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No-Sew Spy Shirts

Recently, I threw a 7th birthday party for my middle son.  He chose a "spy" theme, and I thought it would be fun to have the boys wear personalized spy t-shirts.

I bought 3 plain black shirts at Old Navy for $6 each.  Then, I used dimensional fabric paint to write on each shirt.  I used their agents as their secret agent names.  Fun, right?

It's a fantastic idea for an adorable personalized spy t-shirt, and it could easily be made into a no sew spy costume for Halloween.  Add some black pants, gloves, and a ski mask, and you're good to go!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Birthday Letter {to my middle son turning 7}

My second born son turns 7 today, and in keeping with tradition, I have written him a birthday letter.  It is my way of capturing all the little details that I don't want to forget when he is older.  Here are some of the reasons my adorable 7 year old is so special:

To my sweet boy,

I can't believe that you are turning 7 today.  Time goes by so quickly, and I am really making an effort to treasure every moment of your childhood.  You are full of energy and life, and I am grateful that I have you for my son.  Here are a few reasons that you are such a wonderful little boy.

  • You lost your first teeth this year (three of them)... but you still have a killer smile.
  • Your favorite color is blue, and you love watching Star Wars.
  • You are turning into an excellent reader, and I love all the notes you write me in your "Mommy and Me" journal.
  • You are a natural athlete.  You recently won your first trophy at Tir Nan Og (a track meet), and Mommy and Daddy were very proud of you.
  • You are fantastic at fixing and building things.  You love LEGO, and you want to "fix things" when you grown up.
  • You have tons of friends.  When you go out, you are always waving and smiling at someone you know.
  • You continue to love playing with your brothers.  Some of your favorite games are: hockey, soccer, baseball, cars, pirates, and Star Wars.  (You are great at acting out scenes from Star Wars with pool noodle light sabres.  You are an awesome Jedi!)
  • You have a really big heart.  When I am sick, you give me your "blankie" to make me feel better and you cry at sad movies.  You also made cards for everyone on Father's Day so no one would feel left out.
I love you to the moon and back... and more each day.

Love, Mommy xoxo

Simple Spy Cake

My middle son is having his 7th birthday party tomorrow, so I thought a 007 spy cake would be perfect.  I am not a professional cake decorator, so I came up with a simple design using two round cakes and one square one.

I used Duncan Hines Cake mixes, but I used 2 tbsp less water and half the oil called for in the recipe in order to make the cake more dense and easy to work with.  Then, I carefully carved out the numbers, covered them in a crumb coats, and stuck them in the refrigerator.  When the icing for firm, I added a finishing coat of frosting.

I decorated the cakes with dollar store magnifying glasses, sunglasses, and black icing footprints.

Didn't it turn out cute?  Have you ever had a spy themed birthday?  What kind of cake did you have?

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Spy Party - Loot Bags

I am planning a spy party for my middle son on Sunday afternoon, and I thought it would be fun to send all the guests home with a simple spy kit loot bag.  Here's what I came up with:

Each kit contains a notebook, pen, fake moustache, glow stick, laser pointer and glasses.  Fun, right?  

I packaged each kit in a brown lunch bag, stamped it "top secret", and added a cute tag I made in Picmonkey. 

I think all the guests of the party will be thrilled with their spy kit loot bags, and I know my little birthday boy will be excited to give them out to his friends.

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Pixie Dust Pouches {with free printable tags}

We recently had a Jake and the Neverland Pirates party, and because I think it is fun to send the guests off with some fun party favors, I made some inexpensive pixie dust pouches.

I purchased some little glass jars at the dollar store (6 for $1.00) and half filled them with red and gold glitter.  Then, I put them in small yellow bags, and added a cord necklace.  I finished them off with a cute little tag I designed.

To print your own tags, right click on the picture below, save it to your computer, and print it like a normal 4 X 6 photo.

Obviously these aren't for unsupervised use or for young children.  Anything that goes around a child's neck can be dangerous if worn while playing.

I think these pixie dust pouches were a fun addition to our little party.  Do you have a little Jake and the Neverland Pirates fan that would enjoy these magical accessories?

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Jake and the Neverland Pirates Cake

My "baby" just turned five, and he requested a Jake and the Neverland Pirates party.  I love making special cakes for my boys on their birthdays, but because I have never taken a cake decorating course, I am always looking for easy ways to make adorable cakes. Here's what I came up with this year:

Fun, right?  Can you believe this is a cake mix and pre-made frosting?  I started with 2 Duncan Hines mixes (chocolate for the boat and white for the island... but I cut the oil in half and subtracted 2 tbsp of water to make the cake a little more dense and easy to work with.

I found a lot of pirate cake inspiration on Pinterest and in books from the library, but here is how you can make one like mine:

First, you'll need to construct the cakes:

1) Make one 9 X 13 chocolate cake and two 8" round white cakes.  The rectangle cake is for the ship, and the round cakes are for the island.

2) Allow to cool completely, and then trim the chocolate cake to make a perfect rectangle.

3) Use a serrated knife to cut the top off the cake.

4)  Cut the rectangle in half (lengthwise), and then cut 2-3 inches off the top.

5) Assemble the ship by placing the two long rectangles on top of each other and the smaller rectangles at either end.  (Use icing in between the layers to secure.)

6) Cut a triangle shape out of the front of the boat.

7)  Lay one of the round cakes on top of the other (with icing in between), and then cover both the "boat cake" and the "island cake" (gently) with "crumb coats" of icing.  Refrigerate until the icing is solid and easy to decorate.

Then, you can decorate the cakes:

To make Jake's boat (Bucky):

1) Frost the cake with chocolate icing, and use a knife to carve "planks" into the cake.

2) Trim the boat with yellow icing, and add a red lifesaver steering wheel and yellow lifesaver windows.

3) Finished the boat by adding a paper sail on a dowel and some little plastic toys.

To make Captain Hook's Island:

1) Frost half the cake with blue icing and create little waves with the knife.

2) Cover the other half of the cake with graham cracker crumbs.

3) Finish the island by added some little plastic toys.

Finally, to finish off the masterpiece, cover the cake board with blue icing, and create tons of waves with your knife.

That's it!  There are quite few steps, but nothing too complicated, and the result is totally worth the effort.  My little guy could not have been more pleased with his cake!

If you make a version of this Jake and the Neverland Pirates cake, please let me know.  I'd love to hear how it turned out.

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Happy Birthday Baby Boy! {birthday letter to my 5 year old}

Today, my "baby boy" turns five, and in keeping with family tradition, I wrote him a birthday letter as a way of remembering a few of the little details that make him so special.  Here is my birthday letter to my youngest son on his 5th birthday.

To my darling baby boy,

Today you turn five, in less than two months, you will be starting "big" school.  I am so happy that we have had so much time together before this big step in your life.  I will always treasure our lunches, walks, crafting sessions, and snuggles on the couch reading stories.  I am slightly sad to see you getting older and more independent, but I am so proud of the sweet little boy you have become.  Here are a few of the things that make you so special:
  • You love to snuggle on the couch (with "big blanket") and read stories.
  • When you grow up, you want to be an "X-Men" hockey player, and you want to be #11 (like your older brother).
  • You are super-funny, and you always like to make Daddy and I (and your brothers) laugh.
  • Your favorite color is green, and you always want to eat your cereal out of a green bowl.
  • Your favorite show is Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and you chose it as the theme of your birthday party this year.
  • You love music, and I often catch you singing when you don't think anyone is listening.
  • You had a great time in Florida this year, and you often talk about the fun we had at Disney.  (You were a pro at Jedi Training Camp!)
  • You love playing hockey, soccer and baseball... and you are so happy that it is finally "your turn" to have your own teams and jerseys... instead of being dragged around to all your brothers' practices.
  • You stick your tongue out when you are concentrating.
  • You are shy with people you don't know, but you really come out of your shell around family and friends... and when you get on a stage.
  • You always ask me to sing you a "soft song" when you go to bed, and your favorite is "Mum-a-bye" (aka "Hush Little Baby").  I love that you still play with my hair as I sing.
I love you all the way to the moon and back... plus a little more each year.


Mommy xoxo

PS (I apologize in advance for the fact that I am going to cry like a baby on your first day of school.  I hope I don't embarrass you too badly.)
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