Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Truth of the Pumpkin Patch

A few years ago, I posted these adorable photos of my son enjoying his very first pumpkin patch.

I basked in the glory of knowing that even though he was the third born and there is nary a page of his baby book filled-out, let alone even a baby book with pages to neglect, he will always be able to cherish these photos of himself cavorting in the pumpkin patch. In a pumpkin outfit!

Mom for the win.

But the truth of that day has haunted me ever since.

THIS photo represents that day and that trip to the pumpkin patch.

The truth of the pumpkin patch that day is that it was raining. And he was sick. And he did not want to be in a pumpkin patch at all, let alone in a stupid fucking pumpkin outfit.

But we were there, because I wanted that photo. (The first set of photos that is, not the one above.)

So I'm sharing this for all of you also get tears in the pumpkin patch when you just want smiles.

And I'm also sharing this so next time you visit Pinterest and see a gorgeous pumpkin pie cooling on a rustic wood table you'll remember there's a pretty good chance it's not all as perfect as it seems, either.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Easy Halloween Breakfast Ideas

Looking for fun and easy Halloween breakfast ideas?

I have some!

Make fun vampire bagels for Halloween!

These Halloween Vampire Bagels are made with Skittles and plastic fangs:

And this version is made with dried cranberries, dripping blood optional:

And if you don't want bagels, there's always Halloween vampire doughnuts:

Happy Halloween!

Thank you to Lovezilla's No Effort Halloween Treat for the inspiration.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Four Easy Ideas for No Carve Halloween Pumpkins

If you're a regular reader, you know already that we've decorated Halloween pumpkins at our house with glitter, googly eyes and (of course) Duck Tape.

And yet, I can't seem to stop decorating pumpkins for Halloween. So if you're looking for ideas for taking a regular pumpkin (pictured center) and turning it into something fun for Halloween - try pennies, seashells, glamorous rhinestones, or spiders and spider web.

Want to know how to make the pumpkins pictured above?

Pretty Penny Pumpkin and Rhinestone Glam-a-Pumpkin: just affix the pennies or rhinestones with glue dots (regular glue didn't quite hold when I tried it).

Sassy Seashell Pumpkin: For this, I used a paintbrush and painted glue all around the edges and then held the shell on for about a minute to help it set. It still took a while to find ones that would stay, the ones with thicker edges worked best.

Spooky Spider Web Pumpkin: There is no adhesive that would get those spiders to stick to the pumpkin, which makes sense since I haven't seen any spider pumpkins that didn't have a spider web, too. To make this Halloween pumpkin, just drape spider web all over the pumpkin and then stick the spiders into the web. Easy as can be, and it's an added bonus that no glue is even required.

Do you have any other ideas for no carve Halloween pumpkins? Share!

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Five Ways I Won't Be Celebrating Halloween

I try to love Halloween as much as the next parent, but I admit to having my limits when it comes to embracing this kid frenzy of overdone costumes and too much candy. Here are five ways I won't be celebrating the holiday this year, no matter how much my kids beg me:

I will not be getting lost in some dumb-ass eleventy-thousand acre corn maze of such complexity that a call to 911 would ever be warranted. Or even considered. If by some crazy turn of events I am convinced by my offspring to wander aimlessly amongst the corn stalks it will be with a GPS. And a flask.
I will not be attiring my son in a pumpkin outfit so that he blends in with the orange vegetation of the pumpkin patch. I will also not be allowing my daughters to dress like zombie cheerleaders or anything vaguely related to Monster High.

I remember when girls costumes were y'know, costumes. Just look at the difference from what was sold as a Native American costume in the 1970s, and what it looks like today.

I will perhaps let my older daughter be a mildly suggestive witch, as she has so persuasively explained "it's totally the one I want! I have to have it!"

I will not be giving out candy on Halloween. Yes, you read that correctly. I'm all for giving out (fun!) stickers and (festive!) mini play-doh containers. If my husband succeeds in convincing me this is the worst idea ever in the history of the world and will doom us to dire social consequences, including but not limited to a lifetime of our house being TP'd, I might (and I'm only committing to might ) be willing to distribute some chocolate to the young trick-or-treaters. But it will be fair trade chocolate.

I will not be scooping out a pumpkin, carving a pumpkin, or roasting seeds from a pumpkin. You kids may be good Jersey girls and bling out your pumpkins to your heart's content with sharpies, duck tape and even rhinestones and glitter. But do not expect me to go all Country Living with you. I will not be using an apple corer to stick pieces of one colored pumpkin into a pumpkin of another color. I will not be gluing the pumpkin seeds from the inside of the pumpkin to the outside of the pumpkin so it looks like a hamburger. And above all else, I will not be fashioning a pumpkin into a make-shift candy dish. Or a beer cooler. 

We live in suburban New Jersey not the Little House on the Prairie.

And last, I will not be decorating our house. Not with blow-up pumpkins. Or giant inflatable cats. Or rats. Or cats sitting on rats, while wearing witch hats. There will be no giant spiders climbing our walls. Our yard will not have those skeletons that look like they are climbing out of the ground, even if I can admit they are actually pretty clever. It's Halloween, people, not Christmas.

A house in my neighborhood. It's awesome, but clearly, they are Halloween-insane.
So there you have it, five ways I won't be celebrating Halloween. My husband calls me the Grinch that Stole Halloween - but it's not true. I only want to steal Halloween from 30 days of October, on it's rightful day on October 31 I will be happy to celebrate it to... uh... death.
How will you be celebrating - or should I say not celebrating Halloween?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Easy Halloween Hairstyle - Just Add Spiders!

I saw this very cool idea on Pinterest to create a Halloween hairstyle with plastic spiders. I figured I would have the usual crap-tastic results I usually get when I try to do anything I see on Pinterest, and lo-and-behold, it was so easy! And it turned-out like it was supposed to and everything!

All you need to do to create this easy Halloween hairstyle is take a plastic spider ring and cut the ring in half at the bottom of the loop.

Then braid the hair as well as you can - clearly, there will be a range of results here - and add the spiders. All you do is put the spider on the hair, and let the ring wrap around the braid.

I totally thought the spiders would fall out after a few minutes, but they stay in totally fine. My daughter wore her spider braids to school and when she came home in the afternoon looking exactly the same.

Now this is my kind of Pinterest project - easy, fun and actually works!

I found this idea on Princess Piggies, and you should go and check out her version because it's way better than mine. First, she has brightly colored spiders which show-up a lot better in the hairstyle than the black spiders I used did. Also, she has super-cute Halloween ribbons at the ends of the braids. Pretty much she's a total pro, but that's probably why she has an entire website about girls hairstyles and I have a website about uh... random stuff.

Monday, October 21, 2013

My Love-Hate Relationship with Halloween

I spend so much time complaining about how much I hate Halloween, that I think it's pretty obvious that I actually love Halloween. Or at least love to hate Halloween.

Or something like that.

I'm ranting In the Powder Room about what Halloween has become as compared to my Platonic ideal of the holiday in Halloween, You Have Betrayed Us.

Do you love Halloween? Hate Halloween? Or honestly, just not care?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Do you know there's a Nickelodeon for moms? Check out NickMom! It's #MotherFunny!

#motherfunny #cbias #shop

Do you like to laugh? Of course you do, or you wouldn't be reading this - goodness knows you're not here for my crafting abilities or parenting advice. For some seriously funny stuff, check out NickMom. NickMom.com is a site from Nickelodeon that not only is full of laughs and hilarious insights into the life of a mom, but just like a magic eight-ball, it can tell you your personality just by what you drink.

Check out What Your Wine Choice Says About you from the always funny Nicole Leigh Shaw:

#motherfunny #shop #cbias

I will admit to being someone who picks her wine based on the label. In fact, I make a lot of my decisions for better or for worse on similarly superficial qualities.

Like decorating our Halloween pumpkin with glitter - because hello, glitter always looks awesome -- without really thinking through what would happen if it rained.

I found out what would happen is all the glitter would all wash off, and also that's why people usually carve their pumpkins.

I've also been concerned with getting really good last day of school photos of my school-age kids, that I didn't notice their little brother wasn't even wearing pants.

And then because everyone else makes taking a family portrait at the beach look easy, I thought I'd like to get a nice photo of my family, too. Because I care about appearances (there's that superficial thing again), I asked -- possibly forced -- my son to change, but I think he got the last laugh.

He's wearing the dress shirt as requested, but decided not to button it. And then he paired the shirt with his turtle pants because, and I quote, "they're really the best thing I own."

Indeed. Now where's that bottle of wine, you know the one with the gold unicorn on it?

And don't forget the NickMom.com website isn't the only place you can go for#MotherFunny humor - there's always lots of laughs on the NickMom Facebook page and Twitter feed, too!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Join Us This Thursday, October 17, for Girls Night Out in Westfield, NJ!

Jersey girls! Come join the fun at Westfield's Girls Night Out!

Come sip champagne while the experts help you find the perfect shade of lipstick!

We'll also be signing copies of You've Got Lipstick on Your Teeth and reading our favorite (and funniest) essays at Blue Mercury (82 Elm Street) from 5pm to 8pm.

I'll be there with my co-authors:

Kim Bongiorno of Let Me Start By Saying
Kim Forde of The Fordeville Diaries
Dawn Weber of Lighten Up!

And the anthology's editor, Leslie Marinelli of The Bearded Iris will also be there all the way from Atlanta!

Can't wait, and hope you can join us!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Celebrate Halloween with DR Legwear from Duane Reade!

#DRLegCandy #shop #cbias

Regular readers know Halloween is a favorite topic here on my blog, and so I was beyond happy when Duane Reade asked me to share about their Boo-tiful Legs Contest and to visit Duane Reade to find some tights from their DR Hosiery and DR Legwear collections to add some flair to my Halloween costume.

This year, I'll be dressing-up as a witch for my Halloween costume when I take my kids trick-or-treating. I had the hat and the black dress for my witch-ness, but hadn't figured out my footwear or tights.

There are a ton of patterns to choose from in the Duane Reade tight department, from polka dots to fishnets. I went with chevron, which I thought would be fun to wear not only for Halloween, but for the rest of the other "regular" days of the year, too.

#DRLegCandy #cbias #shop

While my daughter Kay and I were shopping at Duane Reade we also checked out all the other Halloween offerings, there's tons of stuff for everything you want need from costumes to home d├ęcor.

#DRLegCandy #cbias #shop

When we got back home, I tried the tights and let my kids choose from my collection of black shoes the ones they deemed the most "witchy."

Also I should note that the tights could not be more comfy and the price is fantastic - $7.99. I'm so glad I had the chance find out about the DR line, because I will definitely be back to get some more.

I think the witch costume turned out perfectly, not to mention perfectly witchy.

#DRLegCandy #shop #cbias


All that's left to get ready for Halloween is to get a few lessons in scary from this witch:

#DRLegCandy #cbias #shop

Now tell me, what are you dressing-up as for Halloween this year?

Learn more about Duane Reade's Boo-tiful Legs Contest! From October 13 to November 3 upload a photo of your Leg Candy (Duane Reade branded legwear) for a chance to win an awesome prize.

Join the #DRLegCandy Twitter party this Wednesday, October 16, from 9-10pm EST to talk about Halloween as well as for the chance to win super prizes.

Catch-up with Duane Reade for the latest deals and new products on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Halloween Treats from See's Candies

This summer, my family and I received a huge package of See's Candies to enjoy and review. Everything we tried was a big hit at our house.

My kids especially liked the Lollypops ($7.60 for a box of 12), which added a sweet note to more than one summer's evening.

For Halloween, you can get the Lollypops in this fantastic Halloween box:

And there are other great Halloween Treats from See's, like this Trick-or-Treat Box ($6.85 for 13 pieces)

I also love these adorable Chocolate Marshmallow Jack O'Lanterns ($18.20 for six, each one individually wrapped).

We tried similar chocolate marshmallow treats this summer, and found they were delicious chopped-up and baked into cookies. Just follow the recipe for your chocolate chip cookie of choice, and substitute the chopped chocolate marshmallows for half of the chocolate chips, and bake as directed.

These cookies turned out sooo good.

For more great treats from See's Candies, view their full collection of chocolates and candies online at Sees.com. You can also find them - and join their over 1 million fans - on Facebook.

I was not compensated for this post. My family and I did receive a lot of tasty treats to facilitate our review.

The Worst Halloween Costumes for Kids

As we all know, Halloween costumes for kids have really deteriorated - in every sense of the word - in recent years.

Just look at what my Native American girl costume of the 1970s has morphed into over the past thirty years:

I've complained about the sexualizing of costumes for girls ever since I bought my then 3-year-old a scarecrow outfit in a bag from Wal-Mart only to get it home and find out it was pageant-worthy (and I don't mean that in the good way).

Not to be outdone by the inappropriateness of the scarecrow choice, her older sister chose to be a Blood Ninja that year.

My 2009 blog rant about girls costumes got me an email from a reporter at The New York Post when Halloween came around the next year. She interviewed me and used my quotes in her article  Would you let your child trick or treat in this? In addition to getting the chance to share my thoughts on the inappropriate scarecrow costume it was also the welcome first evidence that anyone ever read my blog.

Last year I was happy to see others also sharing my disdain for the costume options for us ladies. The Bloggess shared some seriously scary stuff for grown-ups at Skanky-Ween. and Scary Mommy got right to the point with Dress Your Daughter Like a Whore Day!

I would like to add the following costumes to ever growing list of The Worst Halloween Costumes for Kids:

The entire Monster High collection, shown below with the also hideously wrong Gothic "Cheerless" Cheerleader and the Zombie Cheerleader:

A big no also to this witch:

And this cowgirl, look at her! Is nothing sacred, Sears?

And boys? Ick and double-ick to so many of their choices, too. And why do so many options emphasize the "bloody skull?" Or, pictured here, the bleeding ghost:

The thought of my son wearing these costumes sends the same chills down my spine as does the thought of my daughter choosing from one of the crappy options for girls.

So tell me if these are the worst ideas for kids Halloween costumes, what are some of the best ideas?

This is the fourth post in my Week of Halloween, for all the posts click here.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Very Duck Tape Halloween

This was my most popular Halloween post during last year's 31 Days of Halloween series, so I'm giving it a re-run, with more and better Duck Tape creations.

Neither my obsession with decorating Halloween pumpkins or with Duck Tape seems to be on the wane, so why fight it? Instead I'm bringing them together here.

Just look at the incredible Halloween creations you can make with Duck Tape.

Amazing and creative Jack O'Lanterns:

A cool candy corn loot bag for your Halloween candy haul:

Or black bat decorations to spookify your home:
And... if you have mad Duck Tape skillz, you should enter Duck Tape's 2013 Stick or Treat Contest! Full details, rules and prizes are all here.
For creating your Halloween masterpiece, check out the new Halloween pattern from Duck Tape, Ghoul & the Gang!
Here are some of my favorite previous entrants to the Stick or Treat contest:
And two more duck tape pumpkins:

The Gene O'Lantern

Happy Duck Tape Halloween!
PS No compensation for this post, I just have a genuine love of Duck Tape. Love, possibly obsession, since a quick search returned close to fifty posts about Duck Tape!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Great and easy ideas for no-carve pumpkins for Halloween

Last year I made a bazillion pumpkins with the kids. I've decided that until they are older, all pumpkin Jack O' Lantern creations are going to be no-carve, and through the beast that is Pinterest I found a ton of ways to make fun and awesome pumpkins that don't involve combining sharp utensils with young children. I'm sharing all the ideas that turned-out the best here.

Extra points for these pumpkin ideas: the ones that involve covering the pumpkin in glue or tape also act as an excellent animal deterrent.

If you are going to try one of the ideas that doesn't have full pumpkin glue coverage, first coat the pumpkin in hair-spray or something similar to keep the wildlife away.

The Googly-Eye Pumpkin

I love this project because even the littlest kids can peel and stick the eyes on the pumpkin, and it turns out perfectly silly.

The Glow in the Dark Pumpkin

This project is so easy, and it's perfect for older kids and tweens who love Duck Tape. All you do is cover the pumpkin with overlapping pieces of Duck Tape. We used a mini pumpkin and glow in the dark tape, 'cause everything glow in the dark is cool, but it would also look fantastic if used any other style of tape, too.

The Glow in the Dark Stars Pumpkin

Do you have a few of those glow in the dark stars leftover from decorating a kid's room? They're perfect for decorating a pumpkin! Just affix with glue dots and you'll be able to remove them easily from the pumpkin when the holiday is over.

The Glitter Pumpkin

I wrote instructions for how to make this glitter pumpkin last year, for full instructions click here.

One last note: I created all of these projects with real, live pumpkins but I think they would all work as well - possibly even better - with a funkin*.

* If you don't know what a funkin is, that's probably for the best. Just be happy and don't Google it.

Do you have any no carve pumpkin ideas? I'm always looking for more ways to festoon these celebratory squashes for the holidays!

This is the second post in my week of Halloween, for all the posts click here.

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