Happy Halloween!

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Happy Halloween! I hope yours is gearing up to be dazzling & fun! I know it’s only October 7th and not officially Halloween day but this year I want to be a little ahead of our Halloween festivities. My three-year-old is becoming increasingly interested in Halloween and all the fun our fall has in store for us so I definitely don’t want to waste the season. After last year with my first public event being planned and my brother’s wedding having been at the beginning of the month I allowed Halloween to take a bit of a back seat, this year I wanted to be sure to allow it to have a larger presence in our October. This year I plan to share some of the ways we do this and the places we find fun fall activities in our area. Hopefully, it will inspire you to incorporate one or more of these ideas into your Halloween festivities and encourage you to seek out fun new memory making opportunities near you!

In years past we have been known not just to decorate the house with little decorative Halloween hints inside & out, but also to enjoy the sunny fall days outside at area parks and community events. Pumpkins get picked and eventually carved or painted in some fun way and perched on our steps lit up. We typically attend a hayride or some other festival and one of our family’s favorite things to do is to plan multiple spooky family movie nights complete with fun themed foods. We really do, typically, enjoy the Halloween season, minus the gore and horror, before bustling right into the big celebration season that is upon us as soon as we wake up the day after Halloween to the sounds of Christmas Music 24/7 on one of our local radio station all the way until Christmas Day!

 

Last year it was 2 weeks until Halloween when my, then, 7 yr. old said to me, “Mom, we are the lamest house on our street, we haven’t done ANYTHING for Halloween yet! Can we…….” and then the list of requests began…..

“Can we get the Halloween decorations out tonight?”

“Can we go to Boo at the Zoo again this year? It was so fun that ONE time we DID go!”

“Can we get pumpkins to carve this weekend? Please, please, please?”

“Can we pick out our costumes soon! Let’s go shopping tonight, I want to be……………(insert most expensive costume idea you can think of) _________________for Halloween and we have to get costumes soon! Our class parties are coming up really fast!”

Immediately upon the list of requests that they started, I began to feel a panic set in. Now shopping for Halloween costumes was fun as a kid, but when your bank account is paying for it, I feel it is far more stressful than I ever imagined it could be! Holidays, in general, can be far more stressful, right parents? Every year one of my girls asks for some up & coming costume idea, typically based on some fictional character that will cost me an arm and two legs to buy for Halloween and that MUST be ordered anywhere from 6 weeks out to find it in stock in their size. That is hard enough to deal with as a parent, then multiply that times 4…… because that’s how many kids I have, 4. Four costumes, three sets of class treats (for another year until my baby starts preschool), four pumpkins to carve (unless my husband and I want in on the fun), four kids cost four times as much for everything? This never makes for fun costume shopping,………..until a few years ago when I introduced them to thrift store costume shopping! That is a topic for another blog coming soon though….

Oh to be a kid again……….but unfortunately I am an adult, and not just any adult, rather a MOTHER. This means solving all the problems, harnessing all the creativity, creating all the fun moments and capturing all the family memories, so instead of panicking, I decided to don my imaginary Halloween costume, that of Wonder Woman and away my brain went searching for solutions, creativity, moments & memories to create in 2 short weeks, with ZERO advance brain power.

First to figure out, creating some immediate Halloween excitement in my home and doing so rapidly. Off to my favorite drugstore that still lets you rent movies the old fashioned way, (off a shelf for $0.99 for seven nights for the classics). I snagged a few of our family Halloween favorites, “Spooky Buddies” & “Nightmare Before Christmas”. At least the addition of these movies into the tv time they were permitted would give the mental impression to my kids that we were right on track gearing up for Halloween. Next, I decided a Halloween Family Dinner & Movie night was in order. We had been so busy it had been weeks since we had a family movie night and this is something we like to try to do as a family at least once a week normally. Last year though, again the organizing of my first public event had put a temporary hindrance on that family fun, so I knew a spooky movie night was just the right plan. I ravaged my cabinets and found a few ingredients that would help me create a spooky feast and I made a list for the rest of the items I would need to complete that spooky feast. Our menu contained:

*Gooey Goblin Green Earlobes & Eyeballs- Mac & Cheese made with “earlobe” pasta (orecchiette shaped noodles) with a pesto twist and then I topped it with some freezer meatballs cooked up and garnished with black olive rings to create the eyeball effect.

 

*Severed Finger Cheesy Breadsticks & Mummy Dogs- First the severed cheesy GIANT garlic bread fingers with pepperoni fingernails, dipped in bloody red marinara! Deliciously disgusting and one of my kids’ favorites! They also really enjoy my mummy dogs, a simple play on pigs in a blanket, with pop tube breadstick dough and hot dogs. I use a breadstick dough to wrap a full hotdog to look like a mummy wrapped up and bake them according to the tube time & temp directions. Dip these spooky treats with ketchup or mustard for a snack “wrapped” in delicious buttery baked dough!

 

*Puking Pumpkin and black corn chips.- A cute little pumpkin carved and cleaned out to look like a sick pumpkin then filled with guacamole spewing out the mouth opening to create another deliciously disgusting snack when served with blue corn tortilla chips.

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My personal favorite Halloween movie is “Hocus Pocus” as I don’t do scary or gore well myself and due to the age of our girls even if I did we wouldn’t be doing a scary family movie night so I make sure to find it on our upcoming television guide every year and set it to record on our DVR for a Friday night family movie night and, last year I did this right before heading to the store for the list I had written and a few additional ingredients for a couple spookily sweet treats to complete our movie night. The last part of our feast was spooky S’more’s made to replicate the spell book from Hocus Pocus and miniature pretzel sticks with mini marshmallows on the ends dipped in caramel to create “Dirty Q-tips”

 

Now with these ideas in mind and more than two weeks left until Halloween this year, I hope I have provided one or more fun ways to get you and your family into the spooky fun Halloween season! I hope to share 2 or 3 more blogs encouraging more Halloween fun & memory making favorites of ours in the next few weeks until Halloween Day is here! Have a Scarily Great Weekend and a Dazzling Fall Season!

As always, thanks for stopping by and reading, Dazzle your way to a fun Halloween!

~Rebecca

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