There Can Be No Halloween Without Michael Myers!

  • August 31, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

Now what kind of Halloween blogger would I be if I didn’t mention what movie is being released today?  Yes, I’m talking about HALLOWEEN! 

Acclaimed filmmaker Rob Zombie has come out with an entirely new take on the highly successful and terrifying Halloween legacy that began in 1978.  He assures fans that his vision is not a copy cat of the original John Carpenter’s smash cult, but will give a different take on the Michael Myers legend.  The film will both surprise classic and modern horror fans with a departure from prior films in the Halloween series.  They should brace themselves for unprecedented fear as Zombie turns back time to uncover the making of pathologically disturbed, even cursed child named Michael Myers. 

Just the playing of the theme song for Halloween - the piano notes - gives me the creeps.  We have it on our Halloween music CD that we play every year on Halloween night.  That music seems to scare a lot of people!  Is there anyone who has not seen at least one Halloween movie?  I remember going to the theater with my friends to see the original Halloween 19 years ago and to this day, that movie still scares me!  Now that was a real horror movie - the kind of slasher film where everybody in the theater screams, even the guys.  Jamie Lee Curtis did an excellent job playing Laurie Strode, the babysitter that Michael Myers tries to kill.  There wasn’t a person in the audience that wasn’t routing for her by the time the movie ended. 

Did you know that Rob Zombie’s Halloween makes the ninth in a long line of sequels? 

- Halloween                                                           1978
- Halloween II                                                       1981
- Halloween III - Season of the Witch                   1982
- Halloween 4 - The Return of Michael Myers        1988
- Halloween 5 - The Revenge of Michael Myers    1989
- Halloween 6 - The curse of Michael Myers         1995
- Halloween H20 - Twenty Years Later                  1998
- Halloween - Resurrection                                     2002
 
I’m sure there will be a lot of movie goers heading out tonight to see this movie.  It’s a must for the true horror fan!  Make sure you check out our website for all our Michael Myers costumes and masks:  Michael Myers Halloween Costumes 

 


You and Your Pet Can Be The Life of the Party!

  • August 29, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

This Halloween, are you going to a costume party and would love to make a grand entrance and have everyone there talking about how amazing your costume is?  Well, if that’s what your want, then look no further!  Halloween Express just received a line of Premium Theatrical grade costumes for men and women that are wonderful.  These costumes are the real deal. Wouldn’t you ladies just love to be a Greek Goddess for the night?  And for you men, become a true warrior, Marc Antony or a rogue Bandido.  Only the finest, most unusual fabrics and trims available are used in the making of these costumes.  Go to Womens Premium and Theater Grade Halloween Costumes and see what Halloween Express has to offer.

The Premium Theatrical grade costumes, as well as our other more traditional costumes, are not just for wear on Halloween night, but can be worn for so many other purposes.  Many drama teachers use them for school plays, if you’re invited to a certain “theme” party during the year they’re a great idea, or for many other holidays including Thanksgiving, Christmas, Fourth of July, etc…  No matter what the festivity, Halloween Express has the costume, accessory, or prop you’re looking for.

Speaking of costumes, don’t forget your four-legged friend!  Nothing says Halloween like having your dog running around dressed as Superman, Zorro or Buzz Lightyear!  Every year my daughter, Sydney gets to pick out a costume for our girl dog, Roxie; and my son, Caden gets to pick out one for Beauregard, of course he’s our boy dog.  Heaven knows we can’t have Sydney pick out the boy dog costume, my gosh what would her friends think!!  Anyway, it is a lot of fun to dress them up on Halloween night (although they might not think it’s as “fun” as we do).  Last year, Roxy was a princess and Beauregard was Zorro.  They’re both Great Danes, so Roxy was the perfect regal princess and Beauregard made a dashing Zorro, until he got his mask off when we weren’t looking and shredded it! 

So this year, don’t just dress up the kids, check out our website under pet costumes - it’s a fun and inexpensive way to make Halloween a night for the whole family!

 

 


iGlow Cool Hair and Body Gel

  • August 27, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

Have you ever been out at some amazing party, a concert or the new hotspot dance club and felt like a wall flower that no one noticed?  Well not anymore!  Halloween Express now has a line of iGLOW products that will get you noticed and make you feel like the life of the party!  I tried it and this stuff is amazing!  It really works!  iGLOW - glow in the dark hair gel and body gel is a completely self glowing product that creates its own light.  It’s fun, cool and innovative!  There’s no need for a UV or black light because it works anywhere, inside or outside.  Tiny, microscopic particles in the gel come together in the mixing process to produce a bright colorful glow that can be seen in partial light and in the dark for at least 4-6 hours.

It’s a must if you want to add that little extra touch to your Halloween costume or give yourself an eerie glow for the ultimate haunted house scare.  But it’s not just for Halloween, you can wear it anywhere to give yourself a boost of confidence or throw on some glow in the dark color to bring out your wild side.  Spring Break, Mardi Gras, Cinco de Mayo, July 4th and New Year’s Eve are just a few holidays where you can step out of the norm and have some fun.  I spiked up my sons hair and drew a heart tattoo on my daughter’s arm that she thought was just awesome.  It’s so easy and fun to play around with, but I definitely would not let my children use it on their own.  They tend to think it’s funny to touch everything in the house that they want to see glow in the dark.  It is funny until you see your dog running around at night with a big skull drawn on his back.  So it’s probably better an adult always handle the glow in the dark hair and body gel!    

Each iGLOW container is intended for a one-time application but depending on the effect desired and amount of gel used, one container is typically enough for several people as a little "dab" will go a long way. You and your friends can create streaks or spike up your hair with bright glowing hair gel or use your body as a canvas to create your own look and design your own tattoos by using the glow in the dark body gel.  The best thing about iGLOW gel is that it’s temporary (washes right out), safe and non-toxic.  Plus Halloween Express has all the coolest colors:

Hair gel -           yellow, green, blue, orange, white, hot pink, neon green and neon blue

Body gel -         yellow, green, blue and orange

iGLOW hair products are fast getting a reputation as the coolest hair and body gel on the planet!  So don’t wait and be the last person to get into the latest craze of glow in the dark fun.  Here's a link: iGlow - Glow in the Dark Body and Hair Gel


Summer Movies

  • August 25, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

This summer there were so many great movie blockbusters that it’s a gold mine out there for Halloween costumes.  The hardest part you’ll have will be deciding which character to be.  I’ve already written about quite a few of the summer movies and some of the more popular costumes, but it seems there’s always another great movie out there to talk about. 

One such movie is 300.   It is a film adaptation of the graphic novel (which is a type of comic book) by Frank Miller, and is a fictionalized retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae.  Spartan King Leonidas (the good guy) and 300 Spartans fight to the last man against Persian King Xerxes (the bad guy) and his army of over one million soldiers.  It was released on March 7, 2007 and broke box office records.  I went to see the movie with my nephew, who had already seen it twice before.  Even though I had never seen so many shields, spears and swords in one movie in my life, I loved it.  It was not just a bloody battle movie like you would think, but had a great story line and Queen Gorgo, who was the beautiful wife of King Leonidas, was a true heroine in my eyes.  It was unbelievable how realistic the different scenes were and the graphics in this movie were amazing to say the least!  Did you know that except for one scene where horses travel across the countryside, this movie was shot entirely indoors in Montreal using bluescreens?  Now that’s amazing! 

I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot of Spartans this Halloween.  It would make an excellent couple costume to go as King Leonidas and Queen Gorgo or you could go as a group and add a few Spartan Warriors.  Check out our website for all your 300 movie Halloween Costumes: 300 the Movie Halloween Costumes

Speaking of great popular group costumes, an epic movie series that’s been around forever and will always be popular with children and adults alike is Star Wars - “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…..”  Talk about some great characters costumes to choose from!  Can you believe that the original Star Wars movie was released in May 1977?  Since then five sequels spanned from then until Revenge of the Sith was released in May 2005.  To date, the entire Star Wars franchise has grossed around $6.6 billion, making it one of the most successful franchises of all time.  It wouldn’t be Halloween without a Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader ringing your doorbell.  We have all your Star Wars costumes here: Star Wars Halloween Costumes


High School Musical Costumes

  • August 23, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

The closer it gets to Halloween, the more people look to the popular tv and latest released hit movies to see what costume is going to be the “in” thing this year. 

Well I can tell you what I think will be hot this year for children – does East High Wildcats or Lava Springs Country Club sound familiar?  It should if you have children!  It’s High School Musical 2!  Wow, can you believe how popular that show is?  According to USA Today, the Nielsen ratings reported that on August 17th, 17.2 million viewers tuned in to watch the premier on the Disney Channel.  This number made it the most watched cable telecast in history.  That is amazing!  My three kids were definitely part of that crowd because they were literally glued to the television while it was on.  I think we’ll see a lot of kids dressed this Halloween as Zach, Gabriella, Sharpay, Ryan, Chad and Taylor.

The original High School Musical was released on January 20, 2006 and was one of the most successful Disney Channel Original Movies produced.  The film’s soundtrack was the best-selling album that year.  I’m sure they knew then that its sequel, High School Musical 2, would make it to the history books.  Apparently a second sequel, High School Musical 3, is slated for release in 2008 with that film debuting in movie theaters. Wow, it looks like this whole High School Musical phenomonon will be the “in” costumes next year too!   The DVD of High School Musical 2 is expected to arrive in mid December, just in time for the perfect Christmas present! Check out the High School Musical costumes here: High School Muscial Halloween Costumes.

Another “in” costume for the girls will be the Bratz characters.  Bratz: The Movie, was released earlier this month and the costumes for Cloe, Sasha, Jade and Yasmin are flying off the shelf.  And it’s not just the characters themselves – you can be a Bratz cheerleader, a pirate, a witch or a Bratz devil.  There are many to choose from and your daughter will love them.  You can see more Bratz Halloween Costume here: Bratz Halloween Costumes.   

Check back in a couple days for more postings on my blog with some more of the latest popular Halloween costumes for adults and children. 

 


Spooktacular Yard Decorations

  • August 21, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

Have you ever been picking up your child from a friends house or running an errand late in the evening in October and just can’t believe how some people can completely transform their yards into a spooky graveyard or a haunted cemetery?  Have you ever wondered how they do it?  Depending on how “spooky” you want it to be, it’s actually pretty easy and a lot of fun, if you have the right props and decorations.  

We go all out on Halloween night, transforming our front yard into a eerie, fog-induced yard haunt.  Since you have to walk up our driveway to get to the front porch for trick-or-treating, our neighbors decided to start calling it the “driveway of doom”.  The younger children are so excited, but usually want mom or dad to walk with them the first time.  The older kids try to act cool about it, but it’s funny to see how slowly they come up the driveway.  Now mind you, we do have another walkway to come to the front door for the smaller (and some older) children that are too frightened to use the driveway.  That’s happened to my kids before at other houses and I didn’t want any children to think they couldn’t get candy just because our driveway is a little too scary for them.    

First, we put up a portable garage (they’re shaped like a tunnel with sides and top covered) for the night to put in the driveway and hang strobe lights inside.  Then we put stretchable cobwebs, which you can buy in a bag, throughout the ceiling of it and hang fake spiders throughout.  Every year we put one big prop in there.  Last year it was a coffin with a dummy that the kids had made and the year before that it was the grim reaper.  Finally to top it off we have haunted music playing.  Our kids love it!  They help us put it together every year and decide how they want to decorate it.  I think it helps to have the kids involved with it.  That way they’re not scared because they know it’s not real.

For the front yard we hang orange Halloween lights from the trees and change our porch light and light post to black lights.  Then we place old tombstones around the yard with cobwebs hanging off them and skeletons coming up from the ground.  Skulls and bats are hanging from the trees.  But, by far the most important special effect prop we use would have to be the fog machine.  You can’t have a haunted yard without one!  There’s nothing like a layer of fog floating through the night air adding an element of the unknown for your trick-or-treaters.

So whether you go all out this Halloween night or just put a few decorations in your front yard, the trick-or-treaters will love it!  Don’t forget to check out our website for all your yard decorating needs:  Halloween Decorations and Halloween Props


Sultry and Sexy Costumes

  • August 19, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

Today I’m writing to all the women out there that look to Halloween as that one night a year you can take a chance and live out a fantasy to be as sexy as you want to be.  Whether you’re single, married, a mom or a grandma it doesn’t matter.  Halloween gives us women, who are normally restrained, a chance to let loose, get wild, wicked or even naughty without judgment.   Halloween can be very liberating for many of us so called “soccer moms”.

In the past few years, Halloween has become an extremely popular holiday among adults and their Halloween festivities. In fact, adult women costumes have been selling like never before, and the trend isn't the traditional costume of being spooky or comical, but all out sexy!  Women are wearing these costumes to parties, costume contests, masquerade balls and themed nightclubs. 

Popular classics like transforming yourself into a sexy French Maid, a Police Officer with thigh-high boots and fish net stockings or being a Naughty Nurse for the night.  Taking on the sultry persona of the Queen of Halloween herself, Elvira Mistress of the Dark, might be just want you’re looking for!  And if you want that sexy look but just aren’t quite ready to show too much skin, there are plenty of costumes to choose from.  Take a look at the Very Sexy Pirate, Sassy Gangster or the Cauldron Witch just to name a few. 

Whatever you’re looking for, Halloween Express has it!  We carry an exclusive line of Leg Avenue for Women that you will only see on our website.  You can check it out here:  Sexy Halloween Costumes | Leg Avenue Costumes .  Ladies take advantage of it – you have to look at some of their costumes.  Literally, I could spend hours just looking at all of them.  It’s almost impossible to pick just one for Halloween.  But that’s the really cool part – if you’re going to a couple different Halloween parties or themed nightclubs – pick out a couple outfits to wear.  Believe me, when your friends see you in these costumes, they’ll be so envious.  

This year when you go out for your Halloween festivities look around and see how many women there are just like you who have put on that sexy costume and created their own personal version of something that makes them feel just a little more enticing than they normally would.  Go out, be sexy and have a sultry spectacular time! 


The Renaissance Era

  • August 17, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

Step back 400 years to a time of romance.  Shakespeare is in the prime of his career and Sir Francis Drake has spanned the Globe. The New World is a vast frontier. The Dark Ages are done.  You’re taken back in time when you put on a Renaissance Era costume.  You’ll enter a magical world of medieval knights, dragons and jesters. 

Clothing during the Renaissance Era always reflected the social status of the person wearing it.  There would be no doubt as to who was of nobility.  Clothing was a direct indication of wealth and the cost of the clothing was related to the color and type of fabric.  Sounds a lot like today’s world, huh?  That’s why I love the simplicity of school uniforms!   Anyway, back to the Renaissance - velvet, corduroy and satin were considered fine weaves and were very costly.  Even cotton was expensive up until the 1800’s.  More of your common fibers were flax and wool.  A typical man's outfit would include boots, breeches (pants), a shirt, a jerkin (vest), and a hat. A typical woman's outfit would include shoes, an over and under skirt, a shirt, a bodice, and a hat - long hair was generally braided. Until about age three, children wore a tight-fitting cap and a shift. Children older than three dressed identical to the adults.

If you get a chance, you really should go to a Renaissance Faire.  They are held all over the country.  Click on this link to find a Faire near you: Renaissance Faire 

Last year I accompanied my son on his school field trip to the Renaissance Faire in our area.  It was amazing to see the different costumes and customs they had.  You really do step back in time!  There were all kinds of stages set up for scheduled shows. Some of their performances included dancers, musicians, jugglers, and singers. Between the stages the streets are lined with little shops where independent vendors sell their goods (of course my son and his friends had to have the three pronged jester hats with the bells on the ends).  There were food booths, as well as game and ride areas.  We got to see two knights jousting and some really funny jesters walking about. All the actors wear period costumes and speak using the vocabulary and accents of the time.  It’s really neat to listen to.

We have some great Renaissance Era costumes on our website for men and women.  You can wear one of the costumes if you’re going to a Halloween party solo or it’s also a perfect idea for a “couple” costume.  We also have some wonderful Medievel Knights and Queen costumes for children.  That way the whole family can make Halloween a Renaissance night!   

 


Popular Movie Character Costumes

  • August 15, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

When it comes to “popular” Halloween costumes you just can’t beat going the traditional route.  According to the NRF (National Retail Federation) for the last two years running princess has remained the most popular costume for kids.  Other popular costumes include pirates, witches and Spider-Man.  Traditional costumes never go out of style.  You will always see a princess, witch, vampire, devil or ghost trick-or-treating on Halloween night.

In a survey conducted by the NRF, here are the top 10 most popular costumes last year:

  1. Princess
  2. Pirate
  3. Witch
  4. Spider-Man
  5. Superman
  6. Disney Princess
  7. Power Ranger
  8. Pumpkin
  9. Cat
  10. Vampire

 

Today with the Halloween holiday gaining in popularity, along with the traditional costumes we’re seeing more costumes geared toward themes of movies, television, celebrities and politics. It seems like whatever movie was the big summer blockbuster hit, costumes from those characters will definitely be big sellers for Halloween.  Such movies this year were:

  1. Pirates of the Caribbean at World’s End
  2. The Simpson’s Movie
  3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  4. Shrek the Third
  5. Fantastic Four – Rise of the Silver Surfer
  6. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  7. Spiderman 3

 

So as you can see, there are plenty of good movie characters to pick from this year! 

Also Disney characters are always popular.  You can never go wrong with a Disney costume.  From The Little Mermaid, Cinderella and Snow White to Hannah Montana and The Cheetah Girls – Disney has it all.  Click on the link to see all our great Disney costumes for children: http://www.halloweenexpress.com/disney©-costumes-c-2_118.html

No matter what costume your child decides to go as this year, whether it be a traditional costume or what’s hot in the movies, I’m sure they’ll look great!

 


Halloween Fun and Games

  • August 13, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell
A favorite for my children in October is their school Halloween party.  Being a room mom, I get the chance to go to their classes and try-out new Halloween games each year for the kids to play.  It’s fun to come home and play the games with my kids and some of the neighborhood children.  Here are a few you should try: Candy Corn Relay Race Designate a starting line and a finish line. Set out a bowl full of candy corn for each player at the starting line and an empty bowl at the finish line. The players must use a large spoon to scoop candy corn out of the full bowl and then carry it to the empty bowl and fill it. They cannot spill any candy corn or use their hands!  If any candy corn falls off the spoon, they must immediately pick it up and bring it back to the starting line bowl and start over with that scoopful.  This game can also be played in teams. Eyeball Hunt Game Fill a large pot with cooked spaghetti noodles and bury ping pong balls in the noodles. See who can find the most balls in a set amount of time. For an added twist you can color code the balls and have each color worth a different amount of points.  Pumpkin Hunt: Cut out 12 pumpkins from orange construction paper.  Let the kids use a black marker to draw on faces.  While the kids are in another room hide each pumpkin throughout the house and/or yard and have the children find them.  Whoever finds the most pumpkins wins!  It’s just like an Easter Egg Hunt at Halloween time. Pumpkin Golf For this game the object is to hit the golf ball into a pumpkin. First carve out a pumpkin and make the mouth extra large.  Then using cardboard, cut out a ramp about one to two feet long from the ground to the bottom of the pumpkins mouth and tape it to the floor for stability (you might need some support under the cardboard).  Mark a starting point a few feet from the start of the ramp - the older the kids, the farther away.  Each player gets to hit a golf ball three times - each time the ball goes into the pumpkin, the player wins a piece of candy. Pumpkin Bowling Get several small pumpkins about four to six inches in diameter (you’ll need extras in case a few split or break).  Place six or ten empty plastic water bottles several feet away on the floor – you can also use the children’s plastic bowling pins if you’d like. Give each child two tries to knock down the pins. A strike is worth two pieces of candy and a spare is worth one piece of candy. Guess How Many Candies Fill a jar with Halloween candy and, as each child arrives, have them write their name on a piece of paper and a guess as to how many pieces are in the jar. Everyone only gets one guess and the child who has the closest guess gets to take the jar of candy home! Don’t forget to check out our website for even more great Halloween games for children and adults. Here's the link: Halloween Games.

Safety First

  • August 11, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

How many times have you seen on your local news, stories about children being hit by a car on Halloween night?  That breaks my heart when I hear something like that.  For a child Halloween is such an exciting and fun night that sometimes they are so excited to get to the next house that they shoot across the street without thought of even looking both ways.  I’ve seen it many times in my neighborhood (thankfully no cars were coming); especially when kids are following each other and one falls behind.  They dart across the street just trying to catch up with their friends. 

There are many things we as parents can do to protect our children on Halloween night and keep them safe:

  • If you’re driving, you have to be aware of the children.  Drive SLOW!  Watch for children to run out between cars or in the middle of the street.  When backing down your driveway be careful and look twice to make sure it is clear.

  • Have your child wear clothing with reflective markings or tape.  There are also glow sticks (and similar items) that you can buy to have your child wear around their neck or pin to their costume.

  • Accompany your child around the neighborhood.  If you can’t, make sure another adult is with them.  As a parent you know if your child is “old” enough to go around the neighborhood with their friends without you, however it helps to have them wear a  watch so they know when the trick-or-treat hours are over and when to head home.  Always know exactly where they will be and what route they’re taking.

  • When picking out a costume, look for one made of flame-retardant material.

  • Check your child’s costume and make sure it’s not dragging the ground where they could trip and hurt themselves.  Face paint is always a good substitution for a mask, however if they do have to wear one make sure they have nose and mouth openings and large enough eye holes.

  • Make sure they know to only go to houses that are well lit and ones that they know someone is home.  They should never enter a stranger’s home.

  • Have them bring their candy home first before eating anything.  Go through it with them and throw out anything you’re not sure about.  Have them eat dinner before they go out trick-or-treating - that way they’re not as hungry.  On Halloween night we always order pizza.  It’s such a hectic night with trying to get everyone situated that it just seems easier than fixing dinner – plus they kids love it.  But remember to order early because I think a lot of people do pizza night on Halloween.

Well, that’s some of the safety tips I can think of. You can find some more here on our website: Halloween Safety Tips.   As parents, we all want our child to be safe.  Just use common sense on Halloween night.  I think it’s really important that you go out with them, especially for younger children, so that you can be their eyes and ears.  They’re so excited to be running around to all the houses getting candy that safety is not their top priority – so it has to be yours!  

 

 

 

 


Halloween Haunted Houses

  • August 09, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

What is it about Halloween that makes people go out looking for ways to be scared?  Walking through the cemetery at night, watching scary movies with every light in the house off, or the most popular by far – actually paying for someone to scare you half to death by going to a haunted house!   

One thing I’ve always loved to do at Halloween is to go to as many haunted houses that I could find!  It’s amazing how much they’ve changed since I was younger and going to them with my friends.  Everything is so life like and seems so real that the fear factor is off the charts!  I remember when I was in middle school, I helped some friends of mine put on a haunted house for our school.  It mostly consisted of strobe lights, eerie coffins, spiders dropping down from the ceiling and jumping out at people as they walked through.  Compared to the haunted houses today, that would be a cake walk.  Now when somebody jumps out from behind a door they usually have blood all over them, their missing an arm and their face isn’t even a face – the elaborate makeup they use is amazing.  Then to top it all off they’re either wielding a 12 inch butcher knife or a chain saw!  Gone are the short little walk through one level haunted houses, now they are three and four levels in old condemned buildings that have you scared to death even before you go in.  If a haunted house is not your style, you may opt for a haunted hayride, haunted trail or even a haunted yard. 

A haunted house is defined as a building that is the center for supernatural occurrences or paranormal phenomena.  A house is said to be "possessed" or "haunted" when Satan or ghosts take up residence.  Some cases involve otherwise normal people hearing strange noises or having visions of dead people or of objects moving with no visible means of locomotion.  The illusions created by actors, animatronics, sounds, lighting and other special effects that are made to frighten us, make today’s haunted houses excellent scary venues.

It is estimated that there are over 3000 haunted houses operating every year in North America alone.  If you want to know where a haunted house is in your area, use this link: Halloween Haunted Houses.  It’s a great online portal for all the Halloween haunted house information you will ever need.   

Happy Haunting!!

 


Halloween Fun Ideas

  • August 04, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

Did you know that one of the most recognized symbols of Halloween is a pumpkin carved into a jack-o-lantern?  Pumpkins have been grown in North America for five thousand years!  Wow, that’s a lot of pumpkins!  Going to the pumpkin patch with my family every October brings back a lot of fond memories.  Now, my kids look forward to going to the pumpkin farm every year.  A hayride takes us back to rows and rows of pumpkins where they get to pick one right off the vine.  There are so many it’s hard to pick just one so we usually end up with five or six.  Then it’s on to the barn where they get to feed the sheep and goats.  It’s really a great time of the year to do this because the trees are beautiful shades of red and yellow and there’s a slight chill in the air making good use of sweatshirts and jackets.  The atmosphere at the pumpkin farm always puts us in the Halloween mood.     

Carving the pumpkins is a lot of fun.  There are so many really cool stencil books you can get for the kids to use.  The part that grosses out my daughters is the “gutting” of the pumpkin, so my husband always ends up getting out all the insides for them.  We always save the pumpkin seeds for snacking on later.  First run them under cool water to clean them up, then put them in a bowl and mix with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Spread them on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil and stick them under the broiler for a few minutes until they turn light brown.  They are delicious!  It’s just like snacking on popcorn. 

Check out these fun facts about pumpkins:

  1. Pumpkins are not a vegetable - they are a fruit
  2. The largest pumpkin pie ever baked was in 2003 and weighed 418 lbs
  3. Pumpkins are low in calories, fat and sodium and high in fiber
  4. Largest pumpkin ever grown on record was 1,502 lbs
  5. Pumpkins are orange because they contain massive amounts of lutein, alpha and beta-carotene
  6. In Korea and Japan, "pumpkin" is a slang term for an unattractive woman

This year when you find that perfect pumpkin, have fun carving it and display it proudly on your front porch for everyone to see! For more Halloween fun ideas, you might want to check out this section of our website: Halloween Fun Ideas


Summer Blockbuster Movies

  • August 02, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

Well, we’re officially into the month of August now. It always seems like such a hectic month with schools starting and getting back into the grove of the dreaded (especially for the kids) early morning wake-ups! Everyone’s trying to pack in all their last minute summer fun into the next couple weeks. The younger children all seem to be eager to start back to school but not so much for the older kids. It’s sort of a been-there-done-that attitude for them.

At least this summer there were some really good movies to see. The Simpsons Movie was just released on Friday, July 27th and had record box office sales. I think just about everyone knows of Homer Simpson and his family – wife, Marge; son, Bart; and daughters Lisa and Maggie, but did you know that their dogs name is Santa’s Little Helper and their cats name is Snowball II? They hit the TV screen 20 years ago with a weekly half hour series that became a pop culture phenomenon. There have been over 400 episodes and they’ve won numerous awards – one being a designation from Time Magazine as “the best television show of the 20th century”. I think just about every year I’ve opened my door on Halloween night to at least one Bart Simpson and I’m sure with their new movie just coming out, The Simpson costumes are going to be a hot commodity this year! Check out ours by click on this link: The Simpsons Halloween Costumes.

Another great blockbuster movie you just had to see over the summer was Shrek the Third. I took my kids to see it and absolutely loved it. All three of the Shrek movies are wonderfully funny. The first Shrek movie was released in 2001 with the largest Dreamworks opening to date. It also won the first every Academy Award for best animated feature. Then in 2004 Shrek 2 opened and of course this year was the year for Shrek the Third. There’s a new Shrek the Musical in development now and apparently on ABC over the Christmas holiday there will be a Shrek the Halls. I can’t wait - it will be so cute! I loved all the characters in Shrek, but my favorite would have to be Donkey whose voice is played by Eddie Murphy. He is hilarious! My daughter loved Puss In Boots – the yellow cat played by Antonia Banderas. Make sure to check out our Shrek related costumes from infants to adults by click on this link: Shrek The Third Costumes.