October 27, 2010 at 11:05 am , by Sara Dayton
I’ve always loved the spooky, ghost-story side of Halloween. Well, that and the chocolate. So this year, while I’m waiting for trick-or-treaters (and not eating their candy), I’ll curl up with Corinne May Botz’s Haunted Houses. Botz spent ten years hunting down ghost stories across America, and her book is filled with eerie photographs of more than eighty haunted locales. Even if you’re not a believer, the accompanying first-person supernatural accounts will send shivers down your spine. Go ahead, read the stories of those who lived through the creaking floors, apparitions, and cries in the night. But be warned: You might just jump out of your skin when that first trick-or-treater rings your doorbell. Get into the Halloween spirit with a few of my favorite stories.
October 25, 2010 at 11:22 am , by Amanda Wolfe
Halloween isn’t necessarily a holiday that you associate with volunteering and giving, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great occasion to do a little good! Here are a few ways to help out:
- Still looking for a last-minute costume? Dress up for a cause you believe in. That way every time someone asks what you or the kids are, you can get a little plug in for your favorite charity. (If you volunteer at an animal shelter, for instance, go with a cute dog and cat theme.)
- Halloween is just a few days before election day. No matter what side of the political aisle you fall on, we can all agree that it’s super-important to vote! Help get out the vote in your area by volunteering with Trick or Vote, a non-partisan organization.
- Trying to figure out how to keep your kids (or yourself) from eating their weight in candy? Donate some of your haul to needy kids in your area who don’t get to go trick-or-treating. Call local shelters and organizations to find out how to donate. You could even dress up to deliver your treats together!
- Check Volunteer Match for a Halloween-themed volunteer opportunity in your area. We did a quick search and found lots of different spooky carnivals, food drives, auctions and other events around the country. (Just type in your zip code with the keyword “Halloween.”)
October 21, 2010 at 1:44 pm , by Gabrielle Porcaro
I know, I know it’s an obvious title but how could I not! We are starting a new column on our blog where LHJ staffers make the recipes we feature in the magazine and report on their experience. I’m the 1st victim, so here we go…
I choose to make the Halloween Whoopie Pies since I wanted to make something I have never made before. Plus it was the food and fashion department of LHJ that decided that whoopie pies were the new cupcakes… you heard it here first!
I love to bake and do so often. Although, I don’t recall ever receiving a negative accolade for my treats, I will ask all my “fans” to comment below on my baking ability so I can remain the “modest” girl I claim to be.
# of times I wanted to call my mom but resisted: 4
# of times I got mad at Tara (the Food Editor): 2
# of times I dropped chocolate on my foot: 1
# of times I sang “Makin’ Whoopee”: 2
# of injuries: 1 (I slipped and bruised my knee)
# of whoopie pies made: 22 1/2
I like to start by lining up all the ingredients on my counter…
My yellow KichenAid mixer is one of my favorite things I own… after my shoes of course!
To note: whenever a recipe calls for shortening I always just sub in butter and when it calls for milk I use skim. Why? Shortening grosses me out and who drinks regular milk over the age of 5.
Within the first step I run into a problem. I do own 3 baking sheets (how many people living in a small NYC apt can say that) what I don’t have is a 1 1/2 inch circle cookie cutter. Star, heart, gingerbread man… yes but circle, no. I skip that step and move on.
(chocolate batter… Yummy!)
My next OMG moment comes when I read ahead while waiting for my butter to soften and realize there’s piping involved in this recipe. Once again, Gab, read the recipe before making! When will I learn. I wasn’t prepared for the mess that piping will cause! I thought this was an easy recipe I can make on a Monday night. Luckily I have a piping set thanks to a Christmas gift from my sister a few years back. I dig it out of the back of my cabinets and google “coupler” (yes! I have it) and proceed…. Read more
October 18, 2010 at 5:59 pm , by Mandy Hendrix
Are you dressing up for Halloween? Do you know what you’ll be? I love these press-on nails from Kiss, in festive, creepy colors. And unlike most most pieces of your over-priced costume, these nifty little guys are only $4, at drugstores.
I’ve actually worn Kiss glue-on nails before, and even though these are press-on nails (so they’re easier to take off), they are just as easy to apply. Here, a few application tips:
- Start by laying all the nails out on a flat surface
- Find the correct size of the press-on that fits your nail and put in order from pinky to thumb
- Pull paper backing off of glue tab, place glue tab on natural nail with rounded edge toward cuticle
- Peel off paper backing and firmly adhere artificial nail
- Repeat for all ten nails
Even if you’re not dressing up on Halloween, how cool would these look when you’re passing out candy?
October 14, 2010 at 12:57 pm , by Sue Erneta
I feel a special kind of pressure this time of year — as I’m sure all moms do — when we’re trying to get our kids to pick a Halloween costume. In the age of the internet, we have access to everything. But if you don’t want to pay an insane express shipping fee, then you need to get on it now. So, what do you do when your 2-year-old changes her mind everyday?
Lily suffers from a serious case of second child syndrome. Her first Halloween costume was Sophia’s hand-me-down (a lion) and her second was something I picked up at a sale at the office. (It was pretty cute though, huh? See the pic at right.) So, this year, I’m determined to let her have whatever she wants. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know what she wants. One day it’s “Dora” (Great idea but I know she won’t wear the wig and her strawberry-blonde curls just don’t say “Dora” to me), then Boots the monkey (Again, nice idea but apparently, the costume only comes in sizes up to 24 months. What? No kid over 2 watches Dora?), then Ariel (Sorry, kid. Your Ariel-obsessed big sister doesn’t get to parade around on October 31st in a strapless bra so neither do you), then — my personal favorite — “I don’t want a costume, I want to be Lily Belle.” Sure this is great for her self confidence but not so great when she has a fit on Halloween because she’s the only kid with no costume.
So, for now, I have no idea what she’ll be. I’ll probably end up ordering the Dora costume (her first choice) and as long as I can get a 15-second photo-op with the wig on, we’ll be happy.
Lily’s big sister, Sophia, has decided to be Tiana from The Princess and the Frog. She wore princess dresses from her dress-up collection for the past two years (read: free!), so I’m ordering her Tiana dress and not getting mad about the price. After all, Lily can wear it in a few years, right?
Read about last year’s costume hunt here. So, tell me…what are your kids going to be for Halloween?
October 15, 2009 at 10:23 am , by Sue Erneta
As the leaves begin to fall, there is one holiday on my mind: Halloween. I loved it as a kid (who doesn’t like looking back at their old pictures) and as a young adult (my Monica Lewinsky costume was a big hit) but there’s nothing like being a mom around Halloween. I know the time will come when my kids will only want to be something gory—or even worse, they won’t involve me at all. But for now, I revel in every second of the fun!
I went with the “too expensive option” for my first (do you like how I say my first?), and the “$19.99 at Old Navy option” for the second. Looking back, I think the cheap chicken was just as cute as the pricey lion. What do you think?
This year, Sophia is going to be a princess just like she was last year. When you’re a 4-year-old girl, that’s what you do. Or should I say, when you’re a 4-year-old girl with about 20 princess dresses, that’s what your mom tells you to do. I have no idea what princess she’ll pick on October 31st, but I’ll be ready with the bobby pins and hairspray to give her the proper ‘do.
Lily, who always gets the shaft as the second child, is getting her first costume of her own this year. Last year she wore the hand-me-down lion. (Did I mention it was exorbitantly expensive?) She’s going to be a bunny this year. I’m hoping she’ll keep it on for at least 5 minutes—all I need is a picture!
So, tell me…what are your kids going to be? And what have they been in the past? Tell me in the comments or post a link. I’d love to see your pictures!