune cookies, dollar store packaging, and the free downloadable tags I designed... you'll have everything you need to let your sweethearts know how FORTUNATE you are to have them in your life.

Start out with some store bought fortune cookies. You can package them "as is", or you can "fancy them up" with some melted chocolate and sprinkles.

To make "fancy" fortune cookies: melt chocolate, dip the fortune cookies in the chocolate, and dip the fortune cookies in sprinkles.

Lay the cookies on wax paper, and allow the chocolate to harden. Cute, right?

Then, package the cookies with tags that say how "fortunate" you are.

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

You can package the fortune cookies in clear plastic bags, or you can put them cute containers. I found these adorable Chinese Food containers at the dollar store, and they are absolutely perfect!

Don't you just love these Valentine's Day treats? They are perfect to share with kids AND friends. I like them as a Valentine's Day party favor too. Happy Valentine's Day!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

You can find MORE easy and inexpensive 

Hockey Mom HACKS (decor, parties, crafts, advice, and more!)

As a mom to three boys that eat, sleep, and breath hockey, I have learned a couple of useful hockey tips and tricks over the years. Today, I am sharing some of my favourite hockey mom HACKS.

1) Hockey Decor - If you have hockey fans living in your home, they are going to want to fill their spaces with hockey decor. Check out my boys shared hockey room here. I love that it reflects my boys and their love for hockey, but it's still stylish and not overdone.

2) DIY Hockey Artwork - I love the idea of creating DIY artwork, and I have created a few DIY hockey projects over the years. Check out the hockey stick name art, jersey canvas paintings, hockey card quote artwork, and hockey prints that my boys and I have made. Pretty special, right?

3) Hockey Advice - I'm not an expert, but I have had three boys in hockey for many years... and I've learned a few lessons along the way. Click the links to check out my tips for new hockey moms and my "perspective" advice for hockey parents.

4) Hockey FoodI'm not a nutritionist or an expert on feeding high performance athletes, but I am a mom of three very active boys who are always moving and constantly hungry. Generally, I try to feed my boys a healthy and balanced diet, and on game days we stay away from high fat and fried foods. This often means having "easy to grab" snacks in the fridge and packing a cooler when we are on the road. 

You can find a few of our favourite lunch and snack ideas here. I also highly recommend buying a few banana cases. Bananas are a great nutritious and inexpensive pre-game snack, and they travel really well in these plastic cases. I love them!

5) Hockey Travel Tips - When travelling, always pack a cooler.  It will save you money, and it will help you to eat better too. Other fantastic items to pack are: 

  • babywipes (great for cleaning up on the go)
  • ziploc bags (perfect for packing snacks, separating wet clothes, and filling with ice for makeshift ice packs)
  • laundry dryer sheets or air freshener (which is wonderful for combating hockey stink in the hotel room)
  • clothespins (for closing hotel room curtains and keeping the light out at the crack of dawn)
  • cards (useful for occupying kids between games when they need a little downtime)

6) Hockey Valentines - Every occasion for a hockey fan has a bit of a "hockey" spin. The cute Valentines you can find here fit the bill perfectly!

7) Hockey Christmas Ideas - In a house of hockey fans, even Christmas has a bit of a "hockey" spin. Check out our favourite holiday hockey hacks here.

8) Halloween for Hockey Fans - Every hockey fan needs a hockey pumpkin on October 31. Pretty cute, right?

9) Simple Coach Gift - Coaches are special people that volunteer a lot of their time to help our kids. I love the simple "thank you" gift idea you can find here. (Free tags included.)

10) Hockey Tape Organizer - This is a simple idea, but you'll be glad you tried it. No more searching for tape before the big game!

11) Simple Hockey Decor - This simple DIY hockey wreath is perfect for Canada Day, but it is wonderful for other times of year as well. Find the full "how to" here.

12) Hockey Parties - If you have a hockey fan, the odds are good that at some point you will be hosting a hockey party. I have some fantastic ideas for DIY hockey food, decor, activities, and more here. I also have a fun idea for hockey party favors or team treats (with free printable tags) here.

Are you a hockey mom or dad? What is best / most useful tip? I'd love a few new ideas!

 (aka East Coast Mommy)

Indoor Winter Fun... hot chocolate and new product taste testing

We recently had a couple of snow days (days off from school due to a winter storm). When the snow flies, my boys love playing outside, but when temperatures get really low, there comes a point when they come inside to warm up... and it's always fun to have a fun activity and treat waiting for them. I love the idea of setting up a hot chocolate and cookie testing station, don't you?

While the kids were out sledding, I set up a little hot chocolate bar using mason jars. I had hot chocolate, marshmallows, a kettle of hot water, and some Hershey kisses to add a little more chocolaty goodness. I also laid out a few NEW products I found at the grocery store earlier in the week. (Any new and interesting products would work, but these are the ones that caught my eye.)

When the kids came inside, they set to work making their own hot chocolates. Everyone customized their beverage to their liking. 

Then, we got to work trying the new cookies I bought.

Each new product got a thumbs up or a thumbs down... and then they picked a winner.

Fun, right? 

Check out this little video we made.

I love the idea of "taste testing" as a fun indoor winter activity. It would be fun to use healthy food too. I might even work in a cooking lesson with our "tasting party" some day soon. What do you think?

 (aka East Coast Mommy)

Note: This is NOT a sponsored post. These are just a couple of new products I picked up for my kids and their friend to try... and they were a hit. 😄

5 Appetizers that are Perfect for any Party

I'm a huge fan of appetizers... especially at parties. What's more fun than sitting around with friends sampling lots of tasty bites? Today, I am sharing 5 recipes for appetizers that are delicious and easy to make. 

Nacho Dip - I love this nacho dip because it doesn't require any cooking. It's simple to throw together and bring to a friend's house. Trust me... the platter will be clean when you leave the party! (Find the recipe here.)

Swiss Cheese Dip - My mom always made this tasty treat when I was little, and it was always a hit. Who doesn't love cheese dips?!?! (You can find the recipe for the warm and gooey cheese dip here.)

Sweet and Sour Meatballs - Meatballs are always a crowd-pleaser, and this sweet and sour version is simple to make and tastes delicious. (You can find the full recipe here.)

Strawberry and Goat Cheese Crostini with Balsamic Glaze - Adding a little fruit to an appetizer makes it lighter and healthier. I love the combination of the creamy goat cheese, the crunchy crostini, the sweet strawberry and the rich balsamic glaze. This appetizer is an explosion of flavors in your mouth. (You can find the full recipe here.)

Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushroom Caps - Stuffed mushroom caps are always a favourite of mine... and this recipe is simple and delicious. You won't believe how easy it is to make this fantastic appetizer. (Find the full recipe here.)

What's your favourite appetizer? I know you won't be disappointed by any of these easy and inexpensive appetizers at your next party.

Gina Bell
 (aka East Coast Mommy)

You can find more recipes here.

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