Thursday, September 19, 2013

Halloween Costume Rules

"Mean Mom" Halloween Costume Guidelines

Halloween Costume Rules {Over The Apple Tree}

I am the meanest mother in the world. How did I get this title? Well, among other things, I have some rules for picking Halloween costumes. As the oldest got older, he was starting to want to dress up as whatever was the hot cartoon or movie character of the year. Please tell me what is "Halloween" about Power Rangers? I don't get it. How did we let these characters wiggle their way into this holiday? I understand that Halloween has been reinvented over the years, from pagan ritual to the commercialized mess that it is today, but come on! Can we at least keep it scary? Much to my children's dismay, I get the final say in what they will dress as and I have some requirements. Of course I've been know to make exceptions, but for the most part, the rules pretty much stand.

The Rules:
  • It has to be spooky or at least Halloweenish - This is the most important. Different ages and genders have different ideas about what this is. Of course I'm not covering my babies in fake blood or anything but I think we can all agree that clowns are freaky at any age.
  • No masks - I have allowed masks a couple times, but mostly I don't like them. First, it's dangerous, most of the time they can't even see out of them. Second, why do you want to look like everyone else? Face paint is the way to go.
  •  You have to be able to wear layers underneath - Where I live more often that not it's snowing Oct 31. Cover it up or it will freeze off.
** I would definitely be cool with a theme like Scooby Doo gang, Wizard of Oz characters, or the band takers so far though.

Not too unreasonable right? All of these rules can be accomplish with some imagination. I'm at the store day after Halloween stocking up on clearance. I also save costumes from previous years. I might be able to recycle it for another child or just use for parts. Whether you work with a store bought or make your own, you can almost always turn the most innocent costume into something scary and/or unique. Think outside the box and make your kid's costumes the best in the neighborhood. They'll look back one day and thank least that's what I tell myself.

Here are a few examples of our costumes over the years. Most of these are actually my children's ideas, I just fine tune them to go with my rules.

I'm big on fun photo editing, changing the background can really make the picture pop.

Halloween Costume Rules {Over The Apple Tree}

Halloween Costume Rules {Over The Apple Tree}Halloween Costume Rules {Over The Apple Tree}

Here is just a regular store bought doctor's costume...covered in blood paired with a freaky looking clear plastic mask. The scarecrow idea was my son's and I had no idea how to accomplish it until about a week before Halloween when inspiration finally struck. The hat is paper bags sewn together and then I tied raffia all over him. His face is cover with gauze that has foundation makeup smeared on it. He's wearing brown gloves that have masking tape, colored with brown marker on the fingertips to look like sticks.

Halloween Costume Rules {Over The Apple Tree}

Halloween Costume Rules {Over The Apple Tree}

Halloween Costume Rules {Over The Apple Tree}

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Monday, September 9, 2013

Almond German Chocolate Cupcakes With Pistachio Whipped Frosting

Fancy up a boxed cake mix with some almond extract.
Since I live in Colorado I like using boxed baking mixes, they just need a small adjustment for the altitude.

Almond German Chocolate Cupcakes with pistachio whip frosting by Over The Apple Tree

  • Boxed German chocolate cake mix
  • Water
  • Veg oil
  • Eggs
  • 2 1/2-3 tsp almond extract
  • Instant pistachio pudding
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 oz Cool Whip
Use any brand of German chocolate cake mix and follow directions on box, adding 2 1/2-3 tsp. of almond extract to cake mix. Bake as directed

For frosting...with a blender, mix the milk and pudding mix until combined. Fold in the container of Cool Whip. Allow mixture to set in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Using a piping bag or ziplock bag with corner cut, top the cupcakes with whipped frosting. Store in refrigerator.

Since I just made these for my family and not a party where we would eat them all at once, I stored the cupcakes in an airtight container and frosted the cupcakes as we ate them, leaving the remaining frosting in the ziplock bag in the fridge.

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