halloween

teal pumpkin project

A Teal Pumpkin for Halloween

I have been sensitive to those with food allergies since we moved into the neighborhood.  My typical approach has been to have both non-peanut candies and peanut candies to pass out to ghouls and goblins that knock on the door.  This year, I am joining the Teal Pumpkin movement.  I’m inspired to do this for a couple of reasons.  One, toys last a bit longer than candy.  Secondly, not every child can enjoy candy whether it’s a food allergy or a lifestyle preference of a parent.

Let’s face it, it’s fun to dress up for Halloween, but not much fun if you trick or treat and have to toss your loot when you get home due to a food allergy.  That’s where the Teal Pumpkin Project comes in.  It is a wonderful movement started by FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) that encourages the giving away of small nonfood trinkets.

I first heard about the project last year when I was blogging for a certified nutritionist.  It’s been around for a couple of years and it looks to be catching on more commercially now.  I spotted many reasonably priced toys in the Halloween section of Target this year.  Their options were impressive, from cups of slime to monster themed erasers.  I scooped up small containers of bubbles to give out this year.  I may still pass out some candy, but rest assured if I do, it will be nut free.

If you would like to get involved, simply place a teal pumpkin or two outside your door to let all the ghouls and goblins know you are passing out allergy friendly treats.  You can turn this into a family affair by having your kids paint plastic pumpkins in shades of teal and decorate however, they wish to. Use the pumpkins again next year as the project grows with more and more families supporting the project.

Simple Halloween Decor to Mimic

Halloween was always one of those holidays I loved as a child. As an adult, I still love the holiday, but when it comes to Halloween decor,  I stick to the mantra ” keep it simple ”  Simple Halloween decor is easy and understated while still offering a bit of festiveness to a room.

Our entry way is a work in progress, but I do have fun with our mantel and fireplace. The fireplace wall is almost 11 feet, so the mantel usually calls for a bold scale of things, but I like to mix it up a bit. The problem I generally face is the narrowness of the shelf.  I have about six inches of depth to work with, making it a challenge to find something bold and narrow at the same time.  My mantel, no matter the season is clean with just enough to give it some character, but not overdone to the point of overwhelming the small wall the shelf sits on.

fall_mantel_2014

I try to make use of the vertical space above the shelf by hanging artwork.  I am a huge fan of using empty frames as art pieces, either alone or in a gallery setting.  For the upcoming holiday, I opted for this basic black frame hung solo on the wall.  It offers a bit of understated drama and plays well off the black candles sitting high upon tall candles holders, as they draw your eye upwards. Less is more keeps it simple.

What’s Halloween without a touch of orange?  Small orange tea-light holders will round out the look, allowing me to burn any number of fall fragrances.

pumpkin_tea_lights

For a touch of whimsy and a nod to Edgar Allan Poe,  “quote the raven nevermore” .  I stumbled across this guy at Michaels or Joanne’s years ago and fell in love with him. He’s paper mache and one day will be replaced with a pottery version (I hope).  In the meantime, he’s still cute, don’t ya think? It just goes to show simple Halloween decor doesn’t have to be dull?

crow_fall2014

Recreate my mantel with a little originality of your own.  The easiest idea to steal is the black candles and the frame.  The other elements may be a bit trickier, but with a little bit of a hunt through a craft store or the dollar store, you may find tea-lights that resemble jack o’lanterns.  Instead of a black crow, look for a black cat to offer a little scare and whimsy.

There are any number of things that can be incorporated into simple Halloween decor.

 

 

Friday Finds: Pumpkin Crafts

Halloween is just a few days away and pumpkins are everywhere.  Commonly used to decorate entry ways, tablescapes and mantles pumpkins are no longer left orange.  They are being decked out in polka dots, glitter, decoupage and painted.

The spider web pattern is cute on this one isn’t it?

Decoupage and some cool paper yields a romantic black and white pumpkin.

This argyle  pattern tugs at the heart strings of this preppy girl.

What’s a holiday without a little bling? Gold glitter dresses up these tiny pumpkins.

painted pumpkins

painted pumpkins

These were a fun project to do. I took craft pumpkin and painted it two coats of black. Once it was dry, I brushed a thin coat of silver over the black to give in some extra character.

What Halloween craft project will you work on this weekend?

Halloween Dinner – Perfect Pumpkin Soup

Halloween night is a busy evening for families; between getting home from work, dressing the kids in their costumes and feeding them a nutritious meal before the candy rush there hardly seems to be enough time.  If you think ahead, it can all be done with no stress making the evening a lot of fun for everyone.

A simple soup and sandwich meal is perfect. The soup can be made ahead and the sandwiches are easily assembled.  My favorite combo is spicy pumpkin soup paired with grilled sandwiches.  The soup takes a mere 50 minutes from start to finish and is the perfect seasonal soup for Halloween.

Start with:

1/4 cup of butter

1 onion chopped

2 cloves of garlic minced

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp coriander

1/8 tsp red pepper

3 cups vegetable broth

1 16 oz. can of pumpkin

1 cup of whole milk

Then in a medium stock pot melt the butter, add in the onion and garlic cook until tender. Add seasonings and cook another minute. Next add in the broth and bring to a low boil for 15-20 minutes. Add in the milk and the  pumpkin and boil for 5 minutes.  Garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds (optional) and enjoy!

Serve it up with your favorite sandwich.

Clean up is quick and easy, leaving you plenty of time to get the kids dressed and out the door for Halloween haunts and trick or treating.