by Lyn Lomasi; Co-owner of Brand Shamans & Write W.A.V.E. Media
Funny, spooky, or tacky
Halloween's the one day
Where fashion doesn't matter
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
You dress your toddler up all cute - and maybe a little spooky - and as soon as you get to the first house for trick-or-treating, she lets out a wail. Not a fun Halloween wail, a cranky, possibly scared, wail that frightens the other kids in a not-so-Halloween way. To prevent such a scenario, there are steps you can take before having some Halloween fun with your toddler. Here are five ways to prevent your toddler from getting cranky this Halloween.
Be sure your toddler takes a nap before Halloween events. Ensuring your toddler is rested well will be a big help in lessening the fussiness probability. Rested kids are usually happy kids. But kids who haven't had naps are probably going to whine and cry and complain. Better to have him take a nap first, so your child can have some fun.
Have a snack ready to avoid crankiness about candy that hasn't been inspected. If you are taking your toddler trick-or-treating, let her have two bags. One bag should have safe snacks to eat while having fun. The other is for collecting the treats to save for later. This way, there isn't as much crankiness about candy she can't yet eat.
Avoid itchy face makeup. Face makeup can irritate a toddler's sensitive skin. Instead of using makeup to create that look, go for a soft mask or hat instead. Hoods are even better. That way, it can easily slip down if your toddler is uncomfortable. Toddlers may rub and scratch at makeup and pull off hats or masks.
Make sure the costume is weather-friendly. If it's 80 degrees outside and you put a thick teddy bear costume on your toddler, you better be prepared for some crankiness. Look for fabrics that will fit the weather. When it comes to toddlers, comfort is much more important than style. Wouldn't you rather have a happy, excited toddler than a cranky, hot , and uncomfortable one? Thick costumes are best if it's cold. Otherwise, go for thinner flexible fabrics.
Make the event about the toddler, not yourself. If it's obvious your toddler hates trick-or-treating, then stop. There's no reason for dragging him around house to house if he's upset. The same thing goes for costumes. Let him be what he wants to. It's about him and his self-expression, not about bragging to your friends about your latest trendy creation. When your toddler feels good about what he's wearing, he is less likely to be cranky.
Toddlers often get cranky during unfamiliar or particularly eventful activities. This is especially true if these goings-on last longer than their routine activities. Halloween doesn’t have to be a stressful event. By taking charge with extra prevention and following your toddler’s cues, you can help make this Halloween more fun than stressful.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Unprepared for an unplanned, last minute Halloween party? Maybe your budget cannot fit in a costume this year. Perhaps you waited too long and there are no good Halloween costumes left in the stores. Maybe your kids changed their minds - again. Whatever your reason, this quick and easy last minute clown costume could be your answer. So stop your worrying and stressing and get to it - quick - before you run out of time. Most of the items for this costume may already be in your house. If not, many could easily be borrowed from a friend or found in a thrift store.
Materials Needed for a Last Minute Clown Halloween Costume
How to Make a Quick, Easy, Last Minute Halloween Clown Costume
A clown costume is possibly one of the easiest Halloween costumes to make on a time or budget constraint. Just gather a few common materials from your house - or possibly your friends - and voila - a quick and easy clown costume for Halloween. There's only a small amount of preparation for this one. The rest is as simple as getting dressed.
To make your clown costume for Halloween, simply gather up the materials from above. As far as the dress up clothing goes, the funnier looking an item is, the better. Remember, this is a clown costume, so funny-looking is good this time. Just remember not to wear this on your next date unless you're headed to a Halloween party.
Go ahead and put on the shirt, overalls (or pants with suspenders), socks, and shoes. If you don't have overalls or pants with suspenders, you can create mock suspenders with four safety pins and a couple old belts or scarves. Simply safety pin the belts or scarves to the back of the pants and over the shoulders in a criss-cross pattern and then safety pin them to the front of the pants to keep them on. With the shoes, go for the biggest and brightest pair you can find. If they're your big brother's or sister's and they're too big for you, that's even better. A clown Halloween costume should be funny-looking and not too organized. Remember to get permission though, so their angry voice won't be haunting you later. To get them to stay on, just stuff some cloth or tissue in the toe so they won't fall off.
As for the hat, you may need to decorate that just a touch. If the hat is already decorated with some sort of funny or scary design, just leave it as is. If it isn't, you can make a quick Halloween clown hat by attaching a flower made from construction paper and glue. To make a simple clown flower, cut out a 5-petal flower shape from your color choice of construction paper. Now cut out a dot in another color that will fit in the center of your flower shape. Next, cut out a stem shape and leaves each in another color. Glue the pieces together with white glue and allow them to dry for a few minutes. Safety pin the flower to your Halloween clown hat.
There are several choices to create your clown costume hairstyle. If you have thick, curly hair, you could create an afro. If you have time, look up a Kool-Aid dye recipe and dye your hair in multiple colors. If you don't have time, you can forgo the dye. The afro alone can still work. For shorter hair, worry less about your hairstyle and more about the hat and makeup. The main goal for a Halloween clown costume is to look a bit messy, as far as the hair and clothing. Another hairstyle choice is for hair that is shoulder-length or longer. This can work for males or females. Tease or back-comb the entire head of hair, creating a messy unorganized look. One more hairstyle option that can work for long hair is to put the hair in two braids on either side of the head. Tie bows at the ends.
For the makeup, just use whatever you have on hand that will work, unless you can somehow find some Halloween makeup at the last minute. If you have no makeup and cannot find any Halloween makeup, try the regular makeup section in your local pharmacy, grocer, or retail chain and grab some red lipstick, as well as some white. Apply the white makeup first. That should go over the entire face. To help it stay on longer without smearing, try mixing it with Vaseline and baby powder before application. Now use the red lipstick or Halloween makeup for the lips, two dots on the cheek, a dot on the nose and circles around the eye area. Remember to also mix the red with Vaseline and baby powder if you can.
Now you are ready to show off your homemade Halloween clown costume. Don't be surprised if yours actually has more effect than the store-bought ones. It may be the uniqueness. Sometimes homemade and last-minute can create the best costume because no one will have one like yours.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
While browsing the internet a few years ago, as well as local department stores for ideas on Halloween costumes, I noticed a frightening trend. While the costumes remained scary, ghoulish, and otherwise Halloween-themed, I noticed the costumes for little girls were overly revealing.
The skirt and dress portions of the costumes had gotten much shorter. Many cat costumes for children resembled the revealing or sexy ones made for adults. Witches were sporting miniskirts and minidresses that hauntingly revealed too much.
I can understand that children enjoy looking like adults, but does that mean they should be dressing this revealing? I’m not talking about a normal-looking short skirt. I’m talking about dresses and skirts that are not just above the knees, but are mid-thigh and higher. There are even costumes that look like sexy women's lingerie that are targeted to and sized for very young girls.
By the descriptions of the costumes above, it might appear that I am describing costumes for teenagers. Wrong. I am describing costumes designed for children 6 years old and up. Major retailers, one of which I am generally very fond of, were even carrying these seemingly inappropriate costumes for little girls.
At first, I wanted to blame this retailer for carrying these costumes, if they can be called that, as this was my first stop during my costume search. Then, with the next stop, then the next, and thereafter, I realized these were everywhere. I saw many little girls princess costumes that were made extremely short. The Disney Princess costumes were not this way at that time and thankfully, were widely available. There were also unisex costumes, like dogs and other animals that were not drawing the line. So, all may not be lost.
After my terrifying search at retailers big and small, I decided to search online for an appropriate costume, but again, I was horrified as my internet search revealed the same results, at some times, even worse. Afraid of the trend I'd found, I searched and searched to find a site that did not offer any of these costumes. You would think my search terms were affecting my search, but not so. They were simple and short, such as "Halloween costumes for kids". Search after search turned up so many inappropriate costumes for girls.
After that, I determined that I would continue to design and make my children's costumes, as usual. I did find many costume accessories that were much more appropriate than the costumes. There were plenty of princess crowns, wands, false teeth, capes, swords, various masks, and many other accessories. So, indeed, all was not lost.
I was just left to wonder who came up with the idea that children needed to dress up in costumes that reveal too much. Was it parents? Perhaps it was the retail stores. Maybe it was even the manufacturers of the costumes. If the parents agreed to this, that would be more frightening than the costumes.
UPDATE: As the years passed, I thought maybe the situation would improve. However, instead it has worsened. Yes, non-revealing costumes can still be found. But unfortunately, the sexy ones are growing increasingly popular as the time passes by. What message are we sending retailers when we allow this and even buy these costumes? More importantly, what are we teaching our children?
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Wacky Holidays - August 6th
by Richard Rowell; Co-owner of Brand Shamans & Write W.A.V.E. Media
I've always had a love of Wacky Holidays. Today, August 6th, has three different "holidays" to observe!
Enjoy a Root Beer Float Today!
I love root beer floats. Actually, it's been some time since I've had one. Something about the combination of root beer - especially Barq's or IBC - and creamy vanilla ice cream is just sensational.It's the perfect summer treat!
But this wonderful beverage was not always called this. It actually has its origins in a drink known as the "black cow" created by a man in the late 19th century by the name of Frank Wisner. So we have him to thank for the concept of dumping a scoop of vanilla ice cream to an ice-cold glass of root beer, but certainly not for the name! The name "float" obviously refers to the fact that the ice cream will end up floating in the drink. It's also a lot more summery and just plain a lot nicer sounding.
How to Best Celebrate Fresh Breath Day
August 6th every year is Fresh Breath Day. It is believed that it was created as an "educational awareness" holiday, but the origins are a bit obscure. On this day, plenty of toiletries companies remind us to brush our teeth and use mouthwash. But believe it or not, the number one root cause is bacteria that grows on the tongue, especially towards the back! That's right, the best way to get rid of bad breath is by brushing your tongue. I kid you not.
You should still brush your teeth and floss regularly though! Your gums will still thank you for that.
So why not spread the word around to your family, friends, and co-workers so that they too can enjoy Fresh Breath on this lovely August day and for all days to come?
Wiggle Your Toes Day?
Yes, August 6th is also Wiggle Your Toes Day. As someone who is not particularly proud of my ugly big feet, it's not a holiday I plan on celebrating. However, I do go barefoot on many occasions so I get plenty of opportunities to wiggle my toes in the privacy of my own home. But if you and a bunch of buddies want to hit up the beach and have a toe-wiggling fest, be my guest!
Today sure has a lot to observe, doesn't it? Well, now you can mark your calendars. Tomorrow is Particularly Preposterous Packaging Day! I'm dead serious.
Have a great Fresh Breath/Root Beer Float/Wiggle Your Toes Day!
Public domain pictures courtesy of Pixabay, Wikimedia Commons, and Pixabay again, respectively.
5 Great Gifts for NBA Basketball Fans
Do you have an NBA basketball fan on your gift list? Have no clue what to get? Try these basketball gifts directly from a fan (your author) that any NBA fan is sure to appreciate. These 5 great gifts for NBA basketball fans are sure to score plenty of points with your favorite sports fanatic.
Season tickets for their favorite team
What NBA basketball fan doesn't want season tickets? If this is a gift for your significant other or a close friend or family member, be sure to get a package for yourself as well. That is, if you also enjoy the game and don't mind tagging along. Tickets can be purchased from the NBA site or any major ticket retailer. Obviously, this is at the top of any list of gifts for NBA basketball fans.
Cable Package with All NBA games
It's impossible to catch all the games without a special cable package. The NBA basketball fan in your life will greatly appreciate this gift. Just don't ask him to do anything but watch a game afterward because he'll be glued to the screen. But that's quite alright if he's happy. Join him with some good snacks. Contact the local provider for details on this.
Basketball Tote for the Eco-Friendly Fan
Gifts for NBA basketball fans should be as useful as possible to make them last. Is your basketball fan Eco-conscious like me? Maybe she just likes to carry her items in a bag she can enjoy. Get her one or more basketball-themed totes so she can buy her groceries and other items in style. Zazzle has a large selection of environmentally friendly tote bags with various basketball designs. For official NBA totes, check the NBA Store.
The Mug With a Hoop
Does your NBA fan have an appropriate mug to hold his favorite beverage? The Mug with a Hoop is a must-have when it comes to gifts for NBA basketball fans. If they happen to enjoy hot chocolate, they can toss the marshmallows in the hoop. This is the perfect NBA game-watching accessory for couch basketballers. This oversized basketball fan mug makes the perfect sports gift as it holds 16 ounces of any beverage.
Give your NBA basketball fan a gift he can proudly display and treasure. Autographed basketballs can be found in memorabilia shops and auctions. If you are looking for a signature from a particular player, you may need to do some extra hunting. But your efforts will be appreciated by any true lover of the game. Memorabilia gifts are some of the best gifts for NBA basketball fans and collecting these basketball gifts may pay off later.
Kids love making crafts. What better time to teach them a new one than Christmas? 'Tis the season for spending quality time together. Christmas crafts can offer that time. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, caregiver, or teacher, this can be a fun Christmas project to do with kids.
When my siblings and I were kids, we loved doing Christmas crafts with my mom and this idea stems from that. We made our own Christmas ornaments every year as a tradition. Each year we did something different. One year we had tons of leftover Christmas wrapping paper, ribbons, and a box full of old toy blocks no one used anymore. Here's what we came up with.
Only a few things are needed to make your own mock Christmas tree ornaments from recycled materials. Scotch tape, leftover Christmas wrapping paper (even the wrinkled stuff and scraps are fine), leftover Christmas ribbons, scissors, and some old toy blocks will be your crafting materials.
This is a very simple craft that many kids can do. Some may need parental help, while others may not. Anyone who knows how to wrap a present in gift wrap can do this Christmas craft. First, give all the kids a stack of blocks. Be sure they all have the same amount or someone will be crying or bragging halfway through.
Next, pass out enough leftover gift wrap to wrap each block. We always have plenty, as we save our gift wrap every year after unwrapping presents. The leftovers still work for various things, such as crafts. Each child should also have enough tape and ribbons to complete the wrapping, as well as a pair of safety scissors.
Instruct the children to cut out appropriate wrapping sizes of paper for each block. Help the kids who need adult assistance. Next, tell the children to wrap each block just like wrapping a present. For those who don't know how, you can either instruct them or help them, depending on age and ability.
Once all the blocks have been wrapped, you and the kids can tie the ribbons around them, so that they tie in a plus pattern on top. Tie another ribbon underneath that ribbon, right in the center of the top. Make a loop out of it, tying a bow at the top of the loop. That loop will be used to hang the ornaments from the tree.
These Christmas tree ornament crafts can be given as gifts or kept for home or school use. This is also a great craft to do with the kids right on Christmas day because of all the wrappings that will be available for use.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
by Lyn Lomasi; Co-owner of Brand Shamans & Write W.A.V.E. Media
In 2007 I wrote about Halloween costumes for girls being too revealing. I would have hoped that in the four years since then, parents would have taken over and said that's enough.
Sadly, what I am seeing is the exact opposite. While we make our costumes, the kids and I of course like to browse the Halloween aisles of the stores. Each year, the skirts and dresses get shorter and the looks get a bit more outrageous than the last.
Why is it that some people (apparently many people, if you go by the number of costumes designed this way) feel the need to oversexualize young girls? Why do costumes for seven-year-olds or even teenagers need to be sexy?
I can understand why some adults would want those kind of costumes? But why do these looks exist for kids? Am I alone in the thought that these costumes are over the top?
Apparently not, as Andrew Riggio explored the topic in relation to teens earlier this year. Are teen girl Halloween costumes too sexy?
The results of a Web search on child and teen costumes or a visit to the store for the same may scare you, as it did me.
Please end the purchase and sale of sexy costumes for those under 18. I find it sad that I even have to ask.
For many, Christmas is a time for baking and sharing traditions with family and friends. Even those who don't usually bake love to try their hand at Christmas baking. With these simple recipes I use for my family, just about anyone can try their hand at baking. I've also tossed in the traditions that we do with them for an extra treat.
Cookie Decorating Party
Once your cookies are made, you'll need to get them decorated. What better way than to have a cookie decorating party? Invite friends and family to bring or make their cookies for decorating. While everyone decorates cookies, Christmas music should be playing. Be sure to have a variety of Christmas music, so everyone can enjoy it. Singing along should be encouraged. Sipping on hot cocoa with candy canes on the side for dipping and stirring is a must.
Homemade Hot Cocoa
Heat 6 cups milk (we use vegan plant milk protein instead) to simmering in a saucepan. Pour in 2 cups of powdered cocoa slowly, stirring it as you add it. Also add ½ cup of sugar. Stir all ingredients until blended well. Remove from heat and serve. This serves about 6 people.
Christmas Sugar Cookies
What's Christmas without the cookies? Here's a fun sugar cookie recipe that can be rolled out for use with Christmas cookie cutters.
Some people mix the dry ingredients first, but not me. I just throw all the ingredients in together and mix it up. So, put all of the above ingredients together into a large mixing bowl. Stir them together and then once you have a shape that starts to lump together, take it out and set a pre-floured surface. Knead it a few times.
If your dough seems to be sticky, add more flour by kneading it in until the dough is firm and not sticky. Next, roll the dough out to ¼ inch thickness. Now you may start using your cookie cutters and cutting out the shapes. Once you make the shapes, place them onto pre-floured non stick baking sheets. These cookies should cook at 350 F for about 8-12 minutes. Different ovens vary in time. Once the cookies have cooled, you may decorate them with candies, icing, sprinkles, or whatever you choose
Family Baking Time
Our family enjoys baking every day of the year, but Christmas is our favorite of all. We enjoy baking breads, pretzels, and cookies. Above, you saw how we enjoyed having a party with the cookies. However, with the bread and pretzels, we prefer to just do this with close family members. Much like the cookie party, we still sip hot cocoa. However, we also talk, laugh, and play and possibly watch a good Christmas movie. Here's how to make your very own Christmas Pretzels and Christmas bread.
Homemade pretzels are a cinch to make. Did you ever think about making them Christmas style? Well, now you can. It's quite simple actually. First, you'll need to make this pretzel dough.
Get a large mixing bowl. Pour in the warm water first. Next slowly stir in the yeast until it dissolves. Next, add the flour and a couple drops of either red or green food coloring, whichever you want. If you'd like both, you can make two batches. Knead the dough until it's smooth. Cover with a towel or cheesecloth and let it rise (usually 30 minutes to an hour).
While you're waiting for that, add the brown sugar and a drop of the same food color you used for your dough to the beaten egg. Once the dough has risen, you are ready to make the pretzel shapes. Flour the bottom of a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 350 F. Take out some of the dough, forming a ball that is about 4 inches in diameter. Now, roll the ball on the table until you get something long, resembling a fat worm. Shape that into the pretzel shape. Repeat this until you have used all your dough.
Now, with the unbaked pretzel shapes on the baking sheet, lightly brush them with the egg/sugar mixture. Bake them for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on your oven. When they are done you might wish to add salt. That's it. Enjoy your Christmas-colored pretzels.
Sugar N' Spice Christmas Dinner Bread
We love baking bread together and the fresh taste and smell of homemade bread brings back many warm memories. Present this tasty bread topped with cinnamon sticks and crushed red hot candies.
Get a large mixing bowl. First, put in the warm water. Slowly stir in the yeast until blended. Next, put in all of the ingredients except for the Maple Syrup, Cinnamon sticks and Red Hot candies. Once stirred well, knead the dough until you have a solid ball that is neither too sticky nor too dry. You want something like the consistency of play dough. Now, cover the dough in the bowl with a towel or cheesecloth. Give it about an hour to rise.
Once it has done that, place it into a floured bread pan and bake it at 350 F for about 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven. Once the bread is done, butter the top and let it cool to warm. Cover the top with a thin layer of maple syrup. Then, sprinkle the crushed Red Hot cinnamon candies over the top. For garnishing, place the cinnamon sticks atop the bread neatly in a criss-cross design.
Don't Leave Santa Out
Ever wonder if Santa's tired of eating the same type of goodies at every house? To give Santa some variety, simply arrange one or two each of the treats from above onto Santa's Christmas platter. Be sure that you arrange them nicely. For extra measure to be sure Santa's treats stay fresh, wrap the platter in cellophane and top it with a pretty bow and some cinnamon sticks. Be sure that the kids do much of preparing Santa's treat. This is generally their favorite part.
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
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