{Easy} Bunny Bunting... with free printable template

My boys love making crafts that become festive holiday decor, so this simple Easter craft was a big hit in our house.  Check out this adorable and easy-to-make "Bunny Butt" Bunting.



Isn't it cute?  My seven year old made ours, and he is super-proud of how it turned out.  Want to make one?  Here's what you do:

1)  Download the bunny template {that I created for you} here.  

2)  Have the kids color the bunny silhouettes using lots of Easter colors.



3)  Cut out the bunnies, and glue on pom pom tails.



4)  After the glue is dry, hang the bunnies from twine with tiny clothespins.

That's it!

I hope you have enjoyed my Easter projects this year.  I would love to hear about your favorites.

Happy Easter!


♥ 
Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

* You can find me on facebook here.


Photo Easter Cards

Just wanted to quickly share the photo Easter cards I made for my 5 year old to share with his class.


Aren't they cute?  All I did was take an adorable picture of my cute little bunny holding out his hand.  Then, I added some text using Picmonkey.  I sent the pictures for one hour processing, and voila!



I used an X-acto knife to cut slits above and below his fist, and stuck in a pencil.  My little guy totally loves how they turned out, and he was excited to take them to school this morning.  I just love when the kids are excited to go to school, don't you?


♥ 
Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

* You can find me on facebook here.

Bunny Mask {Preschool Craft}

I just made this adorable bunny mask with a group of Preschoolers, and today I am sharing the full tutorial and FREE printable template.  It's a simple craft, it's perfect for Easter, and the kids will love it. 


To make your own bunny mask:

1)  Download the template, print it onto white cardstock, and cut it out.  You can download the template {for free} here.


2)  Color the inside of the bunny ears with a crayon.

3)  Cut out a pink nose from foam or construction paper, and attach with glue.

4)  Cut some strips of black paper, and attach the "whiskers" with glue.

5)  Attach a popsicle stick to the back of the mask with tape.


That's it!  Cute, right?

Happy Easter to you and your little bunnies! 


♥ 
Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Bird Nest Cookies

Last year, I posted about "Egging" the neighbours {which you can read more about here}, and since then, I have been asked several times for the recipe we used for our Bird Nest Cookies. We make these cookies each year, and they are easy to make and fun to share.


To make these adorable Easter cookies:

1)  Mix together the following dry ingredients, and set aside:
  • 3 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1/4 tsp salt
2)  Put the following ingredients in a saucepan, and bring to a boil:
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
3)  Remove from heat, and stir in dry ingredients.

4)  Before the mixture starts to dry out, drop the mixture from heaping teaspoons onto wax paper, and add three candy covered chocolate eggs to the middle of each cookie.  Allow to cool completely.





These cookies are easy, delicious, and cute -- perfect for this time of year. And, for an extra special treat, you can use these cookies to garnish cupcakes.  So yummy!



Do you have a favorite Easter Cookie recipe?  This one is definitely at the top of my list.


♥ 
Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Easter Gifts for Classmates... with free printable bag toppers

My boys love sharing holiday treats with their classmates, and this year I came up with a cute "bunny" Easter gift for my three year old to share with his friends.


I just LOVE how easy and inexpensive these treats were to put together, and they are a great alternative to chocolate and candy.

I bought 12 bunnies for $2, put them in clear treat bags, and added some simple and adorable bag toppers.  Cute, right?   You can download the bag toppers I designed {for free} here.



Wouldn't your little ones be proud handing out these cute goodies to their little friends?



You can also find another delightful Easter gift for classmates (and free printable tags) here.


Both versions are super-cute, don't you think?  Happy Easter!

♥ 
Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

$2 Bunny Canvas

I love low cost holiday decor, don't you?  So, for Easter, I made this adorable "Bunny Butt" Canvas for about $2.


Isn't it sweet?  All you need is: a dollar store canvas, a piece of colorful scrapbook paper, some pink cardstock, a white pom pom, and some Modge Podge.  Then...

1)  Download the bunny template {that I created for you} here.  Use the template to cut a bunny silhouette from pink card stock.

2)  Trim the colorful scrapbook paper to fit the canvas.

3)  Apply a thin coat of Modge Podge to the back of the scrapbook paper and the front of the canvas.  Then, quickly place the paper onto the canvas, smooth out any bubbles, and wait at least 20 minutes for the Modge Podge to dry.

4)  Use Modge Podge to glue the bunny onto the canvas, and wait  for it to dry.

5)  Apply a top coat of Modge Podge, and allow to dry completely.

6)  Glue a white pom pomonto the bunny's butt.

That's it!  Easy, inexpensive, and totally cute.

You can also spend a few dollars on a dollar store shadow box frame and make a fancier version.  I added a little yarn and scrapbook paper banner to the top for added touch of whimsey.


Cute, right? Which "bunny butt" picture is your favorite?


Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Snow Ice Cream

When mother nature gives you a snow storm at the end of March... make some snow ice cream!



I have been planning all winter to make snow ice cream with my boys, but for some reason we didn't get around to it -- until today.  If you haven't done it before, you must.  My boys LOVED it, and it was so simple! (You can check out our YouTube video here, or you can follow the instructions below.)

All we did was:

1)  Put 8 cups of clean (freshly fallen) snow in a big bowl.
2)  Added 1 can (300mL) sweetened condensed milk and 1 tsp vanilla extract.
3)  Stirred to combine, and served immediately.

Since my boys LOVE chocolate, I served our ice cream with a simple homemade chocolate sauce.  I just put 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa, 1 2/3 cups white sugar, 1 1/4 cups water, and 1 tsp vanilla in a medium saucepan.  I cooked it over medium heat for about 5 minutes after it came to a boil... whisking frequently.  Then, I removed it from the heat and allowed it to cool slightly.



Seriously... why did we wait so long to do this?  We'll have to start earlier in the season next year.

Have you ever made "Snow Ice Cream"?


♥ 
Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

* You can find me on facebook here.

Fisher Price Favorites

Fisher-Price just came out with a list of 12 Fisher-Price Favourites and it got me thinking about the Fisher-Price products that were (and continue to be) part of my boys' childhoods.  I think every mom has her own favourites, and I have two:  the Little People Animal Sounds Farm and the Ocean Wonders Aquarium.

My three year old playing with his Little People Animal Sounds Farm {and other farm stuff}

My favorite toys are those that allow little ones to pretend and use their imaginations, and the Little People Animal Sounds Farm definitely fits this criteria.  I can't help smiling when I think about all the times my boys "played farm" with each other, and I love that my three year old still frequently asks me to help him set up his animals.  If you have little ones, I highly recommend investing in this one.

And if you are still in the "baby" phase, you should consider the Ocean Wonders Aquarium.  When my boys were babies, they always went to sleep to the sounds of their Ocean Wonders Aquarium, and I remember listening to its calming music on the baby monitor while I crossed my fingers for three full hours of sleep.  :-)  All three boys loved our aquarium... and we were all sad to say good bye to it when my youngest moved to his "big boy bed".


My three year old "helping" take down his crib

What are your Fisher-Price Favourites?  Did they make the official list?  The list includes:
1.    Ocean Wonders Aquarium
2.    My Little Snugabunny Cradle N Swing
3.    Infant to Toddler Rocker
4.    SpaceSaver High Chair
5.    Discover’n Grow Jumperoo
6.    Brilliant Basics Rock a Stack
7.    Laugh & Learn Love to Play Puppy
8.    Laugh & Learn Say Please Tea Set
9.    Laugh & Learn Click ‘n Learn Remote
10. Brilliant Basics Stroll-Along Walker
11. Little People Wheelies Stand ‘ n Play Rampway
12. Little People Animal Sounds Farm

You can read more about these favorites on the Fisher Price Site, and if you are interested in purchasing one of these products, you can save 20% off Fisher-Price favourites at Toy 'R Us by using the code FISHERPRICE20.  This PIN is effective March 29 to April 30. Visit: http://www.toysrus.ca/home/index.jsp?categoryId=2567269 to use the exclusive PIN code.


♥ 
Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

* You can find me on facebook here.

Disclosure: I am part of the Fisher-Price Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group; however, the opinions on this blog are 100% my own.”

April Fool's Day Treat

I am not a big fan of "pranks", but the last couple of years, I have made my boys a special "treat" on April 1st -- fake grilled cheese sandwiches and purple milk.


Cute, right?  I just added a few drops of blue and red food coloring to regular milk {to turn it purple}.  Then, I made sandwiches using slices of pound cake and icing tinted with red and yellow food coloring.  You could toast the pound cake if you want it to be more authentic, but I didn't bother.  That's it!  Easy peasy!


Are you a fan of April Fool's Day?  How do you celebrate it?

♥ 
Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Spring Printable

Don't you just love Spring?  To celebrate the beginning of Spring, I thought I would share this great picture with you... that you can download for FREE.


I took this picture last year while out for a walk with my three year old.  Don't apple blossoms just scream "Spring"?  I think this photo would be a great addition to a Spring mantel.  You can download an 8X10 copy {for free} here.

Has warmer weather arrived where you are?  We still have some snow, but I know I will be smelling apple blossoms soon.  :-)

♥ 
Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

* You can find me on facebook here.

ECM Kids' Craft Club - #13 {Bunny Ears}

Welcome to the 13th edition of the ECM Kids Craft Club {an easy and inexpensive way for kids to have fun crafting and experience the excitement of getting their very own mail}.  If you want to join the club, you can find more info here.

For everyone who is already a member... let's get started on this month's craft.  This month we are making adorable Bunny Ears for Easter!



Cute, right?  Here's how you make them:



1)  Tape the ends of the three plain/white strips together to create one long white strip.

2)  Make a bunny face in the middle of the long white strip.  Glue on two googly eyes, draw a mouth and whiskers, and cut out (and glue on) a pink nose from craft foam.  Allow to dry completely.

3)  Color and cut out bunny ears (using the bunny ear templates included in the kit).

4)  Tape the bunny ears to the inside of the white strip.  Then, size the strip to the child's head, and tape in place to create a headband.

That's it!  I hope you enjoyed this craft, and I hope you have a very Happy Easter!  {Don't forget to leave me a comment, or send me an email.  Your comments help me improve the club, and I love hearing from you.}  

♥ 
Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)



Don't forget... Assist young children when using scissors, and be careful of the small parts included with this kit, as they can be a choking hazard for children under three".)

Leprechaun Trap

Every year my boys put their heads together, make a plan, and build a leprechaun trap for St. Patrick's Day.  Thus far they have been unsuccessful in their attempts to catch a leprechaun, but maybe this is our lucky year.  Here is the 2013 "Lego" Leprechaun Trap.


Seriously... what leprechaun could resist this adorable creation? 

The boys used green painting tape to cover a box, I helped them cut out a hole, and they built a Lego staircase.  Pretty clever, aren't they?

All we need to do is add some leprechaun bait (which you can read all about here), and I think we have a good chance of catching one.  And if we don't... perhaps he'll drop some gold chocolate coins... like he did last year.

♥ 
Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

* You can find me on facebook here.

Elf on the Shelf {Easter Card}

Some of you may remember that our "Elf on the Shelf" sent a Valentine to my boys.  They were so thrilled by it, that I thought it would be fun if our "Elfie" dropped off an Easter card too.  My boys will be so excited to find this card beside their baskets on Easter morning.


Would you like a copy?  I have put together a {free} generic, printable 5X7 version, and you can download it here.


Do your little ones miss their "Elf on the Shelf"?  Mine sure do!

♥ 

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

* You can find me on facebook here.

Simple St.Patrick's Day Cupcakes

My boys love decorating cupcakes with holiday themes, so this year we decorated cupcakes three ways for St. Patrick's Day.


Aren't they cute?  We made vanilla cupcakes, frosted them with buttercream icing, and decorated them with:

1)  Froot Loops
2)  Lucky Charms
3)  Shamrock Sprinkles.

I never buy sugary cereals, so my boys think they hit the jackpot with these cupcake toppings!  :-)

Are you making any St.Patrick's Day treats this year?

♥ 
Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

* You can find me on facebook here.

Easy Appetizer {Nacho Dip}

Are you ever asked to bring an appetizer to a party?  I always like to make something that is easy, tasty, and doesn't need to be reheated.  This Nacho Dip is a favorite of mine.


Here is my version (which is based on a recipe I found here):

1)  Combine one (8 oz package) of room temperature cream cheese with 1 cup of sour cream and 2 tablespoons of mild taco seasoning mix.  {I like to use a potato masher, and then a spoon.}

2)  Spread the cream cheese/sour cream mixture onto a large plate or platter, and then cover with 3/4 cup Tostitos mild salsa, 1/2 a green pepper, and 1 cup grated cheddar cheese.

That's it!  Serve this dip with a bowl of nacho chips, and I guarantee there won't be any leftovers to take home.  :-)

What is your favorite appetizer recipe?  I am always looking for new "tried and true" favorites.


♥ 
Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

10 Quick and Easy St. Patrick's Day Ideas

St.Patrick's Day isn't a major holiday, but the boys and I like to celebrate March 17 by doing a few things that are fun and easy. Check out this collection of 10 simple ideas that are guaranteed to delight your little leprechaun.


1) Lucky Penny {to share with friends} - Click here for free "lucky penny" printable postcards.  This is a really fun St. Patrick's Day treat to share with friends.


2) Dollar Store Frame - This St. Patrick's Day frame is a great way to get low cost St. Patrick's Day decor.  Click here for a full tutorial and free printable.


3) St. Patrick's Day Penny Banner - This charming banner is easy to make using things you likely already have lying around the house.  Click here for a full step by step tutorial.


4) Treasure to Share - Click here for a free printable bag topper.  Your little leprechauns will love sharing a St. Patrick's Day treasure with their friends.


5) Leprechaun Trap - Click here to find out how easy and fun it is to try to catch a leprechaun.  They are tough to trap, but it sure is fun to try.  :-)



6) Shamrock Hat - This easy craft is simple and lots of fun for kids.  Click here for the step by step tutorial.


7)  Shamrock Pancakes and Green Milk - A few drops of green food coloring, some pancake batter, and a shamrock cookie cutter are all you need to make these adorable pancakes.  Don't forget to add a few drops to some milk too.


Rainbow Seeds make a fun breakfast too! Get the FREE downloadable tag here.


8)  Rainbow Necklaces - String some Froot Loops onto some braiding cord, yarn, or shoestring liquorice to create these edible rainbow necklaces.  Your little leprechaun will love making and wearing this festive piece of jewellery.


9)  St.Patrick's Day Treats - Little ones will love decorating St. Patrick's Day cookies or cupcakes.  Make sure you have plenty of green icing, sprinkles and colorful candies on hand.


10) Leprechaun Bait - This a great way to share St. Patrick's Day fun with classmates, and it's a fun St. Patrick's Day party favor too. Click here for a free printable Leprechaun Bait bag topper, or here for free printable Leprechaun Bait tags.



Bonus 

11) Leprechaun Paper Dolls - This little craft is as fun to play with as it is to make.  Click here for a free printable leprechaun puppet.



What do you do to celebrate St. Patrick's Day? Will you try one of the easy St.Patrick's Day ideas?

♥ 
Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Refresh Your Flavours for Spring

I don't know about you, but I am totally ready for some warmer weather and some lighter fare. All winter, I am drawn to hearty vegetables like squash, carrots and parsnips, but this time of year, I start shifting toward salads, peppers, tomatoes and asparagus. {Asparagus is my absolute favorite vegetable!}


I like to pan fry fresh asparagus {with a little butter and salt} until it is bright green and still a little crispy.  Yum!

How do you like to refresh your flavours for Spring?


♥ 
Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)


Disclosure: I am a member of the Sobeys Better Food Lovers program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation.  However, the opinions in this post are 100% my own.

Preschooler Craft {St.Patrick's Day Hat}

With St. Patrick's Day just around the corner, I thought I would share a fun and festive St. Patrick's Day craft with you.  This festive hat is great to make with little ones -- it is simple enough for Preschoolers, but older kids will enjoy it too.


Here’s how you make one:

1)  Gather your supplies (which you probably already have lying around your house)… white and green cardstock, scissors, glue, tape, crayons, googly eyes, and something for the nose (e.g. a penny, a pom pom or a button).
2)  Make a headband by cutting two or three strips of white cardstock about 2 inches thick.  Have the child color a “rainbow” onto the strips.
3)  Fit the strips to the child’s head and use tape or a stapler to secure it into the shape of a headband.
4)  Cut a big shamrock out of green cardstock.  (You can draw it freehand or print one from the internet.)
5)  Make a face on the shamrock using a crayon, googly eyes, and a penny, pom pom or button.
6)  Tape the decorated shamrock onto the front of the headband.


Cute, right?  And, making a fun hat to wear on March 17, 2013 is just one way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with your little leprechauns.  Here are a few more: 

1)  Wear something green. 
2)  Drink green milk.  (Just add a few drops of green food coloring to regular milk.)
3)  Set a leprechaun trap.  (They are hard to catch, but sometimes a good trap will cause a leprechaun to drop some of his treasure.)
4)  Eat green pancakes.  (Just add a few drops of green food coloring to your favorite pancake batter.)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  I hope it is a lucky day for you and your family. 

♥ 
Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)