Archive | September, 2011

anna rexiaHorrible news: This is a totally real costume being sold online this year. It was also supposedly up for grabs in some stores until a few hours ago, when the the Village Voice, nay the world, got wind of it.

The only thing more depressing than the fact that anyone would dream up the Anna Rexia costume, a skeleton tube dress belted by measuring tape, is the fact that anyone would buy it.

There are other questionable costume and apparel that has been made and is being pushed in various store.  Recently JC Penney’s had to pull.

A few months ago, the Internet was up in arms over a white David & Goliath T-Shirt that read, in pink bubble letters, “I’m too pretty to do math.” Then there was the one with “Future Trophy Wife” written on it.

But many parents think this one is worse.

I'm too Pretty to do mathThe long-sleeve T-shirt that J.C. Penney pulled off its website today amid plenty of parental outrage read: “I’m too pretty to do my homework so my brother has to do it for me.” And, judging by the description of the shirt on the J.C. Penney website—”Who has time for homework when there’s a new Justin Bieber album out? She’ll love this tee that’s just as cute and sassy as she is”—it seems like the company didn’t have a problem with the shirt until customers started to complain.

Thanks to major clothing retailers, parents struggle to teach  girls that beauty isn’t everything, that they don’t have to play dumb in order to be popular, that women can  be both smart and pretty.  But, even though studies show that girls are as good at math as boys, even with beautiful movie stars earning Ivy League degrees in between blockbuster hits, the stereotypes persist—thanks in large part to messages like the one on that “cute and sassy” T-shirt marketed to girls age 7 to 16.

While there is sure to be more terrible Halloween Costumes this year, this is a horrible/great start.

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It’s time for the annual Star-Telegram/Mom2Mom reader Halloween costume contest! This year, they want you (And by you, we mean readers of all ages can enter this contest!) to design a costume that shows them your inner superhero.

To enter: They’ll need a photo of you in your Halloween costume and a description of your superhero identity such as the one in the sample below. You’ll need to upload your photos at mom2momdfw.com. When you enter online, you will need to fill out a form giving your superhero information and your “real life” info, too.

Deadline for entry is 5 p.m. Oct. 9.

After Oct. 9, online voting begins! Readers will pick the winner in this contest, so go back to those websites and choose your favorite costume, Voting will continue through Oct. 14.

If you are chosen as the winner or as an “editor’s choice” finalist, they will need you to come into their studio for a photo shoot with your Halloween costume during the week of Oct. 17.

Here’s the kind of info they’ll ask for when you enter online:

Superhero name:

Your superhero strengths and talents:

How you got your powers:

Your archenemy:

Your goal:

Real name:

City:

Age:

E-mail:

Basic info about your Halloween costume and how you made it:

Posted in Baby Costumes, Costumes, Kids CostumesComments Off

The folks at Green Halloween turned me on to a genius idea:

National Costume Swap Day.  If half the kids in the U.S. who celebrate Halloween swapped costumes, rather than buying new ones, the nation’s annual landfill waste would be reduced by 6,250 tons, according to Green Halloween. That’s about the weight of 2,500 mid-size cars.

They had great success with this idea last year, so Green Halloween and Swap.com have organized the second annual National Costume Swap on Saturday, Oct. 8.   Check out the  registration list too see if there is a swap in your area.

But you don’t have wait for someone to organize it for you.  Call all your friends and make a party of it.  Everyone brings their old costumes and you can go shopping among each other’s old Batman suits and witch’s hats.  Save some cash, save the planet and have a fun day playing dress-up. Everybody wins!

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Now that Halloween is upon us, why not put those flower beds (you know the ones you thought had been laid to rest for the winter) to good use? It’s time to dress up your front yard up for the Fall. Here are some tips to make your home look wonderful, even when the weather may not be.

Leaves of Many Colors – Fallen foliage are a perfect fertilizer to help keep your yard and flower beds in perfect growing condition for the spring when it’s time to start planting flowers and such again. They also make a great base for your Halloween decorations.

Who says flowers are only for the spring and summer months? Here is a partial list of flowers that will make it through the autumn months. These flowers are hardier than their spring and summer counter parts and will last a lot longer too.

Chrysanthemums
Joe Pye Weed
Chelone (also known as Turtleheads)

Even veggies have their place in your Halloween yard décor. Now is the perfect time to pick up gourds, squash and pumpkins from a neighboring farm or store. Not only are they decorative, but you can eat the squash, carve the pumpkins or make pie too! For those who live in the country and like to attract wildlife, deer enjoy pumpkins after the season as well.

Seasonal decorations to adorn your yard are fairly easy to come by this time of year. Check your local dollar store to pick up everything from bird feeders to scarecrows and more. Here are a few other ideas for sprucing up the outside of your home this Halloween.

Bird feeders adorned with black crows
Scarecrows for your garden and flower beds.  You can purchase these or make your own. Get the whole family involved and spend some quality family fun time together.

Pumpkin arrangements  Using hay bales, create your own pumpkin and scarecrow scene or village.

Using fallen limbs and sticks from the trees create stick Halloween characters. Always popular at Halloween are Frankenstein and his bride along with ghosts hanging from the bare tree branches.

Rake all those leaves that have fallen from the trees in September and early October up. Put them in black or orange garbage bags to prop up throughout your yard and beds. You can purchase ones with jack-o-lantern faces already on them or use the black ones to create make-shift tombstones painted with white markings like RIP, Here Lies…, etc.

Grab a shovel and a dark colored blanket. Create a few mounds of dirt around your flower beds or yard and cover them with the blanket. Then place the shovel in the ground at the top of the mound to resemble a freshly dug grave.
Get a big cardboard box. Using grey and black paint, decorate it to look like a coffin. You can even lay down in it on Halloween night sitting up whenever trick-or-treaters enter the yard to give them a bit of a fright.

If you’ve got speakers or a radio available, purchase a CD at the dollar store with spooky music that you can play in the background to really help set the mood for visitors.

It’s Fall. It’s Halloween! Have a yard that will be the envy of the neighborhood this year. You don’t need a fortune to make it happen when you use these ideas along with a little creativity of your own.

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Do you have a spouse or friend whom you’d love to share a costume with this year, but just can’t quite put your finger on the right one? Maybe you’re looking for cute paired costumes for the kids? Here is a partial list of some ideas that you might consider. Use these to decide on your own:

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Little Bo Peep & Her Sheep (This is especially cute for moms and baby)
Rich Boy and Poor Girl
Cookies and Milk
Fisherman and Fish
Babe and His Blue Ox
Santa and Mrs. Claus
Adam and Eve
Grapes and Bananas (or any other variety of fruit/veggie combos)
Ball and Chain
Toilet and Seat
Sonny and Cher
Republican and Democrat
Raggedy Ann and Andy
Card and Dice
Cat and Mouse
King and Queen
Dog and Cat
Bat and Ball
Salt and Pepper
Batman and Robin
Jack and Jill
Howie Mandel and a Suitcase Girl
Dora and Diego
Bill and Hillary Clinton
Danny and Sandy (from the movie Grease)
Cheerleader and Football Player
Twins (This one will be especially easy if you have actual twins) ;)
Frankenstein and His Bride
Baby Bottle and Rattle
Ketchup and Mustard Bottles
Nut and Bolt
Grim Reaper and Victim
Doctor and Nurse
Beast and Belle
Buzz and Woody
Captain Hook and Wendy
Peter Pan and a Lost Boy
Barney Rubble and Fred Flintstone
Pebbles and BamBam
SpongeBob Squarepants and Patrick
Desi and Lucy
David and Goliath
Pen and Pencil
Soccer Mom and Her Player (This can be done with various sports)
Tom and Jerry
Southern Gentleman and his Belle
Caveman and Cave Girl
Cleopatra and Pharaoh (King)
Harry Potter and Hermione
King & Queen of Hearts
Prince Charming and Princess
Shrek and Princess Fiona
Vampire and Dracula
Hansel and Gretel
Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe
Jack Sparrow and Elizabeth (from Pirates of the Caribbean)
Pilgrim Man & Woman
Pilgrim & Indian
George and Martha Washington
Priest and Nun
Pink Lady and ThunderBird Guy from Grease
Race Car Driver and Pit Crew Member
Cowboy and Cowgirl
Plug and Socket
Austin Powers & Felicity Shagwell

Deluxe Austin Powers Costume - Authentic Austin Powers Costumes
Deluxe Austin Powers Costume – Authentic Austin Powers Costumes
Price: $46.69
Adult Halloween Costumes This funny deluxe Austin Powers costume includes navy blue pants and shirt coat with white ruffles. The Austin Powers Costume is available in size Adult Standard. The Austin Powers Costume is 100% Polyester. Machine wash cold water. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low heat. Cool iron as needed.

While coming up with the idea maybe the easiest part, putting the two together may not be as simple. If you want to make your own costumes, you can find templates online or at your local craft store that will definitely make the process easier. Looking to purchase your costumes? Make sure wherever you choose to buy from has both costumes in stock before purchasing. Don’t forget you can always go through your own clothes, any dress up clothes the kids may have and previous years’ costumes and put two of them together as well.

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Before you throw away those pumpkin seeds you carved out of your Jack-O-Lantern this year, think twice!! There is good dietary benefit in those seeds, not to mention a yummy snack even the kids will love. Here’s how to prepare and cook your pumpkin seeds.

Prepping the Seeds

First, after you have scooped your pumpkin, put the seeds in a glass bowl. Next, separate the seeds from all the stringing pumpkin meat. You’ll need to do this fairly quickly because once you’ve let them sit and they’ve gotten too dry, they will be harder to clean.

Using a cold-water rinse, finish taking off what is left of the stringy meat (there will be some little bits left more than likely) off the seeds. Place a strainer in the sink so you don’t lose all that pumpkin goop in your sink drain.

Once your pumpkin seeds are completely clean, put them on a waxed paper cookie sheet to dry. You’ll leave them to dry overnight. Sorry, you can’t eat them until tomorrow.

Optional: If you like your seeds salty, you may want to let them sit in a bowl of salt water overnight. Be careful though and don’t over salt the water. Remove from bowl of water and dry as stated above.

Now that your pumpkin seeds are prepared, let’s get to the actual cooking of them. Here are both a microwave and oven baked recipe for you to choose from. Note: Preparation is the same for both of the following recipes.

Microwave Pumpkin Seed Recipe

Place salted butter in a microwavable rectangular baking dish and heat for about 30 seconds. Place seeds into pan and toss through the melted butter. Spread the seeds out evenly into one layer on the bottom of the dish. Microwave on high for about 8 minutes or until seeds are a light golden color. Make sure you stir the seeds every couple of minutes while in the microwave to prevent burning.

Oven Baked Pumpkin Seed Recipe

Spray your seeds with butter spray. Cook for 1 hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Watch for them to be lightly brown. When they are done, take them out and season with your favorite seasonings. Some popular seasonings include salt and garlic. Let them completely cool before enjoying.

Pumpkin seeds (pepitas) are not the only seeds that can be eaten this way. The seeds from butternut and acorn squash can also be cooked just like pumpkin seeds. Give them a try too.

Leftover Storage

You can store any leftovers of your pumpkin seeds in airtight containers at room temperature for up to 3 months. If you choose to refrigerate them, they will last for about a year in an air tight container.

Baked pumpkin seeds provide a great source of dietary fiber along with a nutty flavor. So, instead of popping that bag of popcorn tonight, grab your favorite Halloween movie, sit back with your toasted pumpkin seeds and enjoy.

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Halloween is closer than you think, and getting your Halloween costume illeal_alien-costumesquared away will help prevent last-minute blunders like this Halloween costume from a few years ago. In fact, according to the Census Bureau, you might not even need to jump online for an easy Halloween costume solution.

Of course, a trip to Amazon.com, CostumeCity.com, or CostumeDiscounters.com to browse what’s out there is an option, and home delivery is a plus. But with a costume, it’s often better to hold it in your hand or even try it on to make sure there are no Halloween Night costume malfunctions.

Take heart! According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 1,719 costume rental and formal wear establishments across the nation (figures as of 2009). That means most every urban locale should have a place where you can consider a high-quality Halloween costume rental, and hold it in your hands to boot. Also, with the proliferation of big box stores such as Target (about 1,750 locations) and Wal-Mart (about 8,500 locations), cheaper costumes for purchase should be available within a short drive, making an ahead-of-time Halloween costume purchase a snap.

Posted in Adult Costumes, CostumesComments (1)

Thinking about how you can save money this Halloween? Why not consider a costume that you design from used odd and end clothing and accessories? Thrift or Goodwill stores offer these items at a small portion of what you would pay at a Halloween or retail store. You can also network with other moms and swap off old costumes for the one you want. With some creativity and legwork, you can make any of the following costumes.

Argh Matey! – Pirate Costumes

Pirate costumes will be huge this year. You need baggy black or brown pants cut below the knee. Pirates wore baggy white shirt that are cuffed up. A solid baggy vest, unbuttoned, would be worn over the shirt. Add a bright scarf tied around your waist. Army boots, large gold hoop earrings, sword, eye patch, hat or bandana tops this outfit off. If you live in a colder region you might want to look for a long black coat.

BOO To You Too! – Ghost Costumes

The ghost is the oldest and easiest ghoulish outfit around. You need a large white sheet that completely drapes your being. With arms down cut any excess off the bottom up to an inch from the ground. Cut out eyeholes. White eye make up keeps the ghost entirely white. You can carry a pumpkin or maybe a glow stick for that added touch.

If I Only Had a Brain! - Scarecrow

With the right straw hat and a little straw, a scarecrow can easily be done. Oversized, old and sloppy is the key. You will need old overalls or jeans that you can patch with bandana type material, a flannel shirt, work boots and work or garden gloves. Be sure to stuff straw or raffia inside your shirt and leave some hanging out wherever you can. A blackbird attached to your hat, silk daisies or a corn cob pipe would be good accessories. Paint your face base white and proceed with black paint for a triangle nose and circle eyes. Paint your lips a bright red extending the make up beyond your lips for a straight smile.

10 Hut! – The Always Popular Football Player

Another inexpensive way to look sharp while using odds and ends is the football player. You may have or can easily network to get the pads, helmet, shirt, cleats and pants for this easy costume. Black make up under the eyes is all that is needed. Oh, don’t forget to carry the football for the full effect.

As soon as this year’s festivities are done, start thinking about next year! Once Halloween is over, it’s time to hit the discount stores. Often, outfits and accessories can be picked up for half the price or less. Thinking ahead on what your needs will be the following year will save you a ton of money, especially if you’ve got more than one person in the family dressing up. Don’t forget the garage sales too. This past Spring I bought my son’s character costume at a garage sale for two dollars. Outstanding savings I must say. Clearly, with a little imagination and a bit of planning ahead, you can create a costume that the kids will love and so will your checkbook.

Posted in Costumes, Halloween ActivitiesComments (1)

HalloweenAndCostumes.com is having a Halloween costume photo contest! It is free to enter. The cutest baby in costume is up first. The sexy Halloween costume photo contest starts September 5th.

HalloweenAndCostumes.com is holding is 1st annual Halloween Costume Photo Contest and giving away $1,000 in company gift certificates. Anyone ages 18 and up is eligible to enter, and as long as they are in costume, it does not matter where it was purchased. With Halloween almost here and many people looking at photos of past costumes, the company is encouraging them to submit their best pictures for a chance to win. A new contest will be held every two weeks, and contestants are able to enter on the website.

The following is the schedule of all the contests:

Cutest Kid/Baby In Costume Started August 18th.  Photo submissions started August 18th and runs to August 31st. The voting for best baby Halloween costumes 2011 will start September 1st and end September 4th. The winner will be announced September 5th. Prizes will be a $75 gift certificate for 1st place, a $50 gift certificate for 2nd, and a $25 gift certificate 3rd place.

2nd contest will be the Sexiest Costume Photo Contest and will start on September 5th. Photo submissions start September 5th and run to September 13th. The voting will start September 14th and end September 18th with the winners announced September 19th. Prizes will be a $250 gift certificate for 1st place, a $100 gift certificate for 2nd, and a $50 gift certificate for 3rd place.  Get your sexy Halloween costumes photos out and win!

3rd contest will be the Best Group/Family/Couple Costume Photo Contest. This will start on September 19th.  Photo submissions start September 19th and runs to September 27th. The voting will start September 28th and end October 2nd. The winner will be announced October 3rd. Prizes will be a $150 gift certificate to 1st place, a $75 gift certificate for 2nd and a $50 gift certificate for 3rd place.

4th contest will be the Last Minute Worst Costume Photo Contest – the best one for contestants to prove they really need one of these gift certificates. Photo submissions start October 3rd and runs to October 12th, and the voting will take place between October 13th and 16th. The winner will be announced October 17th. Prizes will be a $100 gift certificate to 1st place, a $50 gift certificate to 2nd and a $25 gift certificate to 3rd place.

“This is very exciting for everyone here at HalloweenAndCostumes.com,” said Michele Nuccitelli, founder and CEO of HalloweenAndCostumes.com. “We can’t wait to see all of the awesome costumes that people submit. What’s better than having a great Halloween costume photo from years past and being able to get money to buy one of the new 2011 Halloween Costumes for the upcoming season? It will be quite enjoyable giving out all of these prizes and making sure they have a great photo to submit for next year’s contest.”

About HalloweenAndCostumes.com

Launched in 2005 with just 100 products, HalloweenAndCostumes.com has grown to be one of the largest online providers of adult and children’s costumes today thanks to the close to 4,000 new products that are added to the company’s product line every year. Offering everything from shoes and boots to wigs and baby Halloween costumes, HalloweenAndCostumes.com is a one-stop-shop for Halloween costumes 2011. Known for its excellent customer service and attention to detail, the online boutique has garnered excellent reviews and developed a loyal customer base.

Posted in Adult Costumes, Baby Costumes, CostumesComments Off

As the handful of days prior to Halloween approach every year, I ask myself, panicking, a fundamental question: will I Simple Zombie Costumemake my costume this year, buy it, or put together a mash-up of new items with ones I already own? In years past I’ve done mostly the first and last. Two years ago, for instance, out of necessity I left my costume’s creation solely up to two of my college roommates, as I had my American history class the night of the big Halloween party we were attending. While my professor groaned about controversies of the Vietnam War, my two blond roommates maniacally ran over an old white dress of mine (originally purchased for under $15 from Ross) with one’s Honda, splattered red and black paint on it Jackson Pollock-style, and smashed twigs and clumps of dirt into the dress’s top layer of netting. As I threw down my books and hurriedly slipped on the mess of my former summer sundress, they decorated my neck and arms with red nail polish, or blood. Voila: I was a zombie.

And a fabulous zombie I was.

Last year, I combined a borrowed short, slightly flirty pink dress with a Party City tutu and a dusty Nintendo 64controller rendered as a belt, and was dubbed Princess Peach from Mario Kart.

This year, I’m taking a similar approach. Tonight I’ll be crafting my octopus costume. My weapons of choice: white panty hose, a kids’ tutu (size large), tissue paper, and long white gloves(which I already owned from a previous costume). We’ll see how this goes.

Happy Halloween, frugees!

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