Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Black Cat Cupcakes

My sister gave me a bunch of these Betty Crocker recipe cards - isn't this one fantastic? Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Don't buy sexy Halloween costumes for kids! A Dad's opinion

by guest blogger Peter Valentine:

I went to look for Halloween costumes for the kids today. Party City beckoned as the all and everything one-stop emporium. And yes, for our Cowboy, there was a non-Woody option and for our Pirate there were several options–one cool one with an eye-patch at 12.99! (I’m cheap.) So all good for the boys. Then there was our Fortune-Teller. (That’s our girl.) I sidestepped over to the girl wall and scanned the rows and columns of outfits that were amazingly, consistently slutty. It's distressing enough when you see young kids dressed in these outfits out on Halloween night, but seeing an entire wall of it-without one single alternative option for girls-really drives it home.

Question: Am I the only dad who finds this insane?!

Next Question: WTF?!!

I don’t know what other parents do, but I’m going to Goodwill with my daughter to find some scarves and skirts and have fun putting together a costume for her - one which lets her pretend to be a fortune-teller on Halloween, not a sex object.

Why are our girls becoming so sexualized, and at such a young age? And, whatever the reason, what can we do as parents to today to overcome this harmful trend?

Well, for one thing, we need to focus on what our girls are interested in rather than how they appear. And get involved with them in whatever their interests are.

And most importantly: Money talks. If you buy it, you buy in. So let's all stop buying ridiculous, sexy costumes for our little girls. It's our money and we make a statement when we spend it. Let's say the right thing.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cool trend in Halloween decorations - Christmas lights

Clinton Street - Multi-colored lights with carefully applied webbing

Halloween decorations are going up fast and furious in my little hamlet of Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. People go a little nuts around here this time of year and Carroll Gardens is home to some of the coolest Halloween decorations anywhere.

Part of the fun is spotting the trends in Halloween decor. Last year it was giant, fuzzy spiders and body parts (check out my Halloween Round-up 2011) and this year a new trend is emerging: Christmas, or "twinkie" lights, applied with a generous hand.

White webs, white lights, white ghosts - spooky!

Of course, Halloween fanatics (and you know who you are) have been using Christmas lights since the dawn of time for their festive displays, but this year the effect seems to be going mainstream.

These are no Yuletide leftovers. Sure, there are the classic, white Christmas lights, but there are also colored lights - one color per strand - in hues like purple and orange! Huzzah!

For the spookiest Halloween look, though, nothing beats white on white - sparkling white lights wrapped in wispy webs and a skull or two - especially when everything's swaying in a cool, autumn breeze.

How to decorate a fire escape for Halloween? Add lights & voila!

And if you're wondering, "Just how do I decorate a fire escape for Halloween?" look no further than a few strands of colored twinkies and an extension cord. This fire escape on Court Street also boasted a line of mini light-up Jack O'Lanterns, if you want to get fancy about it.

Who knew that one day it would be socially acceptable to have your Christmas lights up year 'round. Let's celebrate!