O'Joy Recommends: Halloween

Yay! It's that time again! I loooooooooooooove Halloween. And I still dress up, even though DH apparently finds it utterly ridiculous. That's okay, friends. Halloween is an American tradition, and here are O'Joy's favorite ways to celebrate!


I love handmade costumes. I am not crafty. My kids will never look as amazing as this Lil' Pirate lass or this sweet (but kinda melancholy) Mermaid.

But don't let my own sad inabilities keep you from D.I.Y.ing your kiddos' Halloween. Check out Instructables.com, or even DIY Costumes Etsy shop featuring the cutest you-make-it lion, shark, puppy, etc. (Which you may want to hurry up and order!)

Still there's nothing so easy as running to the store (or online ordering, my personal fave!) I'm digging on the selection at Dizguise.com. Hmmm. I really kinda like Liberty...

Food & Drink:

For an early Halloween start, try these incredible Pumpkin Pancakes from The Mother Load.

I love this sweet Pumpkin Veggie tray from Taste of Home.

And the Halloween Alliance's Brain Dip recipe is to, ahem, die for...

These Mummy Dogs are a neat update on pigs in a blanket. Instead of mustard, try capers for the eyes for a more grown-up palate. ( I know, I know...)

For extra creepy cocktails like the Black Widow and the Spooky Screwdriver, you must pour the appropriately dark Blavod Vodka.

And wouldn't it be a blast to make these crashing witch cupcakes from the celebration shop?

Fun & Games:

A reliable source for not-too-scary party games for the younger crowd is PartyGameIdeas.com

And I can't think of anything more fun than a murder mystery game! (For the adults, that is.)


Fright Catalog pretty much has it in the bag, but don't be afraid to make your own dank atmosphere!

How cute are these little spiders? For about $8, you and the kiddos can make an even dozen in no time.

The Yard Haunter is an awesome resource for creeping your property.

Let's not forget Pumpkin carving! The best way to highlight your orange jack can be found at Pumpkin Carving 101.

But what should you carve into your gourd? Check out ZombiePumpkins.com (Hey, zombies are in!) or go to extremepumpkins.com for 48 free patterns.


I love, love this save-the-date from Living Locurto (I love everything from Living Locurto!)

For the kidlings, how sweet is this pirate invite by Oliebollen?

For scary (ish!) stories to tell your kidlings, check out this freebie from Chuck Larkin, Scary Stories about Haints, Ghosts and Things-That-Go-Bump-in-the-Night (Fun!)

How about some free music to set the right mood? Here's a link to 14 spooky screamers!

For something a bit less scary, you can order Thirteen for Halloween CD, a kid-friendly send-up.

"Welcome" said the Spider, M Ryan Taylor : Thirteen for Halloween from M Ryan Taylor on Vimeo.

For the Naysayers:

You may be wondering why, when I claim to be a food nazi with Livviebug & Lil Man, I allow them to haunt the streets in search of, ah, treats. (Sorry, it was irresistible!) When the fun is done (usually within two blocks) Livviebug is allowed to have one or two treats (though I'm sure it's actually closer to four or five!) and then she surrenders her hard-earned loot to us; her mean, candy-stealing parents. Which we sort into acceptable and unacceptable. (Pixie stix, bubble gum and jawbreakers are not acceptable.) The rest gets doled out one at a time, not every day, and eventually gets gobbled up by the grown-ups or tossed. (For example, we still have some lollipops left from Valentine's Day, folks...) This will be Lil Man's first trick or treat, and I think he's gonna love it!

If you are even more afraid of the evils of Now & Laters than I am, might I suggest Trick-or-Treating for Unicef? Those orange boxes have been around for as long as I can remember, and with good reason. Trick-or-Treating for Unicef has raised more than $148 million since it's beginning in 1950 to provide healthcare, nutrition and education to children in more than 150 countries. Amazing, huh?

If you plan on getting all weird about celebrating Halloween on me, please read this article by Richard Seltzer, first. TYVM! Then you can leave your scathing anti-fun commentary.

Last but not least... The US CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) wants you and your children to be safe during the Halloween festivities. Though there never were any poisoned Halloween candy, there are still some precautions we should be taking. Check them out, here.

Thanks for joining me for this All Hallow's Eve love fest! Have fun, and try not to eat too much, lol....
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