15 Winter HACKS You Need to Try!

Winter got you down? If you are finding it hard to deal with short days, cold temperatures and heavy snowfalls, I've got you covered. I'm sharing simple hacks that are guaranteed to make winter a little easier--and a lot more fun!



1) To make shoveling easier, spray your shovel with non-stick cooking spray. The snow won't stick to the shovel. It will slide off easily and the job will get done a lot quicker.

You can also use a broom to sweep off a porch or steps after a light dusting of snow.

2) If your boots or shoes are wet inside, speed up the drying process by stuffing them with newspaper, absorbent microfiber towels, or socks filled with rice. The moisture will get absorbed, and your footwear will dry out much more

3) To remove salt stains, dip a cotton ball in diluted vinegar (1 cup water to 1 tbsp vinegar), rub the stain, and allow to dry.

4) Get outside. Buddle up and take advantage of all winter has to offer.

5) Have a winter campfire. Gather around a warm fire, sing songs, and roast marshmallows and hot dogs.

6) Enjoy a cup of cocoa. And, for a touch of fun... freeze cool whip or canned whipped cream on a tray, cut with a fun-shaped cookie cutter, and pop into a cup of hot chocolate.

7) Make snow ice cream. It's a seasonal favourite in my house, and it's soooo easy to make! Put 8 cups of freshly fallen snow in a big bowl. Then, add 1 can of sweetened condensed milk and 1 tsp of vanilla. Stir until combined and serve immediately.

8) If you don't have a fireplace, turn on your television and search for a "faux fireplace" on YouTube.

9) Light candles or use battery operated candles to create a warm glow. The smell of scented candles will also add to the ambience.

10) Bake something. Fresh baked sweet treats taste delicious, and make your house smell delicious. And, as an added bonus, you can open the oven door when you are finished and get a free blast of heat. 😁

11) Put a hot water bottle or microwavable heating pad in your bed before you get tucked in. No more cold toes at bedtime!

12) Make sprayable snow paint for kids by filling a spray bottle with water and a few drops of food colouring.

13) Get crafty.

14) Throw glow sticks in a warm bath.

15) Have a movie night.


Check out this helpful video for a closer look at some of the hacks!


Winter can be a difficult season, so why not try a few of these hacks to make life easier and more fun!


Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Valentine's Day DIYs, FREEBIES and Dollar Store Finds

Valentine's Day is coming, and I have some fantastic, budget-friendly ideas you are going to love. I have easy DIYs, dollar store finds, and FREE Valentine cards. I made a video too, so don't forget to check it out.




1) Valentine for teammates - This is such a cute (and punny) Valentine to share with teammates. Let friends know they are "EXCEL" lent teammates with packs of EXCEL game and the cute printable tags you can download for FREE below.
 



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




2) Chip Valentine - Little bags of chips make adorable Valentine's when paired with the cute tags I designed. Download the tags for free below.




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



3) Festive t-shirts - I found this t-shirt for $4 at my local dollar store, and it will be perfect for Valentine's Day. Keep a look out for cheap Valentine's Day shirts.




4) A SPECtacular Valentine - I found these adorable heart-shaped glasses at my local dollar store, and I think they make the cutest Valentine when paired with the punny tag I designed. Download the "EYE think you are SPECtacular" tags below.



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


5) Valentine for gal pals- How cute are these dollar store socks to share with a friend on Valentine's Day? I love them with this "You knock my SOCKS off" tag that you can download for free below.



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




6) Glittery Heart Garland - I found this garland at my local dollar store, and I love it. It's cute on it's own... but I also like to use the the individual hearts in my dΓ©cor. I add them to my Christmas garland to turn it into "Valentine's Day" garland. Check out my video (below) for a closer look.




7) Sweet Treats - Homemade and store bought chocolate treats make perfect Valentine's... and they are even better when paired with the cute, pink tags I designed. Download yours for free below.


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



8) Valentine for people that aren't sentimental - This Valentine is perfect if you aren't into "lovey dovey" Valentine's. I think it's super cute! Download the tag for free below.


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



9) Gumball machine Valentine - This DIY is simple to make with dollar store supplies, and it makes a perfect Valentine when you add the tag I designed. Find the instructions in the video I made here, and download the tag below.


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


For a closer look at all these Valentine's Day DIYs, FREEBIES, and Dollar Store Finds, check out the video below.

Happy Valentine's Day!


Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)


You may also enjoy the recipes here.

The Polar Express (Christmas Light Adventure)

For many years, our family has been going on a "Polar Express" Christmas Light Adventure, and it's one of my favourite holiday traditions. It's simple, but a lot of fun!!! (Note: Don't forget to download the UPDATED ticket I designed for you. Get if for FREE below.)



In order to embark on your own Polar Express adventure:

1) Print the tickets I designed for you.

2) Grab some hot chocolate, cookies, and popcorn.

3) Hop in your vehicle, turn on Christmas carols, and drive around looking at Christmas lights.


To print one of the Polar Express tickets I designed: right-click on the picture below, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 4X6 photo.




Then, when the trip is over and you've chosen the winner of the "best lights in town", the kids find bells from Santa's sleigh on their pillows. Pretty fun, right?





This really is one of our family's favorite holiday traditions, and I highly recommend giving it a try.


Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)


Find more ideas for easy and inexpensive Christmas family fun here.


Genius Ways to DIY Clear Plastic Ornaments... including FREE tags and a super-fun video

I love DIYing during the Christmas season, and I have the BEST ideas to share today. There really is something for everyone in this post. You are going to love my GENIUS ways to DIY clear ornaments, the FREE tags I designed, and the step-by-step video I put together for you.




1) Photo ornaments - Cut two circles, roll them up, and insert them into an ornament, and add a ribbon. For step by step instructions, check out the video here.



2) Warm wishes ornament - The large clear plastic ornaments are perfect for filling with little gifts. I filled mine with socks, toe warmers, and hot chocolate. I added a "Warm Wishes" tag, and it makes an adorable gift. Find the full step-by-step instructions here.



To download the "warm wishes" tag I designed for free: click on the photo below, right-click, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 4x6 photo.



3)  Christmas scrunchie ornament - Insert a holiday scrunchie into an ornament, add a piece of ribbon, and tie on a "Christmas Hair Don't Care" tag. To see the step-by-step instructions, check out the video here.



To download the "Christmas Hair" tag I designed for free: click on the picture below, right-click, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 4x6 photo.



4) Gumball ornament - Use hot glue to attach an ornament to the top of a red silo cup shot glass, add a pop top, fill with gumballs (or pom poms for a non-food option), and tie a ribbon hanger to the top. For step-by-step instructions, check out the video I made here.



5) Merry and Bright ornament - Fill this "light bulb" ornaments with Christmas M&Ms, add a piece of twine, and attach the "May your days be MERRY & BRIGHT" tag I designed. For step-by-step instructions, check out the video I made here.



To download the "May your days be MERRY & BRIGHT" tags I designed for FREE: click on the picture below, right-click, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 4x6 photo.




6) Keepsake ornaments - Fill ornaments with treasures you want to keep. I filled one with sea glass I found while walking the beach with my husband, and I filled other ornaments with the baby hats my boys wore just after they were born.




For a closer look at all of these DIYs, take a look at the YouTube video I made (below)...


All of these plastic ornaments are easy to make, and they are all fantastic. They are great for hanging on your own tree, and they make wonderful gifts too. Which one is your favourite?


Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

DIY Gifts People Actually WANT — Useful, inexpensive, and fun!!!

I love a good DIY gift, don't you? They are thoughtful, useful, inexpensive and fun! And... they are more budget-friendly than store bought gifts. You are going to love the DIY Christmas Gift Ideas I'm sharing today.




1) Elf Cookies - First bake up a batch of your favourite cookies. I used my favourite recipe for Ginger Molasses cookies. You can find the recipe here

Then, add a cardstock hat, googly eyes, button cheeks and a Sharpie mouth. Find the full step by step instructions here.


Seriously... how cute are these little elves???



2) Scrunchie ornament - A clear bulb is a perfect vessel for gifting a Christmas hair scrunchie. Pop off the top of a dollar store ornament, insert a scrunchie and add the cute "Christmas Hair Don't Care" tag I designed. Easy peasy!



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



3) Glowing nativity lamp - These colour changing LED lamps (that I found at Dollarama) are the perfect canvas for Cricut decals. I used nativity decals. Didn't they turn out great? 

For detailed instructions, check out the video I made here.




4) Gingerbread house gift bag - Cut the corners from brown paper gift bag, and use a chalk marker to decorate the bag to look like a gingerbread house. It doesn't need to be fancy. Have fun with it!



5) Reindeer gift bag - Start with a plain paper gift bag. Then, use glue to add googly eyes, and a red paper (or vinyl) nose. Then, draw a mouth with a Sharpie and tape candy cane "antlers" to the top of the bag. Who wouldn't want to receive a gift in this adorable reindeer gift bag?



For a closer look at all these DIY gift ideas, check out the YouTube video below.




Make sure you come back soon. I have a lot more fun Christmas content planned.

πŸ’— 
Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)


You might also be interested in the ideas here...

The BEST Easy, Inexpensive, and USEFUL Gift Ideas... including FREE gift tags

We all have so much clutter in our lives, so it's always nice to receive a "useful" gift this time of year. I love "consumable" gifts, and today, I'm sharing a few of my favourites. I'm also sharing FREE printable gift tags that make the gifts super-cute.




1) Hot chocolate gift (with two tag options) - A personalized mug, adorable mini mason jars full of marshmallows, and hot chocolate pairs perfectly with a "Warm Wishes" or "We Wish You a Cozy Christmas" tags.


Cute, right?!?




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



Wouldn't it be cute boxed up with Christmas PJs and popcorn for a Christmas movie night?



2) Christmas soap (with a "We WASH you a Merry Christmas" tags - It doesn't get easier than this. Just print the tags I designed and attach them to holiday soap. Easy peasy!



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



3) Cookies for Santa Mix - A cookie mix makes a fantastic gift. Who doesn't love baking during the holidays, and these are the perfect cookies to leave for Santa. Download the tag below, and find the full recipe here.



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



4) Christmas Morning Pancake Mix - Homemade pancake mix with an adorable tag is perfect for Christmas morning. It's a wonderful gift for teachers, neighbours, family, and friends.


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


It would also be a great addition to a Christmas Eve box!



5) Sweet Treats - Homemade goodies or store bought treats make fantastic gifts this time of year. Add the "Have a SWEET Christmas" tag I designed, and your good to go!




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


Want a closer look at all these fantastic gifts? Check out the video below.



What do you think of these ideas? Which one is YOUR favourite? If you still need MORE ideas, you might be interested in the video I made earlier this week. Check it out here.



Make sure you come back soon. I have a lot more fun Christmas content planned. Fa... la... la... la!!!

πŸ’— 
Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

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