Sweet and Salty Pirate Caramel Apples


6 Granny Smith apples
6 wooden sticks
1 (14 ounce) package individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Extra chips for decorating


Insert wooden sticks 3/4 of the way into the stem end of each apple.
Combine caramels and water in a saucepan over low heat. Stir often to get a smooth caramel mixture. Dip apples into caramel. Place standing up on a sheet of foil or a cookie sheet for easy decorating and chilling. Sprinkle with the coarse salt and place in the fridge. Melt chocolate chips in a microwave safe dish. This is easiest if you microwave for 30-40 seconds, stir, and repeat until you have a whole bowl of smooth creamy melted chocolate. Drizzle melted chocolate over the apples. Sprinkle with the extra chocolate chips. Return to refrigerator until ready to eat.

Happy Halloween!

This is not the end...
there are more posts to come!

Healthy Treats For Little Trick-Or-Treaters This Halloween

by Halloween Costumes

Candy and other sweets don’t have to be the only treats you hand out to little trick-or-treaters this Halloween. There are also plenty of healthy options available that will be just as fun without causing a sugar rush and cavities. Here are some ideas for healthy treats you can use this year.

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit makes a great portable snack as well as a good Halloween treat. Grab a few bags of dried fruit, like apples, raisins, cherries, cranberries, dates, apricots and banana chips. Repack them in little bags. You can also get raisins and other dried fruit in small individual boxes that are ready to go.

Dollar Store Toys

Since we were already talking about the dollar store, why not pick up some small toys there as well. Pick a few for boys and a few for girls and let the kids pick one when they come to your door. If you get a pack with a few little toy cars in them, it isn’t any more expensive than a candy bar, but they will enjoy playing with it for weeks and months to come.

Juice Boxes

Juice boxes make another great Halloween treat. They are already individually packed and ready to go into pumpkin pails or goody bags. Look for all natural juices without additional sugar.

Trail Mix

Combine dried fruit and nuts. Add some dry cereal and a few M&Ms and you have trail mix. Use orange and brown M&Ms to give your trail mix that “Halloween Look”.


What child doesn’t love stickers? Go to your local craft store, department store, or even the dollar store and pick up some little packs of Halloween stickers. The kids will enjoy playing with these stickers.

Roasted Nuts & Seeds

Fall is nut season, so why not grab a variety of roasted nuts and seeds (including pumpkin seeds of course) and hand them out for Halloween. Just make sure the parents are aware of what you are handing out in case one of the kids is allergic to nuts.

Grab a few of these healthy alternatives for Halloween this year. Just wrap it all up nicely in some little goody bags, or some of the specialty zippered bags you can get with cute Halloween prints on them and they will be ready to hand out. Parents will appreciate these healthier alternatives as much as the kids will enjoy the treats.

Would you like to quickly make creative Halloween costumes that you and your children will be proud of -- for a fraction of the price of store-bought? Susanne Myers has co-authored a book to show you how -- no sewing involved. Visit to learn more.

Article Source:

Fruity Ghosts on a Stick

It just turns out that pears are just the right shape for making spooky ghost treats! These are an interesting alternative to the traditional candy apples.


Wooden craft sticks, like for a popsicle
6 medium sized pears
10 - 12 squares of almond bark (2 ounce squares)
Handful of mini chocolate chips for ghostly eyes
Halloween cupcake papers


Line a cookie sheet or other flat serving tray with waxed paper, we aren't actually putting in the oven so any moveable flat surface is good for this treat. Line up the cupcake papers across the sheet. Melt almond bark following the package directions. Poke craft sticks firmly into the pears. Dip each pear into the melted bark, you can use a spoon to help evenly coat the entire pear. Place each one in a cupcake paper, standing up as much as you can get it to. Place mini chocolate candies for face decoration. You can use any leftover almond bark to spoon ghost tails into the paper cups. Refrigerate until ready to eat.


Tips for Fun-Filled Trick-or-Treating For Your Kids

by Halloween Costumes

What’s a child’s favorite part of Halloween? Going trick-or-treating, of course. What could be more fun than dressing up, and then walking from door to door collecting plenty of candy along the way? Best of all, this fun tradition takes place at night. Make this the most fun trick-or-treating experience for your child with these simple tips.

Location, Location, Location -
Pick a good neighborhood with plenty of people who are prepared for and welcome trick-or-treaters. If you are new in the area, talk to other parents in your neighborhood about where to go trick-or-treating. Usually neighborhoods or subdivisions that decorate a lot are a good choice as well.

Chaperone -
You may be tempted to send older children out on their own to Trick-or-Treat, but unless you know everyone on the street they are walking on, and have them go in a group, it’s just not a safe option. Instead, send at least one adult along with them. Having an adult will make sure the trick-or-treating stays a fun experience for your children.

Trick-or-Treat in a Group -

Kids have even more fun trick-or-treating if they get to run around in a group. Get a few families in the neighborhood together, or ask the cousins over to go trick-or-treating with you and your kids. Just make sure you bring several adults, especially if the kids are young, to keep up with everyone.

Don’t Overdo It -
Start early, right at or even before dusk and don’t overdo the trick-or-treating. How long you end up trick-or-treating will of course depend on the age of your children. Just keep an eye on how they are doing and take them home when they start getting tired. The whole evening will be more memorable if you end it on a good note.

Would you like to quickly make creative Halloween costumes that you and your children will be proud of -- for a fraction of the price of store-bought? Susanne Myers has co-authored a book to show you how -- no sewing involved. Visit
to learn more.

Article Source:

Munchy Mummy Appetizer Dip and Party Mix

Munchy Mummy Appetizer Dip


1/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 teaspoons tarragon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon thyme
2 teaspoons chili sauce
1 celery stick, chopped


Combine ingredients and chill for at least one hour before serving. Perfect in the center of your veggie tray. In addition to veggies, use Halloween shaped cookie cutters to cut out mini finger sandwiches, the dip can also be used as a spread on those, yummy! For super festivity on the serving table scoop the dip into a hollowed out mini pumpkin.

Party Mix

This is also really good for fall football parties. The nice part about it is you can make this without getting the kitchen overheated or it leaves the oven free for making other things.


4 cups Wheat Chex® cereal
4 cups Cheerios® cereal
3 cups pretzel sticks
1 (12 ounce) can salted peanuts
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt


Get out the crock pot! Mix up the cereals, pretzels and peanuts and put in the crock pot. Combine butter, parmesan cheese and salts. Drizzle over the dry mixture and toss for coating. Put the lid on and cook on low for 3 - 4 hours. Stir at least once each hour to avoid burning.


Halloween Decorations

Here are some simple Halloween decorating ideas that will make your home look festive but won’t break the bank.

Orange Lights

Change the light bulbs in your outdoor lanterns or house lights to orange lights. If you can’t find orange light bulbs, you can purchase inexpensive Halloween themed string lights (like Christmas lights) and hang them around your front door.

Make Your Own Luminaries

Place homemade Halloween luminaries alongside the sidewalk or walkway up to your front door. You can make easy and inexpensive luminaries with paper lunch sacks. You can either leave them the original brown or spray paint them orange.

On each bag, lightly draw in pencil a rough outline of a pumpkin, ghost or spider. With a sharpened pencil or nail, poke holes about every inch along the outline of the design.

Fill each bag with approximately 1 ½-2 cups of sand. Place a votive candle in a glass votive holder and securely place the votive in the sand (or use glow sticks if you’re leaving your home unattended). Light the votives at dusk on Halloween night and your home will have a beautiful Halloween glow.

Make Your Own Scarecrow

Using old slacks, an old flannel shirt, some hay and a straw hat, you can make your home come alive with a friendly scarecrow welcoming your trick-or-treaters.

The other supplies you’ll need are twine, permanent marker, an old pillowcase and an outdoor chair.

Stuff the pants and shirt firmly with hay, leaving some of the hay sticking out from the bottom of the legs and bottom of the sleeves. Position the scarecrow’s pants in the chair and shift the hay so he “sits” comfortably in the chair.

Tie the arms and legs off with twine. Stuff the old pillowcase with hay. Tie off with twine and position the pillowcase inside the shirt collar to appear as the “head” of the scarecrow. Secure the pillowcase to the shirt by tying off with twine. With the permanent marker, draw a scarecrow face and place the hat on top.

Make Your Own Pumpkin Family

By painting silly and whimsical faces on pumpkins, you can create an entire pumpkin family that can be proudly displayed on bales of hay on and around your front door.

On paper, sketch your ideas of what kind of face you’d like to put on your pumpkin. Transfer that design to a cleaned and dried pumpkin using a non-permanent marker. Paint the design using craft paints. Seal with a spray glaze or sealer.

If each member of your family (even the little ones) paints their own pumpkin design, you’ll have a memorable collection of painted pumpkin decorations for your home.


Vampires Be Gone Spaghetti


10 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
Several pinches of hot red pepper flakes
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or as desired
1 pound spaghetti
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 head of broccoli, broken into bite-size florets
Freshly grated Parmesan, or other grating cheese


Boil water and add noodles to cook as usual, except about half way through cooking add the broccoli and let the noodles and broccoli finish cooking at the same time. Drain, but reserve about half the cooking water for later. Warm approximately half of the garlic with the pepper flakes in the olive oil over medium heat (turn on the vent and open the kitchen window or you'll be crying in your spaghetti!) Toss the pasta and broccoli with the garlic/chile oil and add the remaining garlic to the mix and continue to toss to coat. Add a few spoonfuls of that reserved water and keep tossing, add more water as needed. Kind of have to eyeball it until it's well coated and tossed to your liking. Serve up and sprinkle with grated cheese. There will be no fear of vampires bothering you after this dinner!

Halloween Costumes You Can Make Out Of A Cardboard Box

by Halloween Costumes

Do you have a cardboard box that is large enough to fit around your child? If so, you can easily make a costume for your child for Halloween – and save a lot of money in the process.

Start by cutting a hole in the box for your child’s head. Or, if the box is smaller, then you’ll attach straps to the edges of the box when the costume is completed (like suspenders) and fit them over your child’s shoulders. Also, cut arm holes if you aren’t doing the suspender method. Then you’re ready to get started.

All of these outfits fit perfectly over leggings and a long sleeve shirt (or jacket).

Box of Cereal -
Does your child have a favorite cereal? Fruit Loops, Cheerios, Cocoa Puffs? Any box of cereal can be painted onto a cardboard box and turned into a costume.

Computer Monitor -
Spray paint the box grey. After it dries, paint a white screen on the front of the monitor. Of course, you can have fun decorating the screen with your favorite website, or print the screen from your favorite website and glue it onto the box for a more realistic look.

Robot -
Spray paint the box grey or silver. Then, after the paint dries, find a mish-mash of nuts and bolts and glue them to the box. You may also create attachments from aluminum foil, dryer vents, duct tape, or whatever you have lying around the house.

A Wrapped Gift -
Wrap the entire box in gift wrap (whatever kind you like the best) and stick a bow on your child’s head. He or she can trick-or-treat as a wrapped gift.

Invite your child to help with making his or her costume. Spending time creating these costumes together may end up being even more fun than trick-or-treating. Be sure to take lots of pictures.

Would you like to quickly make creative Halloween costumes that you and your children will be proud of -- for a fraction of the price of store-bought? Nicole Dean has co-authored a book to show you how -- no sewing involved. Visit to learn more.

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Halloween Party Punch

What's a Halloween party without a big bowl of punch with floating eyeballs in it?


1 (32 fluid ounce) bottle apple juice, chilled
1 (12 fluid ounce) can frozen cranberry juice concentrate
1 cup orange juice
1 1/2 liters ginger ale
1 apple (optional)
Eyeball candies (optional)


Get a large punch bowl or other container to serve your punch from. Combine the apple juice, cranberry concentrate, and orange juice. Stir until any frozen parts are dissolved. Slowly mix in the ginger ale. Slice the apple in whole slices to float on top as brain slices among the floating eyeballs.

Halloween Group Activities - Part 2

Whether it’s a class party, Girl Scout meeting, youth group gathering or just with friends, finding activities that will engage the entire group without long wait times can be a challenge.

Try some of these activities at your next group Halloween celebration.


Pumpkin Painting
By using the tiny, little mini-pumpkins (gourds), newspaper and a little craft paint, kids can create their own Halloween masterpiece.

Cover the table with newspaper. Wash and dry each mini-pumpkin. Using a marker or pen, have each child draw a simple face or design on the pumpkin (or use a stencil or pumpkin painting pattern).

With small paintbrushes, the child can then paint their pumpkin design. After allowing the pumpkins to dry, a light coating of spray sealer will seal the design and keep the paint from peeling off.

Face Painting
Face Painting is always a big hit with children of all ages. And it’s not as difficult as it sounds. You don’t have to be an artist to face paint.

There are two ways to conduct a face painting activity at a youth gathering. One is to have an adult who is prepared with a few popular face painting designs to paint a unique design on each child.

The other way is to allow the children to paint each other. There is no telling what kinds of creations kids will come up with when they are given a paintbrush and face paints.

The key with Face Painting is to use the authentic face paints. Do not attempt to use craft paints as face paints. It’s not safe for use on skin.

Popular Halloween cheek art designs include pumpkins (obviously!), ghosts, candy corn, goblins, cats and witches.

Quiet Activities

Sometimes during a Halloween party with large groups, it is necessary for the children to do an activity that requires them to be seated and relatively quiet.

Some simple ideas for the children to do while the snacks are being prepared, for example, include Halloween crossword puzzles, Halloween seek-and-finds or Halloween word maker (writing as many words as you can using the letters in “Halloween” or “Jack-O-Lantern”).


One of the most fun activities that a group can participate in at a Halloween party is Freeze Dancing. An adult operates a portable CD player containing a Halloween song CD. The children dance to the music until the music stops. At that point, each child has to freeze in the position they were in when the music stopped. Anyone who moves even a little is eliminated from the next round. The last child standing wins.

Using these ideas for Group Halloween Parties, your party is sure to be a success.

After Trick-or-Treating Pumpkin Bars


4 eggs
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk


Get out the big mixing bowl and beat together eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin. Combine the dry ingredients, flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually add this to the pumpkin mixture and beat together well. Pour your mixture into an ungreased jellyroll pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 27 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before frosting.

Recommended Frosting:

Beat together cream cheese, sugar, butter and vanilla. Add just enough milk to help get a nice spreading consistency. You can add a few drops of orange or green food coloring to make them even more trick-or-treat like!

Halloween Group Activities - Part 1

The month of October brings class parties, Boy and Girl Scout get-togethers, community gatherings, hayrides, Fall Festivals and Halloween celebrations.

Where kids gather to celebrate Halloween, parents and leaders frantically search for unique, fun and creative activities that can be done in a group setting.

Here are some ideas for Halloween Group Activities to get your creative juices flowing.


“Pin The Face On The Great Pumpkin” – Cut a large pumpkin shape from orange poster board. Cut three triangle shapes from black construction paper as well as a jack-o-lantern type mouth from the black construction paper. Place on piece of double sided tape on each triangle and mouth shape.

Blindfold the child, spin them around three times and allow them to place the facial features on the great pumpkin.

An alternative to this for younger kids is to simply cut a stem shape from green construction paper and allow the children to “Pin The Stem On The Great Pumpkin.” For this game, tape the facial features to the pumpkin before the game begins.

“Guess The Ghost” – This is a great activity for a classroom party where there are many activities happening at the same time. Using one white sheet, a parent or teacher randomly (and discreetly) selects one student and takes them to the hallway to put the sheet over him or her. The parent brings the student back into the room and the remaining children must guess who the ghost is.

To really stump the children, occasionally place the sheet over the principal, school nurse, librarian or other fun loving individual.

“Bobbing For Apples” – Cut a large apple shape from red construction paper. Place it on the floor. Place a paperclip on a number of stickers, “no homework” coupons or other lightweight objects. Scatter the paper clipped items all around the apple. Tie a string to a stick and at the end of the string tie a small magnet.

The object of the game is to “bob for apples,” or touch the magnet to a paperclip. Whatever the child picks up with the magnet is theirs to keep.

“Halloween Treat Ring Toss” - Again, cut a large pumpkin shape from orange poster board. Place it on the ground and scatter candies and small items (i.e. eight pack of crayons, play-doh, fruit snacks, etc.) all around the pumpkin.

Using diving rings or another type of ring (even doughnuts if you really want to be silly), the child tosses the rings and gets to keep the items that are inside of the ring.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

It's not Halloween until you've stuck your hands into a pumpkin to pull out all the guts to carve your jack-o-lantern. Now you've got all those pumpkin seeds sitting there. Don't just toss them in the trash! Roast them for a nice evening treat.


Rinse pumpkin seeds under cold water and try to get off all the pulp strings. Spray a baking sheet with non stick spray, or oil it down with your favorite cooking oil. Sprinkle with salt to taste, you might find yourself using a little more salt than usual. Bake at 325 degrees F until toasted for 15 minutes. STIR and flip. Bake at 325 degrees F until toasted for another 15 minutes. Let them cool off completely before eating them. You don't want a burnt tongue. Store in an air tight container or Ziploc bag.

Optional: If you'd like you can soak your pumpkin seeds overnight in salt water for a more salty flavor and an easier to eat seed. It doesn't make a huge difference in the result, but some people prefer doing it that way.


Pumpkin Painting: A Halloween Activity For The Whole Family

by Pumpkin Painting
A carved jack-o-lantern may very well be the most recognized symbol for the Halloween holiday. But using a sharp knife to carve them is not exactly an activity that everyone, especially the children who are so in love with Halloween, can do.

During a field trip to a pumpkin farm, I discovered a Halloween activity that even the youngest members of the family can participate in.

Pumpkin painting is a fun and safe way to celebrate autumn and Halloween. With just a few supplies: paint, brushes, sealer and your imagination, anyone can transform a plain pumpkin into a whimsical, life-like character.

By tracing a pattern onto the pumpkin, young children can “paint by numbers” and create their own Halloween masterpiece.

The best feature of painted pumpkins is their lifespan. A pumpkin, once carved, will last three to five days at the most before it begins to collapse and rot.

A painted pumpkin, when finished properly, will last four weeks or longer!

And a great way to make your pumpkin work double duty is to paint one side for Halloween. When Halloween is over, turn the pumpkin around, paint some autumn leaves and leave it on your porch for a beautiful Thanksgiving decoration!

JoAnne Westcott is the publisher of the full-color, step-by-step instructional e-guide:
Pumpkin Painting, Anyone Can Do It. Really!

Article Source:

Bobbing for Candied Apples

Okay, so we're not really bobbing for them because that would be sticky and messy.


2 cup granulated sugar
2 cup corn syrup
1/3 cup cinnamon candy
1 cup water
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teapoon cloves
3/4 teasppon red food coloring
6 of your favorite type of apple, roughly medium in size
wooden skewers (these are often found in the produce dept this time of year)
cookie sheet sprayed with no stick cooking spray or a long sheet of waxed paper


First thing you want to do is as you usually would remove the apple stems and wash them up. Grab a skewer and stab it right into the middle of the apple and repeat for each apple. Be careful not to poke out the other side of the apple though. In a small or medium sized saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup, cinnamon candies, and water. Stir and keep stirring until everything is dissolved. Then stir some more to make sure it's all dissolved. Medium heat here, you don't want it to boil at this point because that will just make a mess. Once you've got it all dissolved add cinnamon, vanilla, cloves, and food coloring to the mix. Now we want that to boil to a 300 degree temperture on the candy thermometer. Dip your apples into your candy coating and be sure to coat them well. Place them skewer pointing up on the waxed paper or cookie sheet and allow them to harden.

Make sure you let them cool completely to room temperture before eating! They will be hot for sometime and no one wants a burnt mouth on Halloween.


8 Great Halloween Movies

Having an annual Halloween Movie Night for your family is a great way to celebrate the season together and to create memories that will last for years to come.

Although it would seem that blood and gore should be the central theme of a Halloween movie, try some of these all-family favorite flicks instead.

It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” – Not much needs to be said about this movie. It’s a family classic and will be for years and years to come. Purchase the DVD and keep it in your family’s special movie collection.

Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie” – Rated G - Perfect for the younger set, Winnie The Pooh and his engaging set of comrades will get even the youngest goblin in the mood for the big night.

E.T.” – Rated PG - The whimsy and imagination of this timeless classic remind us that the impossible truly is possible when we believe. (Remember this can be emotional and a bit scary for the younger kiddos.)

Monsters Inc. ” – Rated G - This movie provides a funny and non-threatening take on the relationship between “monsters” and humans.

Casper” – Rated PG - In this live action movie, human actors and a special effects “Casper” shows everyone’s favorite ghost in some funny and compromising moments.

Bednobs & Broomsticks” – Rated G -This timeless Disney movie, has music and mayhem and lots to keep the little ones engaged.

Scooby-Doo's Creepiest Capers” – Not Rated - This is a funny collection of Scooby’s spookiest cases. Along with his goofy group of cohorts, there are always a lot of giggles when Scooby Doo is on the screen.

Wallace & Gromit - The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” – Rated G - The cool part about this movie is that these characters, even though they seem completely real, are made out of clay. Kids will love to see the inventions that Wallace comes up with and may even want to talk about what inventions that can create.

Halloween Poke Cake



3 ounces orange Jell-O mix
3/4 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water
1 package white cake mix


1 1/2 cups cold milk
1 small package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 envelope dream whip topping
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 handful of candy corn


Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add cold water and stir until mixed and set aside until ready to use. Prepare cake following the package directions for a 13x9 pan sized cake. Let the cake cool for some time. Using a meat fork or a bamboo skewer "poke" holes to the bottom of the cake about an inch apart, you can do it at random or in a pattern it's up to you. Pour the liquid gelatin into the holes! Beat together the topping ingredients until stiff peaks begin to form, add food coloring if desired. Frost your Halloween poke cake, sprinkle with candy corn for decoration. Allow to chill so that gelatin sets.

This recipe can be altered for other holidays and themes as well but changing the flavor of gelatin and adding food coloring to the frosting.


Halloween Costume Ideas for Toddlers

by Halloween Costumes

Dressing up your toddler for Halloween is a lot of fun. Enjoy it while you can. Before you know it your sweet little toddler will be in kindergarten or first grade and will have developed a much stronger opinion on his or her costume choices and you’ll no longer be able to dress him in the costume of your choice. Here are a few ideas for toddler Halloween costumes to get you started. Of course there are plenty of other options out there as well. With a little creativity, the possibilities are endless.


Start with earth tone pants and shirt. Brown and dark greens work well. Put your child in some boots as well. Make a simple hat out of felt, similar to a witch’s hat but with a smaller brim. Finish the outfit with some gardening tools. Your little dwarf right out of “Snow White” is ready to go trick or treating.


Start with a large orange sweatshirt. Cut eyes and a mouth shape out of black or yellow felt and glue them on the front of the shirt. Put the shirt on your child, fold up the sleeves, then stuff the belly and back area with newspapers or quilt batting to make it look nice and round like a pumpkin. Top it all of with a green cap. You can even cut some leaf shapes out of green felt and glue them to the top of the cap.


Dress your child in a green shirt and pants. For smaller children, especially those in colder climates, a one piece pajama-type outfit with feet works well. For the flower part, start with a brown hat or cap. Cut flower petal shapes out of yellow felt and glue them all around the hat. If you’d like you can cut two large leaf shapes out of green felt and glue them at the back of each of the shirt’s sleeves. A little plastic watering can makes a cute pail to carry candy in.

Would you like to quickly make creative Halloween costumes that you and your children will be proud of -- for a fraction of the price of store-bought? Susanne Myers has co-authored a book to show you how -- no sewing involved. Visit to learn more.

Article Source:

Rocky Horror Picture Show Halloween Squares


1 (12 oz.) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp. butter
2 cups dry roasted peanuts
1 (10 1/2 oz.) pkg. white miniature marshmallows
Assorted soft Halloween candy


Line a 13x9 baking pan with waxed paper, trust me you'll be glad you used waxed paper at the end! Melt chocolate in double boiler with milk and butter, remove from heat. Combine nuts and marshmallows. Fold those into the chocolate. Press mixture into the lined baking pan, spreading it out evenly as possible. Sprinkle the soft candy mixture evenly over the top of that. Refrigerate until firm enough to cut into squares, then store at room temp.

This is a nice adaptive recipe, if someone has an allergy to peanut use another nut, or mix in some candy pieces or dry cereal. You can even add other things in addition to what's listed here! Make it colorful and fun.


Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes, Hayrides And More ...

I just found this great web site and I wanted to share it with has a complete list of pumpkin festivals, weigh-offs for the largest pumpkins, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, hayrides and more in the United States (as well as Canada and other countries) along with pumpkin carving tips, the history of Halloween, corn mazes, spook houses...and other useful Halloween information

(this is not an affiliate link)


Halloween Music Vid - "Grim Grinning Ghosts"

Creative Halloween Crafts

The Halloween season can provide a wide variety of ideas for children to show off their imagination and creative handiwork. Parents and children can also have a lot of fun spending time together making Halloween crafts to decorate their home.

Here are two quick and easy Halloween crafts to get you started:

Grocery Bag Ghost


White Balloons
White plastic grocery bags
Glue or tape
Black Marker or luminous paint
String to hang ghosts from the ceiling

Step 1.

Blow up the balloons. If possible, you may want to have the balloons inflated with helium so they can float freely and move around the ceiling, your ghost will then be able to show up in unexpected places, just like a Halloween ghost.

Step 2.

Cut the handles off of the white grocery bags and cut them down the sides to make a large flat rectangle. Cut this into strips about 1/2 to 1 inch wide. Glue or tape each strip firmly to the balloon, working around the lower third of the balloon hanging the strips so they hang like the tentacles of an octopus. You may want to discard any strips that have brightly colored printing, or hang them with the printed side inside.

Step 3.

Using a marker pen or black paint, draw a ghostly face in the act of screaming. You may prefer to use luminous paint for the face, and perhaps down some of the strips, so it will glow in the low lighting during your Halloween party.

Step 4.

Hang your ghost from the ceiling so your guests get gently touched by the hanging strips as they move around the room, and get the feeling they may have encountered a Halloween ghost.

Egg Carton Spider


Paper egg cartons (This works best with egg cartons made of recycled paper rather than plastic.)
Black paint
White paint or googly eyes
Long black pipe cleaners
String to hang the spiders with

Step 1.

Cut out the egg cups to make the body of your spiders. Place them on a sheet of newspaper and paint them black, inside and out. When they have dried, make four holes down one side, and repeat on the opposite side. Insert four long black pipe cleaners through each pair of holes to make eight spider's legs. Bend the legs so they look like spider's legs.

Step 2.

Add two eyes at the head of your spider. You can use white paint or the kind of stick-on googly eyes you can buy at craft shops.

Step 3.

Insert a knotted thread through the center of the egg cup, so the spider can be suspended from the ceiling without tilting too much. Hang your large hairy spiders by their threads in places where they will scare your guests.

As you can see, Halloween crafts need not be expensive or difficult to make. Some of the best ideas use materials you may already have in your home.


Vampire Bat Stew


1 1/4 pounds lean pork stew meat (buy whatever cut is on sale and cut into chunks to save some money!)

1 medium (1/2 cup) onion, sliced

2 cups baby-cut carrots

1 cup frozen whole kernel corn

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with chile peppers, undrained


1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup butter or margarine

2 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

3 tablespoons cold water

Chili powder or seasoning to taste


Brown pork and onion in skillet over medium to high heat, stir occasionally to get an even brown (just browning, not cooking and if you want you can skip this step since we're headed to the crock pot anyway *wink*). Put meat, carrots and corn in crock pot. Sprinkle with chili powder, cumin, and garlic. Stir in the diced tomatoes. Cook on low for 7 to 9 hours (or high for 3 to 4 hours).

To make the pastry bats:

Combine flour and cheese in large mixing bowl. Cut in butter until it looks like coarse floury butter crumbles. Using a fork, fluff in the water to moisten the mixture. Shape dough into ball and flatten, grab a rolling pin and roll it out (remember to flour your rolling area). Cut out dough using bat shaped cookie cutters! Sprinkle with chili powder for added color and flavor (optional step). Bake at 450 degrees F for 6 to 8 minutes until lightly brown. When serving, place a biscuit bat on top of each bowl of stew!


Halloween Costumes You Can Make at Home

Back in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, it seems like kids were satisfied with whatever Halloween costume their mother came up with the night before. In many homes, that meant you were going to be one of three things on Halloween night: a hobo, ghost, or a gypsy.

Nowadays, children are more demanding than ever when it comes to their Halloween costume. In fact, there are so many activities surrounding the Halloween holiday that some kids might wear one, two or three costumes over the four-week long Halloween season.

For trick-or-treating around the neighborhood, they may wear one costume and at the school, church or community center “Trunk or Treat” event, they may want to wear something else.

To purchase pre-made Halloween costumes is an expensive proposition regardless of how much money you have. Purchasing a costume at $20, $30 or even more when the ‘wear date’ is virtually one 24-hour period is just too pricy for most modern families. Convenience comes with a price; however, creativity goes right out the window when pre-made Halloween costumes are worn.

Families have been turning to Homemade Halloween Costumes for the past several years.

Homemade Halloween Costumes have many benefits:

- They generally cost less to make than purchasing a pre-made, pre-packaged Halloween costume.
- Making a homemade costume requires ingenuity, creativity and resourcefulness.
- Homemade Halloween costume creation is an activity where all family members can contribute.
- Homemade Halloween costumes are simply more attractive and generate a bigger “wow” factor.
- The kids are generally much more proud of wearing a homemade Halloween costume when it’s created with love and togetherness. It makes Halloween night that much more special.

Homemade Halloween costume ideas are everywhere. The first place to look is in your own home.

Do you have a white sweatshirt and white sweatpants? Make a Dalmatian, an angel or a ghost.

Do you have a brown sweatshirt and brown sweatpants? Make a white-spotted puppy dog.

Do you have green pants and a green shirt or sweatshirt? Cut some ‘petals’ from fun foam, hot glue them to an old headband and you’ve got a flower.

Do you have an old robe and old some old slippers? Add some hair rollers and a coffee mug and you’ve got a tired mom costume.

There are dozens and dozens of costumes that can be easily made at home. And don’t forget about making your child a hobo or a gypsy. It could be the most original costume you’ll see this year.

Halloween Costumes

Walking Into Spider Webs Brownies


4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate


Stir unsweetened chocolate and butter over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and beat in the sugar while still hot. Let it cool off for about ten minutes then add eggs and vanilla, blending well. Next you'll gradually stir in the flour and nuts. Pour into a 13 x 9 inch baking pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean. As soon as you take the brownies out of the oven drop spoonfuls of marshmallow creme on top! Spread it out evenly like frosting a cake.

Time to make some webs. You can grab a premade squeezable tube of decorator chocolate if you have a shop nearby that sells cake decorating supplies. If not, you can make one up yourself. Melt semisweet chocolate and pour into a Ziploc bag. Snip a tiny corner at an angle and use the bag like a decorating bag to drizzle web designs over the brownies.


Easy Halloween Face Painting Designs

by Face Painting

With Halloween quickly approaching, face painting season is kicking into high gear. Try these easy, but immensely child-pleasing Halloween "cheek art" designs at class parties, fall festivals and homecoming carnivals.

Begin with good quality, water-based face paints. You can find them online or in some theatrical stores. A palette of six, good-quality face paints is priced around $12.00 and includes enough paint for 70 or more cheek art designs. Water-based face paints apply as easily as watercolors and remove cleanly with a paper towel and water.

For a small gathering of children, two or three small to medium sized paint brushes will be sufficient. A bowl of water to rinse the brushes and a roll of paper towels conclude the list of basic supplies.

In my opinion, the simplest design to paint is that of a ghost. The basic shape of the ghost is that of a triangle. With a brush loaded with white paint, paint a loose triangle by creating a wavy line to outline the ghost. Fill in with more white paint, dot on black eyes and a smile and the ghost is complete.

Nothing is "sweeter" than a face dotted with painted candy corn. The basic shape is a pyramid, with yellow on the bottom third, orange on the middle third and white at the peak. You can create a candy corn crown by painting the candies in succession along the forehead.

To paint a jack-o-lantern, begin with a circle or oval of orange paint. When the orange paint dries, add small triangles in black paint for the eyes and nose and paint a toothy smile in black as well. Add a green stem and your jack-o-lantern is complete.


The most important thing to remember when face painting is to have fun and keep it simple! Children aren't expecting a Picasso to be painted on their face. They simply love to celebrate the occasion and face painting is the perfect way to light up the face of any child.

JoAnne Westcott is the author of Easy Face Painting: How You Can Get Professional Results Even If You've Never Picked Up A Paintbrush. You can learn more about face painting and how to acquire the simple skills to get started by visiting

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Gross Halloween Recipes: Eewy Gooey Eyeballs


3 oz lemon gelatin

1 cup hot water

1/2 cup miniature marshmallows

1 cup pineapple juice

1 8-0z. pkg cream cheese

1 cup heavy cream, whipped

1 cup mayonnaise


Dissolve lemon gelatin in 1 cup water in double boiler. Add marshmallows and stir constantly to melt. Remove from heat and add the pineapple juice and cream cheese, beat together until smooth. Fold in whipped cream and mayonnaise. Allow to cool until firm. Get out the melon baller and scoop full balls. Decorate using food coloring and a clean small paintbrush (the kind that kids get with watercolors).

Now you have gross slimy eyeballs ready for the party goers!


Halloween Craft Projects For Children

by Halloween Costumes

Fall means more inside time for the little ones. Naturally, they’re going to need something fun and creative to keep them busy. Help your kids prepare for Halloween by constructing these adorable craft projects!

They’re easy and fun to make and the kiddos will love displaying them for the holiday.

Egg Carton Spiders

What you will need:

Cardboard egg carton
Pipe cleaners
Poster paint
Elastic thread
Something to poke small holes


Cut the egg cups out of a cardboard egg carton. Cut pipe cleaners into 3 inch sections. To make each spider, poke four pipe cleaners through each cup sideways. Bend the ends to look like eight spider legs. Paint the spiders black or in any wildly creative way you want! After the paint has dried, attach a length of elastic thread to the middle of each spider. Have fun holding your thread and bouncing your scary spider up and down as you take it for a walk!

Plastic Bag Ghost

What you’ll need:

White plastic trash bags
Black marker
Some string
Masking tape


Blow up/inflate the balloons and cover each one with a trash bag. With the string, gather and tie each bag under the balloon to make a head. Using your markers, draw a spooky face on the trash bag. Be as creative as you can-make a scary face or a funny face. Whatever you want! Attach a piece of string to the top of your ghosts and display them all around your house and yard.

Would you like to quickly make creative Halloween costumes that you and your children will be proud of -- for a fraction of the price of store-bought? Nicole Dean has co-authored a book to show you how -- no sewing involved. Visit to learn more.

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It's the Great Pumpkin....Pull Apart Cake!

Are you ready for your Charlie Brown Halloween special!?!


1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts


Get out that big ole' mixing bowl and combine pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar and spice.
Pour into your greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
Sprinkle the dry cake mix over top of the mixture. Sprinkle, don't stir.
Drizzle melted butter over it all and top it off with a handful or two of chopped walnuts.
Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees F or until toothpick comes out of center clean.

Best served, while watching "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.


History of Halloween Costumes

Have you ever wondered where the idea of dressing up for Halloween, or the idea for Halloween in general came from? After all, it is kind of an odd tradition. Children dress up in costumes, pretending to be someone else and then “threaten” to play a trick on their neighbors, unless they receive some candy.

The tradition of Halloween goes back to an ancient Celtic custom. As far back as the 5th century B.C. Celtic tribes in Ireland believed that the spirits of the dead were allowed to come back to earth once a year on October 31st. The Celtic New Year began on November 1st and the belief was that, on the night before the border between the world of the living and that of the dead became blurred. The spirits of the dead would then be able to cross over for this one night into the world of the living.

People were afraid of what the spirits may do to them, so they started to dress up to disguise themselves. They would roam the streets in these disguises trying to fool the spirits into believing that they weren’t living beings. Of course the costumes weren’t nearly as elaborate as they are today, and were usually scary costumes. People would wear rags and smear ashes on their faces to disguise themselves and keep the spirits of the dead away.

The tradition of Halloween came to the United States in 1840, with the arrival of a group of Irish immigrants. From there it slowly evolved into our modern day version of Halloween, with kids dressing up as Dora the Explorer ™ and Power Rangers ™, pretending to be their favorite TV characters.

While the spirit of Halloween and the meaning behind it have changed over the centuries, it is still a holiday that allows us to pretend to be someone else, by dressing down in rags and blackening our face to hide it, or by wearing a fancy costume with a mask, or using face paint to disguise our appearance.

Would you like to quickly make creative Halloween costumes that you and your children will be proud of -- for a fraction of the price of store-bought? Susanne Myers has co-authored a book to show you how -- no sewing involved. Visit to learn more.

A Brief History of Halloween

Halloween began as an ancient Celtic festival in Great Britain and Ireland, and has survived most strongly among Irish, Scottish and Welsh communities. Immigrants from these communities carried the tradition to North America where it has gained in popularity.

In turn, as part of American pop culture, Halloween has spread in popularity to most corners of the English speaking western world, and increasingly into Western Europe in recent times.

Originally Halloween was a pagan festival, around the idea of linking the living with the dead, when contact became possible between the spirits and the physical world, and magical things were more likely to happen. Like most pagan festivals, long ago it was absorbed into the festivals of the expanding Christian church, and became associated with All Hallows Day, or All Saints Day, which eventually fell on November 1 under the Gregorian calendar. A vigil for the festival was held on All Hallows Evening on October 31. In the vernacular of the times, All Hallows Evening became Hallowe'en and later the Halloween we know today.

The celebration of Halloween survived most strongly in Ireland. It was an end of summer festival, and was often celebrated in each community with a bonfire to ward off the evil spirits. Children would go from door to door in disguise as creatures from the underworld to collect treats, mainly fruit, nuts and the like for the festivities. These were used for playing traditional games like eating an apple on a string or bobbing for apples and other gifts in a basin of water, without using your hands. Salt might be sprinkled on the visiting children to ward off evil spirits. Carving turnips as ghoulish faces to hold candles became a popular part of the festival, which has been adapted to carving pumpkins in America.

The trick aspect to trick or treating as it emerged in North America seems to have more obscure origins. It may be a merging of the collection of treats with another separate old tradition, especially in Ireland, where children would sometimes engage in secretive mischief at Halloween. The original intention was for the activities of mischievous Halloween spirits to be blamed. Usually the mischief consisted of playing some minor or witty tricks on some adults - often the less popular ones - things like moving or hiding everyday items during Halloween night.

In Scotland and England the tradition of singing or other entertainment in return for the gifts collected was more common than the threat of a trick if nothing was given.

In times past a refusal to give something when requested during trick or treating may have resulted in some prank, which was not always carried out in a spirit of good fun. Tossing eggs or flour at the house, or soaping windows, were common pranks. In most places today the trick aspect of trick or treating now survives more as a ritual than any real threat.

Today, however, Halloween is an excuse for Halloween theme costume parties, and entertainment with horror films, haunted houses and other activities around the popular themes of ghosts, witches, Dracula, werewolves and the supernatural. Children love to dress up in halloween costumes and go from door-to-door in their neighborhood following the old tradition of trick-or-treating, collecting sweets and gifts, sometimes money.

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