The Knife Free Jack-O-Lantern

We wanted something fun for our Play Group to celebrate Halloween that would be interesting for us, fun for the kids, and easy to do so we could pass along the idea to our friends. Inspired by a Matthew Mead idea from his amazing book of Halloween ideas called Halloween Tricks and Treats, we created the Knife-Free Jack-O-Lantern Party.

The Prep: 3 days prior to event.
(1) Find small-medium sized pumpkins that don’t have super deep grooves and still have some stem.
(2) Prop them up on rocks or wood on a newspaper-covered area and paint them with spray-on chalkboard paint in black (from Home Depot or other paint store). We used one spray paint can to cover our five pumpkins. Let dry for 36 hours.
(3) We made cookies (Banana-Chocolate Chip from Martha Stewart) and bought Halloween candy to create a happy, sugared frenzy for our craft. You can make the cookie dough ahead of time, freeze it, then thaw day-of and bake.

The Party:
(1) Cover the table with a drop cloth or machine washable tablecloth.
(2) We created a station of pumpkin, treats, and tools for each child and had them some to the Play Group already in their costumes (which they readily wore before Halloween!).
(3) Introduce them to the spooky black pumpkins and have one for yourself, &/or each mom and dad, and put chalk to pumpkin to create your own design. Note: you can erase and start over, but the black paint does chip off a bit, so you might want to have a chalkboard eraser handy. This can also be fun, letting the kids do more than one design if they don’t like the first.

Success! We had a great time with kids ranging from age 2-8. And every neighbor has already stopped by to see if the black pumpkins on my front porch are real. Great fun.

Send us pictures of yours and we’ll post some of them: Halloween@BebeAuLait.com

The opinions expressed by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Bebe au Lait or any employee thereof. Bébé au Lait is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers.

Hiking, Toddler Style

Beautiful weekend, an extra day, we didn’t labor much all Labor Day weekend so we were ready for a nice hike at Chautauqua in Boulder, Colorado. We were prepared–oodles of sunscreen, shoes with good tread, water bottles for each person, a collapsible potty, a camera and some cute mountain gear. Come on, I’m a Style Coach. Of course we need cute gear, nothing too granola-like for our quick jaunt up the flatirons! I was even wearing a grecian-style Theory tank top–the jersey knit was comfortable and cool and much more chic than a plain tee or sports top.

One parent to another, it’s not really a workout. But it’s a great diversion and pretty low stress. Encourage your kidlets to look for bugs, listen for sounds, find sticks, choose which flower is their favorite color, take pictures, and overall run, jump and play along the way. They love it and you get a real breath of fresh air and maybe even a few minutes to talk to your spouse about the view. And since you’re toting the potty, encourage them to load up on water along the way. That little blonde boy on his Dad’s shoulders was sipping away at Dad’s Camelback as they hiked up.

And then…the best payoff.

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The opinions expressed by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Bebe au Lait or any employee thereof. Bébé au Lait is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers.

Two Hour Vacations, aka the Staycation

It’s a fun new word, the “staycation”. Meaning, gas is ridiculously expensive and so is everything else right now because of it, so what can I do locally for a much-needed break?! The typical vacation can be brutal anyway, the angst and panic that can set it when you plan to take a few days or a week’s vacation. The planning, the packing, the fun-making; it can overwhelm the best of us before you even leave the house. Suddenly the staycation goes from an interesting idea to something you are actually going to do.

Here are some ideas on how to freshen up your routine enough to feel like you’ve had a break without spending too much $$ or time.

(1) Treat yourself to a real manicure, pedicure. Schedule it at a day spa and read a magazine cover-to-cover. It’s okay to tell the nail technician you are there to “zone out” and don’t want to talk. Pick a bright, cheery color and bring your own polish so you can do touch-ups yourself and lengthen the amount of time it lasts.
(2) Consider a vocation-vacation. Ever wonder what it’s like to be a ______? Find one near you and ask them if they would mentor you for a day, a weekend even, and give your dream or curiosity a chance to bubble up to the surface.
(3) Go to a movie by yourself. I do this because a good movie gives my mind a great break from MY life and lets me focus on someone else’s for a few hours, plus I like to see the wardrobe choices on my favorite stars.
(4) Plan a themed dinner party for the friends in your life you want to re-connect with. Do something exotic like a Moroccan themed dinner party—you can learn to cook something new, have fun with festive décor, and remember how nice it is to do something different and laugh a bit. InStyle magazine always has great ideas and so does this site: HostessWithTheMostess
(5) Go to your Farmer’s Market and create a meal around the items you find there. Get the kids involved smelling the herbs, sampling the produce, picking the produce and really relish is the food choices that are abundant right now. Talk to the farmers there about the crops and how to pick the perfect XYZ. They are usually happy to indulge you.

Enjoy.

The opinions expressed by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Bebe au Lait or any employee thereof. Bébé au Lait is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers.

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