Posts tagged ‘halloween’

October 31, 2013

Tricks and Treats for a Healthier Halloween

Happy Halloween!

Here are a few last minute ideas to keep all the candy your child will collect today out of  his or her tummy!

Tricks or Treats

Buy equal amounts candy (hopefully organic) and Halloween party favors (glow sticks, tattoos and rings).  I bought my favors at the dollar store.  Mix all together and pass out.

Trade Treats for Treasures

I saw the idea of trading in treats for toys on Facebook and I love it.  My daughter and I discussed this and she is very excited to turn in candy for treasures.  Candy can be exchanged for a gift or money.  The more candy, the bigger the gift or a penny per piece.  Remember its not about the gift more about you being able to lose the candy and keeping your child happy.

Treats as Tools

Use your leftover Halloween for learning and kids craft.  Here are some ideas:

  • Have your child count the pieces, alphabetize and sort.
  • Elmers school glue and construction – let your child use their imagination
  • Science experiments – go to candyexperiments.com for a list of ideas
  • Reuse during the Holiday to decorate a Gingerbread house – Think Nightmare Before Christmas theme

Hope these last minute ideas are helpful!

Happy & Safe Halloween

Kathy

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October 28, 2013

Freaky Films and the Nature of Fear

something wicked

By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.

~ William Shakespeare, Macbeth

Darkness falls as daylight shrinks, a strange chill hangs in the air, and the witching hour swirls ever closer . . . are you ready? It’s coming, ready or not. This season of wandering spirits invites you to step into another realm, an unprotected place where the familiar safety of your everyday life cannot save you. That’s right. I’m talking about the world of horror films. This is a world I seldom visit, but when I do, I only creep around the edges, getting a little dusting of fear and unease on my shoes but not enough to bury me there, as it were. Just a taste. I prefer my dark musings to linger over haunted places, ghostly visits, and unexplained phenomena but in small, easily controlled doses—not full-on terror.

Why do people love scary movies? What is it that compels these brave souls to step into those stories, to want to experience that fear? As you might imagine, there are several theories behind this powerful lure.

"The Shining" featuring the unforgettable Jack Nicholson

“The Shining” featuring the unforgettable Jack Nicholson

Feel the Rush

Some say moviegoers love the “experience transference,” and the rush of adrenaline that goes with it. They crave the intensity of the experience only extreme events can deliver (not too far removed from roller coasters and extreme sports). Three common emotions unearthed in horror films are risk, fear, and even disgust. These emotions are visceral and deep, part of our wiring as humans. They cause us to both look at and turn away from gory accidents and frightening things.

You Know What They Say About Curiosity

No matter how messed up a story is or how unbearable the “monster,” we cannot deny our inherent curiosity. We have to know—just like our poor, dumb, ill-fated hero—what that noise was upstairs, outside in the boathouse, coming from behind us (eeek!). Throughout the millennia, curiosity has not only illuminated our lives but has kept us safe and alive from predators of all kinds. We enjoy watching characters in our scary movies try to survive by using, or in spite of using, their own curiosity.

No Limits

Horror movies give us a set of circumstances that may not be plausible in our everyday lives, but with the magic of film, we can let go of our expectations and indulge our fantasies, our most inappropriate imaginings, or watch the characters make the kind of bad choices we’d never make in life and see how they play out. Things always end very badly for at least one person and usually some innocent animals (this is cheap, unimaginative pathos, you lazy screenwriters and directors!), and at the end of the journey, you can walk away unscathed physically. Psychologically, that’s another story.

My favorite!

My favorite!

My Favorites: Ok, here’s my personal list of beloved stories of the mysterious and macabre. As you can see, I like my scares with quite of a lot of beauty, atmosphere, freakiness, and (when I can get it) some serious romance:

1. Bram Stoker’s Dracula

2. The Skeleton Key

3. The Blair Witch Project

4. The Shining

5. The Others

 

Possibly one of the scariest scenes in my memory (from "Paranormal Activity")

Possibly one of the scariest scenes in my memory (from “Paranormal Activity”)

Traumatized By but Seen Anyway

1. Paranormal Activity (all of them—freaky!!)

2. The Grudge (Japanese version)

3. The Ring

4. Witchboard

5. Nightmare on Elm Street

6. The Omen

 

What Scares You?

I love knowing what makes people tick, so what scares you and why? Let me know what your favorite horror film is and why it gets under your skin. You never know . . . this time next year, we could have a Healthy Housewives Fright Fest going on. Fun!!

*****************************

Wishing you bright days and spooky dreams,

Brooke

 

 

October 14, 2013

Halloween . . . Fun for Your Pets?

white dog in pumkin

Hello, everyone! It’s that special time of year again. Yep, it’s almost Halloween! The cool, crisp air of autumn is slowly creeping into Texas, just in time to chill us as we meander around the town in search of ghoulish good cheer. Though most of us agree that Halloween night is full of creepy fun, our pets may have a whole different opinion of it. Imagine your pets relaxing in your home day in and day out with their comfortable routines and normal sounds and smells . . . and then suddenly, the air is filled with continual knocking and ringing of the doorbell, along with heightened commotion and wads of strangers at the front door every few minutes. Who’s there? A scary lobster? An overgrown cat? And what is that—a witch looming behind that fairy with the nice face? Someone tell her, quick! Should I attack or save myself?!?

Imagine the scary confusion your pets face during this time. You can definitely make this night more fun for your animals by remembering a few helpful tips:

 

Trick-or-Treat: Unless your pets are super social and LOVE people and hubbub, kindly keep them closed in a quiet room away from Treat-or-Treat Central. The stress of constant costumed strangers can cause nervous diarrhea, fear, or even aggression, even in normally friendly pets.

Candy Cautions: Be sure to keep all your yummy treats away from the fur kids, no matter how sadly they peer up at you. Also, keep that candy hidden and off of counters or tables—even if you have no intention of sharing your candy haul with your pets, they are notorious for nosing out the sweet stuff. Chocolate is extremely toxic (and sometimes fatal) to animals, dogs especially. Signs of chocolate toxicity include nervousness, tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and in some cases, seizures and death. Even “sugar-free” candies, gum, mints, chocolate, and baked goods containing xylitol, an artificial sweetener, are poisonous. Ingestion of these tasty treats can cause rapid hypoglycemia and liver failure—yikes! If you suspect your pet has eaten chocolate or any other treat, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.

Halloween blog otter

Love this otter!

Jack-o-Lanterns: Carved pumpkins definitely make Halloween more festive, but be careful if you decide to add a candle to your jack-o-lantern. Wagging tails and zooming cats can easily knock over a lit pumpkin, and candles always pose a danger to curious animals. A good way to have your candle and, um, “eat” it too is to buy battery-operated votives and column candles. Isn’t this time of year nicer when you can relax with your artificial candlelight? Hmmm.

halloween blog cute face

Dressing Up: It’s very tempting to dress your pets in costume, but if you do, just take a bit of care to ensure they are as excited about the prospect as you are. If your pet is scared of that absolutely adorable outfit you bought her, please be kind and don’t force her to endure the costume for your entertainment. If she is up for the adventure, make sure the costume is not annoying or unsafe. You want to be sure she can see and hear her surroundings easily, and watch out for elastic parts—they shouldn’t be too tight on her skin and fur. Also, keep an eye out for small, easily chewed pieces like buttons, strings, and feathers—you don’t want to end your night of merriment in emergency surgery with your pet! Lastly, do not leave your costumed pet unattended at any time.

Collars and Tags: With your front door opening and closing all evening, always be sure your pets have ID tags on. All it takes is a few seconds of distraction, and your beloved pet can slip quietly out the door. That’s a very scary thought!

Keep your babies safe!

Keep your babies safe!

Animal Safety: Be watchful of your animal’s safety, especially if you have a beautiful black cat. Often, pet stores and humane societies will not allow adoption of black cats around Halloween (sometimes even during the whole month of October) because of potential animal cruelty by pranksters or other sick individuals. If you see any act of animal cruelty on Halloween or any time of the year, please call your local police department immediately. If they are unable to assist, call your local animal shelter or humane society. Animal abuse is illegal in all 50 states (and a felony in 46). If you make a report of alleged animal abuse, the responding agency is required to investigate. Because animals cannot speak for themselves, it’s up to us to keep them safe and happy!

tiger pumpkin

Ok, friends and fellow animal lovers, have a wonderful weekend, and enjoy the spooky season! See you here next week!

XO, Brooke

October 26, 2012

Making Halloween a Happy Time for Your Pets

Hello, everyone! It’s that special time of year again. Yep, it’s almost Halloween! The cool, crisp air of autumn has finally crept into Texas, just in time to chill us as we meander around the town in search of ghoulish good cheer. Though most of us agree that Halloween night is full of creepy fun, our pets may have a whole different opinion of it. Imagine your pets relaxing in your home day in and day out with their comfortable routines and normal sounds and smells . . . and then suddenly, the air is filled with continual knocking and ringing of the doorbell, along with heightened commotion and wads of strangers at the front door every few minutes. Who’s there? A scary lobster? An overgrown cat? And what is that—a witch looming behind that fairy with the nice face? Someone tell her, quick! Should I attack or save myself?!?

Imagine the scary confusion your pets face during this time. You can definitely make this night more fun for your animals by remembering a few helpful tips:

Trick-or-Treat: Unless your pets are super social and LOVE people and hubbub, kindly keep them closed in a quiet room away from Treat-or-Treat Central. The stress of constant costumed strangers can cause nervous diarrhea, fear, or even aggression, even in normally friendly pets.

Candy Cautions: Be sure to keep all your yummy treats away from the fur kids, no matter how sadly they peer up at you. Also, keep that candy hidden and off of counters or tables—even if you have no intention of sharing your candy haul with your pets, they are notorious for nosing out the sweet stuff. Chocolate is extremely toxic (and sometimes fatal) to animals, dogs especially. Signs of chocolate toxicity include nervousness, tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and in some cases, seizures and death. Even “sugar-free” candies, gum, mints, chocolate, and baked goods containing xylitol, an artificial sweetener, are poisonous. Ingestion of these tasty treats can cause rapid hypoglycemia and liver failure—yikes! If you suspect your pet has eaten chocolate or any other treat, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.

Jack-o-Lanterns: Carved pumpkins definitely make Halloween more festive, but be careful if you decide to add a candle to your jack-o-lantern. Wagging tails and zooming cats can easily knock over a lit pumpkin, and candles always pose a danger to curious animals. A good way to have your candle and, um, “eat” it too is to buy battery-operated votives and column candles. Isn’t this time of year nicer when you can relax with your artificial candlelight? Hmmm.

Dressing Up: It’s very tempting to dress your pets in costume, but if you do, just take a bit of care to ensure they are as excited about the prospect as you are. If your pet is scared of that absolutely adorable outfit you bought her, please be kind and don’t force her to endure the costume for your entertainment. If she is up for the adventure, make sure the costume is not annoying or unsafe. You want to be sure she can see and hear her surroundings easily, and watch out for elastic parts—they shouldn’t be too tight on her skin and fur. Also, keep an eye out for small, easily chewed pieces like buttons, strings, and feathers—you don’t want to end your night of merriment in emergency surgery with your pet! Lastly, do not leave your costumed pet unattended at any time.

Collars and Tags: With your front door opening and closing all evening, always be sure your pets have ID tags on. All it takes is a few seconds of distraction, and your beloved pet can slip quietly out the door. That’s a very scary thought!

 Animal Safety: Be watchful of your animal’s safety, especially if you have a beautiful black cat. Often, pet stores and humane societies will not allow adoption of black cats around Halloween (sometimes even during the whole month of October) because of potential animal cruelty by pranksters or other sick individuals. If you see any act of animal cruelty on Halloween or any time of the year, please call your local police department immediately. If they are unable to assist, call your local animal shelter or humane society. Animal abuse is illegal in all 50 states (and a felony in 46). If you make a report of alleged animal abuse, the responding agency is required to investigate. Because animals cannot speak for themselves, it’s up to us to keep them safe and happy!

Ok, friends and fellow animal lovers, have a wonderful weekend, and enjoy the spooky season! See you here next week!

XO, Brooke