Dollar Store Hot Chocolate Basket

Winter is a fun time for kids, and there is nothing better than playing in the cold and then warming up with a nice warm drink. Today, I am sharing a simple idea for a dollar store hot chocolate basket. You can easily put it to get and serve it to the whole neighbourhood for less than $10.

The best part about this basket is that it is 100% portable. You can take the basket (along with a thermos or kettle full of hot water) anywhere!

At the dollar store, I purchased: a grey plastic basket, cookies, popsicle sticks, hot chocolate, mini marshmallows, a cute plastic container for marshmallows, and some heat resistant cups. Cute, right?

Isn't this portable hot chocolate bar a simple and clever idea? I guarantee it will impress the children in your neighbourhood. Have fun, and stay warm!

 (aka East Coast Mommy)

5 NETFLIX Shows Your Kids Are Going To Love

As my boys get older, their tastes in television shows are changing. Luckily, Netflix is constantly creating new and entertaining content that appeals to children of all ages (and their parents). Today, I am sharing our family's NEW favorite show, and I am letting you know about some awesome new programs that are streaming on Netflix this month.

Recently, I was given a "sneak peak" of a new Netflix series: Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events... and our whole family LOVES it! 

Netflix is reinventing family TV with a show that serves up a little dark comedy that big kids (and their parents) will really enjoy. It is a bit more grown up than the shows that my boys have watched in the past, but we are watching this new series as a family, and it's fantastic! I seriously encourage you to check out Season 1 when it starts streaming on January 13.

And here are a four more shows that your kids are going to want to add to their "must watch" list this month:

DreamWorks Trollhunters

Voltron: Legendary Defender

Tarzan and Jane

Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh

What are your kids watching this month? Let me know if one of their favourites made my "must watch" list this month. Happy Streaming!

(aka East Coast Mommy)

Disclosure: I receive special gifts and perks as part of my affiliation with Netflix.... however (as always) the opinions on this blog are 100% my own.

Two Ingredient Almond Bark

Homemade treats don't need to take a lot of time. This super-quick, two ingredient almond bark recipe is simple and delicious. You can make a small batch to enjoy at home, or you can increase the recipe to share it with friends.

You'll need: 12 ounces of chocolate for each 1 cup of roasted almonds. (One batch makes a tray that can be divided into 5 portions to share with friends/neighbours.)


1) Roast almonds in a single layer on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 5-8 minutes (stirring a few times).

2) Melt quality white chocolate in the microwave at 50% power for 1 minute and stir. Continue the process in 30 second increments until it is smooth.

3) Mix almonds with chocolate, and pour it onto a cookie sheet or tray covered with wax paper.

4) Place in the refrigerator until firm.

5) Break into pieces.

If you want to gift the almond bark, you can place the pieces in cute packaging from the dollar store.

White chocolate lovers will love this simple recipe for two ingredient almond bark. If you give it a try, let me know what you think. Enjoy!

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

DIY Bowling Party

In November, my oldest son turned 11. Up to this point, we have hosted large parties for the boys, but we have decided that after 10, we are going to focus on more simple celebrations. My 11 year old decided to invite 5 of his friends to go bowling, and I added in a few DIY details to make the bowling party theme fun.

We started with a simple DIY invite that I created on Picmonkey. If you design a 4X6 invite on Picmonkey, you can print the invites inexpensively. Mine were $0.19 each.

The main activity at the party was obviously bowling, but I wanted to add a few more activities to make the party fun and unique.

After the kids finished bowling, they were able to "guess the candies in the jar". The party guest that guessed closest to the actual number of Skittles won the jar. Fun, right?

We also had a prize punch (which has become a staple at my boys' parties). It's always a hit with party guests, and you can get the full tutorial here.

Of course, we had to have festive bowling party food. We had pizza and lots of treats at my son's personal "canteen".

And I made a simple "bowling cake". I carved a bowling pin from a rectangular cake and a bowling ball from a round cake. They were simple cakes, but they were cute and went well with our party theme.

And finally, our guests left with adorable bowling party favours (with sweet tags that I designed). You can download the tags for free here

I thought the bowling party theme was fun, and I enjoyed planning out all the DIY details. Have you ever hosted a bowling party? What did you do to make the party fun and unique?

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)
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