The Official Countdown to Halloween

  • October 01, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

October is finally here and now the official countdown to Halloween can begin – 30 more days!  The weather could not be more perfect than it is today.  Beautiful blue skies, crisp air and the Autumn trees with their picturesque leaves ready to fall.  Ok, so you get the picture that I love Fall (was picturesque a little too much)??

Halloween is in the air!  Today we’re going over to our storage unit to get all our Halloween decorations out so we can begin the transformation of our home - inside and out.  My kids are so excited to help my husband decorate the outside of our house.  I’ll start decorating the inside while they tackle the yard. 

My favorite decorations inside or out are definitely anything that is animated.  I love having Count Dracula Count Dracula Halloween Prop standing in my foyer.  His eyes follow you as you walk past.  Or the Grim Reaper  Grim Reaper Halloween Prop  who’s lantern lights up and has that ghoulish presence in your entry way.  I even love the smaller props that shake or move as you walk past.  Check out all our animated props and decorations that will make your house one that all your neighbors will talk about this year at Animated Halloween Props and Decorations.

Decorating the outside of your house is so much fun.  You can make it as elaborate or simple as you want.  The one staple on our front porch every year is Mr. Pumpkin Head.  We did it at our house when I was growing up and I made sure to keep it a tradition with my family.  We take a pair of my husband’s old jeans and tie rubber bands around the bottom of the leg openings then stuff them with crumbled up newspaper.  Then we do the same with a long sleeved flannel shirt.  We put the pants on the porch swing then place the stuffed shirt on top making it look as if a body is sitting there.  Then we stuff the pant legs into a pair of work boots.  For the head we buy a plastic pumpkin and attach it to the top of the shirt by cutting a small hole in the bottom of the pumpkin and pulling some of the shirt through to anchor it.  Then the kids either put a baseball cap or a big floppy hat on the pumpkins head to give it that finished look.  It’s so easy and the kids like changing around the outfits every year.  Give it a try at your house this Halloween! 


Ghostly Decorations

  • September 30, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

Ghosts, ghosts and more ghosts!  They are the staple of every Halloween season.  There are so many crafts and decorations you can do using the ghost theme.  “You’ve been Ghosted” is a great way to say Happy Halloween to your neighbors.  Check out my blog from July 18th where I talk all about being “ghosted” and how you too can start a new tradition in your neighborhood or at your school with this spooktacular game.

Here are some great ghost crafts you can make.  They are quick and easy to do with your kids and a lot of fun too!

Ghost Wind Socks

  • white construction paper
  • black permanent marker
  • stapler
  • white crepe paper
  • tape string
  1. for each wind sock, decorate a 6-by-18 inch piece of white construction paper with ghostly eyes and a frightening mouth.
  2. roll the paper to form a tube shape and staple the ends together.
  3. cut eight 8-foot-long strips of crepe paper and drape them over the top edge with both ends hanging down to create "tails." Secure with tape.
  4. for a handle, cut a 30-inch piece of string and staple the ends to opposite sides of the top of the decoration.

Ghost Leaf

  • hole punch
  • fallen leaves from your yard
  1. with a hole punch, make 2 eyes and a mouth in an assortment of fallen leaves, one for each place setting.          
  2. tuck each leaf stem under the edge of a dinner plate or inside a napkin ring.

Ghost Handprints

  • black construction paper
  • white paint
  • crayons
  • paper plates

 

  1. pour paint onto paper plate and let your child rub both their hands in the paint until it is all over the bottom of their hands
  2. press their hands to the paper (then wash hands)
  3. turn paper upside down to where the palms of their handprint is the ghosts head and their fingers will be the bottom of the ghost
  4. they can finish their picture by giving a face to their ghosts and coloring in pumpkins, bats, tombstones, full moon, etc…

 

Halloween Express has some great ghostly decorations that are sure to add that fear factor element to any home or yard.  From our hanging ghost in chains Hanging Ghost Chains to our inflatable 5 foot tall ghosts Inflatable Ghosts Halloween Express has it all.  Check out all of our ghostly decorations and costumes at Halloween Ghost Costumes.

 


More Great Costumes

  • September 29, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

Have you seen our new line of Everlast costumes?  They’re the satin boxing shorts, robes and gloves with Everlast printed on them.  Today, with as big as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is, this costume is sure to be a huge hit.  The great thing about this costume is that it comes in boys/mens sizes toddler, child and adult and girls/womens sizes child and adult.  There is even an Everlast costume for women as the Ring Card Girl.  Check out all our Everlast costumes at Everlast Halloween Costumes.

There were some great cartoons on Saturday mornings when I was growing up.  Two of my favorites were the Flintstones and the Jetsons.  They were on complete opposite sides of the spectrum where the Flinstones was a great cartoon about two friends and their families from the past where as the Jetsons was a really cool cartoon about a family that lives in the future.  Both were great shows!  Who can forget Fred Flinstone and Barney Rubble or George and Jane Jetson.   If you had two couples and needed a costume idea for a group, what about Fred, Wilma, Barney and Betty?  Or if you’re going as a couple you could always go as Pebbles and Bam Bam.  Make sure you check out our whole line of The Flinstones and The Jetsons costumes at  The Flinstones and Jetsons Halloween Costumes.

Tim Burton is a film director known mostly for the quirky and gothic atmosphere of his films.  Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are just a few of the movies he has directed.  All of these movies have excellent characters to base a Halloween Costume on - Edward has hands made of scissors, Jack Skellington, and Willy Wonka are all fun characters to play.  You can see these and much more at  Tim Burton Movie Halloween Costumes.

 


Pumpkins - To Carve or Not To Carve

  • September 28, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

What would Halloween be without a great carved pumpkin?  To me it never really feels like the Halloween season until you see that big crate full of pumpkins at your local grocery store.  I’ll see costumes, candy and plenty of Halloween decorations, but that first pumpkin sighting means it’s officially Fall for me! 


We love going to the pumpkin patch in October.  Being able to pick out that perfect pumpkin becomes a mission that usually takes my daughters about an hour to complete!  But the look on their face once they find it is priceless.  Finding that perfect pumpkin is the easy part, it’s deciding between the 10 perfect pumpkins that they’ve found that’s the hard part.  It’s funny, but I find that I’m the same way.  Wouldn’t it be nice if this really was the biggest decision that we had to make in our day to day lives?  Anyway, pumpkins do come in every shape and size imaginable.  That’s what makes carving them so fun.  Never carry a pumpkin by its stem, it may break.  If it does break-off you can use toothpicks as a basic patch.  If you find a perfect pumpkin but it's missing its stem, have no fear, you can still use it!  Just carve the bottom out for the opening the same way you would do the top.  Then, just sit your light source on the cleaned bottom piece and sit the pumpkin over it.  This works great and you don't need the stem for a lid handle.


Many centuries ago, October 31st was a magical night when glowing jack-o-lanterns, carved from turnips or gourds, were set on porches and in windows to welcome deceased loved ones, but also to act as protection against malevolent spirits. Burning lumps of coal were used inside as a source of light, later to be replaced by candles.  Soon after, it was the Irish who decided it was much easier to use pumpkins since they were much larger and easier to carve.

I was looking through a Halloween magazine the other day and couldn’t believe all the cute pumpkin decorating ideas that are out there.  I absolutely love the idea of carving small holes all over your pumpkin and pushing each bulb from a small strand of white lights through each hole.  When lit up the pumpkin looks amazing – and it’s so simple.  Another idea would be to let your children “paint” their pumpkin.  My youngest daughter, Olivia wanted nothing to do with gutting her pumpkin last year, so instead I had her paint a face on.  She loved it!  And even if you have a child that is younger Halloween Express has a “pushpin” pumpkin kit that works just like a Mr. Potato Head.  You just push in the eyes, nose, mouth, ears etc… and you’ve got the perfect no mess pumpkin!  You can find it at Halloween Pumpkin Push Pins

Other great ideas include our Witch or Vampire Pumpkin Stand.   These are great if you want to carve your pumpkin with a witch or vampires face because the stand looks like the rest of their body.  You can see these, our stencil books, carving tool sets and much, much more at Halloween Pumpkins


Are You a Ghost Hunter?

  • September 27, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

Have you ever gone ghost hunting or ghost investigating?  It’s especially popular during the Halloween season.  It’s an annual tradition for my nephew Aiden and his friends to go “ghost hunting” in the month of October and especially on Halloween night.  Last year he stopped by to show me some of the video he captured while walking through an abandoned mental hospital that was shut down years ago.  It’s said that some of the “patients” still wonder around the halls late at night.  For me, just watching the video was so eerily frightening that it had the hair on the back of my neck standing up.  The inside of the building was pitch black and all they had were flashlights to see down the long dark hallways.  It was raining that night which of course makes for the perfect setting.  On the video you could hear the rain hitting the windows of the hospital and in several rooms the rain was running down the inside of the walls.  A couple of the girls with them were scared to death.  It was sort of like watching “The Blair Witch Project” but with a happy ending!  Aiden has been into the whole supernatural phenomenon since I can remember.  He loves to watch a good horror flick and can’t wait for October to come around when he can start his annual “ghost hunting” with his friends.  Not me though, I have to pass on the hauntings - if I went on a ghost hunt all you would here on the video is me screaming!   

Did you know that a haunting is a recurring presence of a ghost, demon, or similar supernatural being at a specific place?  Old houses, hotels, restaurants, pubs, prisons, cemeteries and graveyards are the most common haunted places.  Belief in hauntings and ghosts spans the world and is recorded throughout history in legends and ghost stories. 

There are five primary types of hauntings:

  1. Intelligent - may be a ghost or demon.  The entity is aware of its surroundings, including living people who may be present.
  2. Residual - the entity does not seem to be aware of any living beings and performs the same repetitive act (often the reenactment of a tragic event).
  3. Benevolent - a ghost that seeks to help or protect the living sometimes from an evil spirit.
  4. Malevolent - ghost or demon that seeks to inflict harm on the living.
  5. Benign – entity that is either unconcerned about the living or unaware of their presence.

What better time of year than Halloween to check out some of the “hauntings” in your neck of the woods!  Good luck and happy haunting!


Resident Evil

  • September 26, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

On Friday, September 21st the movie Resident Evil: Extinction was released.  It’s the third installment in the Resident Evil series.  It’s an action, horror and sci-fi thriller all rolled into one.  This movie of the “undead” zombies is just in time for the Halloween season.  The original movie, Resident Evil was released in 2002 followed by Resident Evil: Apocalypse in 2004.

The original Resident Evil made its debut in 1996 as a survival horror video game on Sony Playstation.  Here is a list of the video game sequels that followed:

Resident Evil 2 – 1998
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis – 1999
Resident Evil: Code Veronica – 2000
Resident Evil Zero – 2002
Resident Evil 4 – 2005

The movie received great reviews and took the number one spot at the box office over the weekend and grossed an estimated $24 million.  I have not seen it yet, but I did read that Resident Evil: Extinction is a must-see especially if you’re a fan of the game and to anyone who has seen the previous two movies.  It keeps up a quick pace, great action and many horrifying scares.  Sounds like you won’t be disappointed with this sequel. 
Today Resident Evil is a media franchise consisting of a survival horror video game series, comic books, novelizations, three Hollywood motion pictures, and a variety of collectibles, including action figures, game guides and publications. 

If zombies and the “undead” are right up your alley for a Halloween costume this year check out what Halloween Express has to offer:  Halloween Zombies


Fun Halloween Party Recipes

  • September 24, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

Are you throwing a Halloween party this year or maybe volunteering at your son or daughter’s school party?  I’ve got some really fun recipes that are just the thing you need.  They’re easy to make and my kids were able to help with them.

Black and Orange Spook Cups

4 cups cold milk, divided use
1 (3.25-ounce) package Jell-O Chocolate Fudge Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
10 (7-ounce) glasses or plastic cups
1 (3.25-ounce) package Jell-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
Few drops red food coloring
Few drops yellow food coloring
10 Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, crushed
1/4 cup Halloween sprinkles

  1. Pour 2 cups of the milk into large bowl. Add dry chocolate pudding mix. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. Spoon evenly into the glasses, filling each glass half full; set aside.
  2. Add remaining 2 cups milk to separate large bowl. Add dry vanilla pudding mix. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. Stir in food coloring until pudding is of desired shade of orange; spoon evenly over chocolate pudding layers.
  3. Top with crushed cookies. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until ready to serve.
  4. Top with sprinkles. Makes 10 servings

Candy Corn Fudge
1 (12-ounce) package vanilla or white chocolate chips, melted
2 (16-ounce) containers vanilla frosting
1 (10-ounce) package butterscotch flavored chips, melted
1/8 teaspoon or more yellow food coloring, divided use
1/8 teaspoon or more red food coloring
48 pieces of candy corn

  1. Line a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan with foil, leaving a couple inches of overhang on each end; butter foil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine melted vanilla chips and half the frosting; mix well. Spread 1/3 of mixture in prepared pan.
  3. Combine melted butterscotch chips and remaining frosting in another large bowl; mix well. Add enough yellow and red food coloring to turn mixture orange. Stir until well blended. Spread orange mixture over white layer in pan.
  4. If remaining white mixture has hardened, heat in microwave until just melted and smooth, stirring occasionally. Add enough yellow food coloring to turn mixture yellow; stir until well blended. Spread over orange layer in pan. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.

Use foil to lift fudge from pan. Turn white side up and carefully peel off foil. Cut into 48 pieces. Press a candy corn into the center of each piece. Store in the refrigerator. Makes 48 pieces

Candy Filled Witches Hat

Self-sealing plastic bag
1 can chocolate frosting
20 chocolate ice cream cones
Candy corn or assorted small candies
20 (2 to 3 inch) chocolate cookies

  1. Fill plastic bag with some chocolate frosting. Seal bag and cut a very small end off one corner of the bag and set aside. For each hat, invert one ice cream cone and fill with about 2 tablespoons candy corn or small candies. Pipe some frosting from bag along bottom edge of cone. Press a cookie against frosting. Carefully invert right side up onto waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.
  2. Decorate outside of cone with small candies, using additional frosting as necessary. Refill frosting bag as needed. Makes 20 hats

For some additional fun Halloween recipes, check this link: Halloween Recipes


Classic Horror Films or Scary Family Movies?

  • September 22, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

Now is a great time of year to watch all the classic horror films.  With the weather cooling and the official start of Fall being right around the corner, Halloween is in the air.  I don’t know what it is about Halloween, but it’s the only time of the year when I’ll go out and rent scary movies and actually watch them.  What would Halloween be without a few frightening movies?  Of course, my children are still way too young to be watching scary movies so my friends and I pick a weekend in October to spend the day watching horror flicks.  We usually pick one movie (Halloween, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street) and watch the entire series of sequels.  Last year we spent all day on the Friday the 13th horror series.  This year since there’s the new Halloween movie that was just recently released, we’ll probably do the Halloween series with Michael Myers.  Some other great horror movies that have you jumping in your seat are:  Carrie, The Omen, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Rosemary’s Baby, Night of the Living Dead, Exorcist, Nightmare on Elm Street, and The Haunting.

Of course for every creepy, terrifying and gruesome Halloween movie character out there - there is a Halloween costume.  If you want to be Michael Myers, Jason, Carrie, Leatherface or Freddy Krueger (just to name a few) look no further.  Halloween Express has an entire line of horror/gothic Halloween costumes at   Halloween Horror and Gothic Costumes.

There are also some wonderful Halloween themed movies for families to watch together.  This year on October 31st on Nickelodeon, kids can watch Halloween themed episodes all day long.  One of the favorites among my children is definitely the movie Hocus Pocus.  It’s about three funny and wild witches played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy that return from 17th-century Salem after they're accidentally conjured up by some unsuspecting kids.  They set out to cast a spell on the town and reclaim their youth, but first they must get their act together and outwit three kids and a talking cat.  It’s a great movie!  It’s an annual tradition at our house to make a big bowl of popcorn and watch this movie together.  Some more great Halloween themed movies for your family to watch are:  Beetlejuice, Casper and my favorite, It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.  If you have young children try starting a new tradition this year of watching one of these great spooky kid-friendly shows.  Your kids will love it!  And don’t forget to check out our “witches and monsters” costumes for kids at Halloween Witches and Monsters.


Haunted Halloween Music

  • September 21, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

Have you ever been watching a scary movie at home with all the lights off and could just tell by the music that was being played that something terrifying was going to happen in the movie?  It’s that eerie, haunting theme music that always sends goose bumps up my arms and has me grabbing for the nearest pillow or blanket to cover my eyes.  It’s amazing that even a couple weeks later after seeing the movie, I’ll hear that theme music and still get scared and catch myself looking over my shoulder. 

A couple weeks ago, I was in a book store with my 18 year old nephew, Aiden when his cell phone rang.  His ringtone was the theme song for the movie Halloween (those creepy piano notes).  Even though it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up I thought it was a great idea for this time of year.  Although I don’t think I’d want to be driving my car by myself at night or walking alone at night and have my cell phone go off.  I’d scare myself to death!

You have to have good classic horror theme music if you’re trying to pull off any kind of “haunted” theme.  Whether it be a haunted house, corn maze, hay ride or even if you want to give your trick-or-treaters that eerie feeling of your yard being haunted.  Just turn up the haunting music and add a fog machine and you have instant hair-raising fright!

Midnight Syndicate are the masters of gothic/horror soundscape.  They are the worlds premiere producer’s of high-end Halloween music and their orchestral, horror movie score-style music with sound effects is exactly what you need for that perfect “haunting”.  And lucky for you, Halloween Express has it - so look no further: Halloween Music & Videos  It’s an inexpensive and fun way to add that nightmarish edge to your Halloween! 

Happy Haunting!

 


There Is No Halloween Without Candy!

  • September 20, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

Yesterday while out shopping with a friend of mine, we stopped in a candy store.  I hadn’t been in a candy store in a long time and it was so neat seeing all the old-time candy that I used to buy when I was little at the corner store for a penny.  Now it’s quite a bit more than that!  Wow, did that bring back memories – wax lips, candy buttons, wax bottles, pop rocks, marshmallow cones, razzles, pixy stix, now and later, and zotz (the hard candy that fizzes in the middle).  I wonder what my children will consider their old-time candy favorites when their older?  I do know that Halloween is a good time to get a taste of all your favorite candies.  You can always find something in that trick-or-treat bag that you like (of course, I have to sneak a peak when my kids aren’t looking)!

Speaking of candy, it’s so much easier if you have a nice big bowl to put the candy in that you’re giving out to the trick-or-treaters.  I like to mix all my candy together so that the children have a nice selection of candy to choose from.  A great bowl is Halloween Candy Bowl - it looks just like a witch’s cauldron, or maybe the candy bowl that has witches feet for legs Halloween Candy Bowl.

In the beginning of the trick-or-treat hours I usually give the candy out to each child, however as it gets closer to the end of the evening I’ll let the kids just reach in and grab whatever they want.  It always amazes me that most kids don’t grab a big handful but politely pick out a couple pieces of candy that they like.  I always wondered why people that aren’t going to be home leave a bowl of candy on their porch because you know that the first group of kids that go up (usually older kids) will dump the whole bowl into their bags.  A nice alternative to leaving a bowl of candy on your porch if you’re not going to be home is to just leave your candy with a neighbor for them to hand out.  My neighbor asked me to do that last year and I didn’t mind at all.  Believe me your candy will last a lot longer doing it that way than leaving it on your porch unattended.  My brother and his family live on a street where all the homes are on a little over an acre lot and have pretty big front yards.  Every Halloween all the neighbors put out big long tables in the cul-de-sac and a parent (or parents) from each house sits at the table with their bowl of candy and the trick-or-treaters just go down the line getting candy.  It’s a great idea for both the kids and adults because the kids don’t have so far to go to walk to each individual house and it’s a chance for the adults to get together and have fun.  


Baby and Toddler Costumes

  • September 19, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

I think I’ve pretty much talked about costumes for all age groups, but I did happen to forget one – infants.  This is such a great age because you can put any costume you want on them and they never complain!  I remember when mine were babies and I just couldn’t wait for that first word and that first step.   Then before you know it they’re walking and talking and then you think (as you’re trying to keep up with them) “What was I thinking??”  I’m just kidding, but as anyone with a child out there knows they grow up way too fast!  It was always so much fun picking out the cutest outfits to put on my children when they were babies, until my daughter Sydney turned four and decided I had no fashion sense at all and that she could pick out her own clothes and get dressed all by herself.  That was fun!  There were many days when she went to preschool wearing a tutu over her shorts and her pink cowboy boots (that her dad just had to buy her). 

Anyway, take those first couple years to put on the cutest Halloween costumes you can find.  Halloween Express has five pages of the most adorable infant/baby costumes that I’ve ever seen!  On Halloween night you always see moms and dads following their children around pushing a younger sibling in a stroller.  It’s so cute when the kids come up to the door to trick-or-treat and they have two plastic pumpkins, one for them and one for their little baby brother or sister in the stroller.  I think most of us know that baby’s not getting the candy – it’s really for mom or dad (at least that’s how I played it)! 

Ok, getting back to the infant costumes.  Go to Baby and Toddler Halloween Costumes and see for yourself all the costumes we have to offer.  If you have a newborn, check out some of our “bunting” costumes.  They’re just like a one-piece sleeper that you put on your child.  They’re so easy to put on and also easy if you need to make a diaper change.  Your baby will look precious as a hotdog or tootsie roll; maybe a fireman or camouflage soldier; or even a dragon or a lobster.  There are so many to choose from.  Even if you don’t have children, maybe you have a friend that does, a niece or nephew or even someone in your neighborhood – just look at the costumes, they really are so unbelievable adorable.  You’ll find it hard to decide on just one!


Halloween Masks - They've Come a Long Way

  • September 18, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

Halloween masks have come a long way since I was little.  Do you remember the old plastic masks with the elastic band that went around your head?  I can still remember being a princess with my blue satin and white lace gown, my white gloves and princess wand - then that plastic face mask that my dad had to cut bigger eye and mouth holes out of so that I could see and breath!  I love watching old home videos my dad made of us growing up.  Anyway, one video was of my brothers and sisters and me at Halloween.  We were all jumping around and posing in our Halloween costumes for the camera when you see my brother John walk over to my other brother, Brian and pull his plastic Superman mask away from his face and then let it go only to have it snap back into his face with the help of the elastic band.  Well needless to say Brian wasn’t too happy.  As my dad pans out with the camera to get a shot of all our costumes, you can see Brian chasing after John screaming and that’s where the camera goes black.  My point is, those plastic masks that you would find yourself sweating in before you even began trick-or-treating were not the best idea (especially if you have a mean brother). 

These days you don’t have to worry about anyone “snapping” your mask on you because those plastic masks are a thing of the past.  Today you’ll find more elaborate full-headed latex masks that are extremely realistic looking from your favorite cartoon character to today’s political leaders.  Halloween Express carries animal masks, roman and medieval, humorous, horror, tv, movies and famous faces.  You can check them all out at Halloween Masks & Wigs

You’re guaranteed a good time (or a least an interesting time) when you go to a Halloween costume as President George W. Bush or Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, especially now with the Presidential race heating up.  Or maybe you’d rather be a former President Nixon, Washington or Regan.  Either way, no matter what political figure you portray I’m sure there will be plenty of “heated” topics of conversation.

Today’s latex masks are comfortable with plenty of eye and mouth space to see and breathe properly.  The horror masks are gruesome.  Horror Masks .   Throw on black clothes and a black cape and it would make a nice all over look with many of the horror masks.

Take a minute to look at our masks.  Believe me you’ll have a hard time deciding which direction to take your costume with so many different styles and pick from.


Do You Have Your Costume Yet?

  • September 16, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

Still haven’t decided what to be for Halloween this year?  You do realize that there’s only 46 more days until Wednesday, October 31st, right?  And since most Halloween costume parties and costume contests at nightclubs are usually held the weekend before, you really only have 42 more days to find that one-of-a-kind, totally awesome, one that everyone will be talking about costume.  Now I’m sure a few of you might say that’s plenty of time to find a costume, but if you’re like me you’d better start looking now.  I’ll think to myself, “Wow 46 more days – I’ve got plenty of time to find something”.  Then before I know it, it’s down to 26 more days, then 16, then 6 more days and I’m paying extra for overnight shipping!  Did you know that Halloween Express has over 200 stores nationwide on top of having www.HalloweenExpress.com where you’ll find the largest selection of Halloween merchandise anywhere?  That’s a lot of stores!  Right from our website you can go to “store locator” and type in your zip code and you’ll get a list of all the Halloween Express stores in your area.  I typed in mine and five different stores popped up.  Don’t procrastinate, go out and check out all the different costumes that the stores carry.  At the very least, you can “just look” and get an idea of what all is out there in the form of costumes.  You might find something that you really like that is completely different that what you thought you wanted your costume to be. 

Take your children to one of our stores and let them see what all is out there.  I took mine last weekend and we were in there for over an hour.  The good part is that they had a great time trying on a bunch of different costumes, but the bad part was they couldn’t decide which one they wanted.  I suggested we go home write down all the costumes they tried on, let them call their friends and see which ones they like, then decide from there (because you know how important it is for all their friends to love their costume).  Of course, we still had to buy several decorations to bring home with us – we just couldn’t leave there empty-handed!  Plus I had them check out the website because in some cases the website will have costumes that the stores don’t (or maybe just have them in stock in cases where their out of stock at the store) or even vice-versa.  If you’re lucky enough to have a Halloween Express store in your area, go see for yourself, then come home and check out their website.  It’s always nicer to have more than one option of how and where you can buy your costume!

Good luck and have fun shopping!


Accessories Make The Costume

  • September 14, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

Yesterday I wrote about the special effects contacts that are great accessories if you’re looking to achieve that little added bonus to the overall look of your Halloween costume.  However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to great accessories for any costume.  Let’s say you wanted the look of a little blood and gore, maybe some stitches or even a broken bone.  No, you don’t have to go to your local Emergency Room to see those, just check out the latest in latex prosthetics from Halloween Express and you’ll be able to get just about any look you want. Latex Prosthetics  

  1. Devil or Demon:  to make a devil costume look more realistic instead of putting on the little red headband with the horns on it, why not try the sculptured prosthetic horns that you adhere to your forehead with latex or spirit gum.  Devil Horns

  2. Vampire:  add some prosthetic vampire bite marks with dripping blood to your neck for that just bitten look. Vampire Prosthetic Bite Marks 

  3. Pirate:  instead of using the age old eye patch on your eye like every other pirate go one step further and use pirate prosthetic eye. Pirate Patch

  4. Baseball Player:  If you want to add a humorous twist to the everyday baseball player costume add this “baseball in the eye” trick.   Baseball In the Eye 

 

There are so many prosthetics to choose from I couldn’t possibly talk about all of them.  They range from really funny to extremely gory.  It all depends on what look your going for.  It’s Halloween so go all out, add a great prosthetic and make your costume one for the record books!

 


Special FX Contact Lenses

  • September 13, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

We all know that there are many, many costumes to choose from for Halloween, but did you know that there are even more accessories, props and special effects that you can add to your costume to give it that special edge you might be looking for?  From the littlest things like nail polish or earrings to the more embellished accessories such as realistic makeup or prosthetic flesh wounds. 

Every year a good friend of mine, Eva, throws the most extravagant costume party the weekend before Halloween.  She starts planning for the party months in advance so that nothing is left to chance.  Everything from the invite list to the decorations she does herself and loves every minute of it.  To me, the best part of the party is the anticipation of waiting to see what costume she’ll wear.  Of course, being the host, Eva always has the most elaborate costume of anyone at the party.  Last year she was “Cat Woman” (taken from the 2004 movie with Halle Berry).  Even though the movie didn’t get rave reviews, her costume definitely did!  However, it wasn’t so much the black leather cat suit that was unbelievable (although the men didn’t mind), but it was her “cat” eyes that made the costume stand out.  She accessorized her eyes by using these special effect contact lenses in green and black that gave her eyes a cat-like appearance.  It was amazing to see the transformation of her eyes when she put these contacts in!  It put the whole costume over-the-top.

If the idea of adding the perfect accessory of colored contacts to your costume appeals to you, than look no further.  Coastal Contacts makes these great special effect contacts and Halloween Express now offers them for sale online here: Halloween Contact Lenses.  Eva wore the “green reptile” contacts with her costume, but all of them are unbelievable.  They will absolutely, without a doubt give your costume that edge you’re looking for.  And believe me when I say, everyone will notice!  


Candy, Candy, Candy

  • September 12, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

What is Halloween without all that wonderful, sugar-filled candy?  Ask just about any child what their favorite part of Halloween is and I’m sure you’ll get a hands down vote – it’s the candy!  I know it’s one of my favorites and I’m sure there are a lot of parents that dip into the trick-or-treat bags when their kids aren’t looking. 
In a national survey done by The National Confectioners Association, it shows how adults and kids alike will enjoy their treats this year.

  1. Plastic pumpkins with handles remain the trick-or-treating container of choice, followed by plastic bags and pillow cases. You can check out our pumpkin trick or treat bags here: Halloween Trick or Treat Bags

  2. Personal favorites will dominate candy purchases with 35% of adults planning to hand out their candy favorites; 21% planning to buy what is on sale and 16% buying their children’s favorites.

  3. Almost half of those planning to hand out candy said they decide how many pieces each trick-or-treater will receive, followed by 40% who said would leave it up to trick-or-treaters to make their own selections.

After reading that, I realized that I’m usually a mix between buying what’s on sale and buying my favorite to give out on Halloween night.  I never buy my children’s favorite candy to give out because I know that it would be all gone before Halloween even got here!  If it’s candy that they think is gross, then I don’t have to worry about hiding it so that it doesn’t disappear before Halloween. 


My all time favorite Halloween candy is definitely Candy Corn.  It’s been around for more than 100 years.  The only time I crave it is around Halloween.  It’s weird because at Easter I crave Malted Milk Eggs, Christmas is Peppermint Bark Candy and Halloween is Candy Corn.  I guess you could say it’s a tradition thing with me and candy.  Anyway, did you know that October 30th is National Candy Corn Day?  Isn’t that great!   And get this - more than 35 million pounds of candy corn will be produced this year. That equates to nearly 9 billion pieces! 


Remember, whether you’re buying candy that you like or that you’re children like, it’s better to start buying now.  That way you can get a little at a time and before you know it, you’ll be all ready for those trick-or-treaters.


Halloween "To Do" List

  • September 10, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

In the air you can feel the chill of Autumn approaching.  Labor Day has come and gone and now were spiraling head first into the month of October.  If you haven’t already started planning for Halloween, now is the time to do it.  You’ve got costumes to pick out, decorations to put up, haunted movies to rent, pumpkins to carve, parties to plan, candy to buy and the list goes on and on…..

If you’re not sure where to start, then you’ll definitely want to make a “to do” list.  Put it down on paper, that way you can cross things off as you get them done.  It’s the easiest way to ensure a Halloween that is stress free and fun for you and your whole family.  Here are some things you can do now to get ready:

  • Check out your local paper and find out what Halloween activities and on what dates they are happening in your area – pumpkin patches, hay rides, haunted corn mazes and haunted woods.  You can also click on www.hauntedhouse.com for lots of information on haunted houses in your neck of the woods.

  • Start buying your Halloween candy to give out to your trick-or-treaters now.  I always look for sales and buy a bag at a time.  That way you’re not running out at the last minute trying to buy a bunch of candy all at once.

  • Decorate your home inside and out – it’s time to dust off those Halloween boxes from last year and start decorating.

  • If you plan to have a Halloween party at your house, plan ahead of time. Make a list of everything you have to do, and everyone you wish to invite. Be sure to get the invitations out early.

  • If you’re going to a costume party, decide what you want to be and buy your costume.  If you wait, chances are it may not be there in a week or two.
  • Talk to your kids and help them make up their mind on what they want to be for Halloween this year.  If they already know what they want to be and have their heart set on it, by all means get that costume now!  Like I just said, if you wait and that costume isn’t available - take it from someone that has personally experienced this - it will not be a stress free, fun for the whole family holiday.   If your children are still undecided, have them check out our website for some great ideas.   Kids Halloween Costumes

My favorite time of the year is the Fall season when all the leaves turn beautiful shades of red, yellow and orange, the weather gets cooler and football season starts.  The kids are back in school and hopefully if you’re like me, you’re finally back on some sort of a schedule.   Just take a minute one morning (which is usually all we have), grab a cup of coffee, a pencil and paper and make your Halloween “to do” list.  As the days go by you’ll mark off things on your list that you’ve done and before you know it October will be here and you’ll be completely ready for Halloween!


Unhappily Ever After?

  • September 08, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

Ok, we’ve all grown up with the classic fairytale stories and who doesn’t want to believe in “happily ever after”?  It’s the ending to every fairytale and storybook I’ve ever read and to this day it’s the wonderful ending to the stories I read my children.  However, since the Halloween season is right around the corner even the most innocent of the fairytales have not gone unscathed.  It’s all part of an evil plot to make Halloween costumes even more ghoulish than ever before.  There is a new line of costumes made up of fairytales gone bad called…….. “Unhappily Ever After”! 

These costumes are for adults who have decided that it’s much more fun at Halloween for the classic fairytales to come to life with a gruesome “edge”.  I’ve made a list of the fairytale characters before and after Halloween put its evil curse of them:

Little Red Riding Hood             Little Dead Riding Hood
Snow White                                Snow Fright
Tinkerbell                                   Tinkerhel
Goldilocks                                  Ghouldilocks
Little Miss Muffet                        Lil Priss Muffet
Rapunzel                                    Ripunzel
Alice in Wonderland                   Malice in Wonderland

All kidding aside, these costumes are fabulous!  It’s Halloween, so why be the goody-goody fairytale princess when you can be her evil twin.  If you want to really get into the role of these characters, use white foundation makeup on your face to give yourself a deadly appearance.  Our Perfect Pallor Makeup is just what you need and so easy to use.  You can find it at Halloween Makeup.  Add heavy black eyeliner Halloween Black Eyeliner to your eyes, put on black lipstick Halloween Black Lipstick and you’ll have the perfect combination for that natural “dead look” every Unhappily Ever After ghoulish character longs for!  “Once upon a time”, never looked so frightening!

  


Humorous Costumes

  • September 06, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

When you think of Halloween, you think of ghosts, supernatural occurrences and evil beings.  So when you think of Halloween costumes you automatically think along those same lines.  However, in the last couple of years more and more teenagers and adults are turning instead to humorous costumes.  Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of ghosts and goblins out there on Halloween night.  But for me, in between every couple of hair-raising gruesome costumes, I just love to see one that makes me laugh.

Last October my brother Brian and his wife Jill stopped by on the way to their annual Halloween costume pub crawl.  My brother was dressed as this big silver Beer Keg and his wife was a Fraulein Beer Garden Girl.  Brian’s Beer Keg costume (Beer Keg Halloween Costume) had a working tap in the helmet that you could actually put liquid in and drink from it.  It was hilarious!  Jill made a great Beer Garden Girl in her costume Beer Garden Girl Halloween Costume and was the perfect compliment to Brian’s Beer Keg.  They won second place for the funniest couple costume.  Unfortunately for them, Trailer Park King Halloween Costume and his wife, White Trash Halloween Costume came in first. 

Humorous costumes come in all shapes and sizes.  They can be as funny, disgusting, or anatomically incorrect as you want them to be.  Many of these I would definitely save for the “adult” costume parties.  Television shows have some of the funniest and unforgettable characters that always make great Halloween costumes:  Cartman from South Park , Stewie from Family Guy, Lieutenant Jim Dangle from Reno 911 (he’s the one that wears the short shorts) or Mary Katherine from Saturday Night Live, just to name a few.

If television characters aren’t what you’re looking for, then try your hand at being an alcoholic beverage.  Instead of drinking a beer at your next Halloween costume party, you can actually be one, or maybe a bottle of tequila, a martini or even a margarita.  The possibilities are endless and humorous! 

All these costumes I’ve talked about and many more can be found now at Funny Halloween Costumes


The Wizard of OZ?

  • September 04, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

One of my all time favorite movies when I was young is the Wizard of Oz.  The adventures of a young girl named Dorothy, who lives on a Kansas farm with her Uncle Henry and Aunt Em, and her little dog Toto. One day a tornado appears outside and before Dorothy can reach the storm cellar, the farmhouse is caught up in the cyclone and deposited in a grassy field in the country of the Munchkins. Her only way back to Kansas is to follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Wizard of Oz.  While on the Yellow Brick Road, Dorothy meets some remarkable characters: the Scarecrow who wants a brain, the Tin Man who wants a heart and the Cowardly Lion who wants courage.  Thinking the Wizard of Oz can help them too, she encourages them to journey with her and Toto to the Emerald City. And who can forget the characters of Glinda, The Good Witch of the North and The Wicked Witch of the West.  This is a wonderful movie for kids of all ages.  The characters are also a classic every year at Halloween.  Last year my daughter went trick-or-treating as Dorothy carrying her little basket with a stuffed Toto dog inside: Wizard of OZ: Toto Basket. Of course the outfit wouldn’t be complete without a pair of Ruby red slippers: Wizard of Oz: Ruby Red Slippers.   The Dorothy costume is great all on it’s own, but you can also go as a group and have the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Lion all together.  Check out all our Wizard of Oz costumes here: Wizard of Oz Halloween Costumes and remember, “There’s no place like home”….

Another great idea for single or group costumes would definitely have to come from the popular movie series Austin Powers.  This series started in May 1997, with the release of Austin Powers International Man of Mystery bringing with it the characters of British super spy Austin Powers and arch- villian Dr. Evil.  Then in June 1999, The Spy Who Shagged Me introduced “hippy chick” Felicity Shagwell and finally in July 2002, Austin Powers in Goldmember starred the popular female character Foxxy Cleopatra.  All these characters make for great Halloween costumes.  The October after Goldmember was released our friends had a huge costume party with prizes going out to the best single and group costumes, best horror costume and funniest costume.  My husband went as Austin Powers, I went as Felicity Shagwell, my sister went as Foxxy Cleopatra and her husband went as Dr. Evil.  Everyone loved it!  It was so much fun getting into character, plus we won for best costumes in the group category.  Actually, I did read where Mike Myers is in the works on an Austin Powers 4 with a release date of 2008.  So I have a feeling we’re not going to forget about Austin Powers and the many really cool characters from that series any time soon.  So, look no further, just click on the link to see all our Austin Powers costumes: Austin Powers Halloween Costumes.


Halloween Treat & Eat

  • September 02, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell
Every Halloween, my entire family comes over with kids in tow and costumes galore. By that time, I’ve already ordered the pizza’s so the kids can get something to eat before heading out to trick-or-treat. I love all the chaos and excitement with the kids running around just dying to get into their costumes and waiting for trick-or-treat to start. I really think it’s important to give your kids something to eat before they head out. For us, pizza on Halloween night has been a tradition that’s been in my family for years. It’s usually a pretty hectic day and the kids don’t want to sit down to a big dinner when they’re biting at the bit to get their costumes on. During the month of October I’m usually always making some kind of Halloween treat – either for the kid’s school parties or just treats to have around the house for my children and their friends. There are two cookie recipes that I have made every October for the last eight years and plan to keep making then for years to come. The first are shaped like little ghosts and the second ones are shaped like little pumpkins. They are truly the easiest cookies to make and the kids love them! If you need more for class parties then go ahead and double (or triple) the recipe. Frightfully Easy Ghost Cookies (look like ghosts) 12 oz. vanilla-flavored candy coating, cut into pieces 1 (1-lb) pkg. peanut butter-filled sandwich cookies (I use Nutter Butter) 64 miniature chocolate chips (4 teaspoons) - In a small saucepan, melt candy coating over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth. - Line cookie sheets with waxed paper. Holding cookie with tongs, dip entire cookie into melted coating, letting excess drip off. Lay flat, coated side up, on waxed paper-lined cookie sheets. Place 2 chocolate chips in coating to form eyes. Let stand about 10 minutes until set. Jack-O’-Lantern Cookies (look like pumpkins) ½ can Pillsbury Vanilla Creamy Supreme Frosting 2 oz. vanilla-flavored candy coating Orange paste food color 14 crème-filled chocolate sandwich cookies (I use Oreo’s) Tube of chocolate decorator icing 7 small green gumdrops cut in half - In a small saucepan, combine frosting and candy coating; melt over low heat, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in desired amount of orange food color. - Line cookie sheets with waxed paper. Using tongs, dip each cookie in melted frosting mixture, coating completely. Lay flat on paper-lined cookie sheets. Let stand about 10 minutes until set. - Decorate coated cookies with jack-o’-lantern faces using decorator icing. Top each with 1 gumdrop half for stem. My daughters love to help make these cookies. I let them draw the faces on the pumpkins with the chocolate icing. They make them spooky, funny, mean and silly. I dip they decorate! It’s a great and easy way to spend some time with your children. Check out our website for some more wonderful October recipes: Halloween Recipes