Halloween Costume Watch 2016

Halloween this year has been a low key -- possibly even no key -- affair. How odd is that? Halloween is my favorite holiday, and for the past 15 years I've decorated the house to the hilt, baked and crafted up a storm, and documented every single bit of it. I just wasn't feeling it this year. Maybe it's because our weekends have been extra busy, maybe it's because the kids are older, maybe it's because I'm older. Whatever the reason, I've ended up taking a break from Halloween. Our only decorations this year were five pumpkins (actually there are only 3 left because we carved 2 of them too early and they rotted. That's why I'm featuring Marissa Mayer's giant pumpkin on this post instead of ours). The only thing I baked this month was a pan of brownies for The Pea's advisory class (they had Halloween sprinkles on them, so plus 3 points for me).

That doesn't mean we're not dressing up for Trick or Treating tonight (hey, I'm uninspired, not dead). The kids must have caught my mood, because they weren't too excited about Halloween costumes... that is, until there were just 2 days left. All of a sudden they came up with all kinds of ideas, so we spent the weekend augmenting their costumes and crafting up a storm. Their costumes turned out great, and all our efforts seem to have reawakened our Halloween cheer!

Haunted Halloween for Scaredy Cats

Haunted Halloween

It's October again, and for teens and pre-teens in the Bay Area, that means Great America's Halloween Haunt is back! We visited Halloween Haunt for the first time last year, and we enjoyed ourselves so much that I bought Gold Season Passes (which offers unlimited Halloween Haunt admission) this year. There just isn't enough time to see all 8 haunted mazes in a single visit, so we have been looking forward to going multiple times this year so we can enjoy each and every one.

The only problem? The Pea doesn't like haunted mazes. She hates getting startled when costumed actors come out of nowhere. The Dia de los Muertos maze, which is more is more artsy than scary, was all she could handle last year.
Haunted Halloween

How to make a candy lollipop centerpiece

candy lollipop centerpiece

Halloween is my favorite holiday, and part of the fun is gathering insane amounts of candy that I would never let the kids have any other time of the year. Over the years, the kids have graduated from cute little treat bags to gigantic pillowcases, and those longer legs meant greater stamina for collecting candy on Halloween night. So we've ended up with far more candy that even I would let them have.  The solution? Candy crafts to the rescue! We've used candy for gingerbread houses (which no one eats), candy wreaths, and candy centerpieces like the one in the photo.

Lollipop trees make great holiday table centerpieces. They're also a great way to display the candy given out at the doctor's office or school front office! You'll need a 3- inch styrofoam ball, a 4-inch decorative flower pot, and a LOT of lollipops.

Simply stick the lollipops into the styrofoam ball, all the way around. If your styrofoam ball is dense, don't use the lollipop sticks to poke holes into the ball, because the sticks will bend. Use a metal skewer instead. You don't have to stick the lollipops all the way in; just an inch or so will do. Try not to leave any space between lollipop heads. When you've covered about three-quarters of the styrofoam ball, rest the ball on top of your flower pot.

candy lollipop centerpiece

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