Thursday, October 31, 2013

The ONLY candy for Halloween

What are you passing out for the trick or treaters this year?
Candy? Chocolates?
Children's Dignity?
Lost Educations?

What are you telling children is okay to accept in the world?

On a night where little children play dress up and make believe, pretending that frights and horrors are real... there is something truly scary being handed out door to door. 

"Young children. Children who should be attending school and having a childhood. And they are working for most of the mainstream chocolate providers in the USA.    A report from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture about cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast estimated there were 284,000 children working on cocoa farms in hazardous conditions.  Some of them have been taken from their families, or sold as servants.  U.S. chocolate manufacturers have claimed they are not responsible for the conditions on cocoa plantations since they don't own them.  This includes Hershey, Mars, Nestle, and the US division of Cadbury . . . who collectively represent pretty much every snack-size candy bar that will be available in stores this Halloween." 1

Carrying Coco pods.

Using machetes in a field instead of pencils in s classroom.

A days worth of work, not to mention beatings or sexual abuse that is often reported on coco plantations.

This is the actual cost of chocolates and many candies as there are similar report of slavery used in harvesting sugar cane. 

If you would like to watch the full documentary of The Draker Side of Chocolate it is below

Green America gave a list of ways 
YOU can make a difference in this outrage:

  1. Use the new "Get Child Labor Out of Your Chocolates Scorecard" at to shop online.  Among the "A" ranked alternatives to Hershey chocolate are Alter Eco, Coco-Zen, Divine, Equal Exchange, Shama, Sjaak's, Sweet Earth Organic and Theo Chocolate, all of which are Fair Trade. All of Hershey's competitors have some form of labor certification for their chocolate, leaving Hershey as the only company on the list without one.  Confused by what all of those certification symbols mean?  The Scorecard includes a short overview of the most widely used labels and explains what they mean.
  2. Shop for Fair Trade chocolate locally.  You can find dozens of locations around the U.S. at  
  3. Fair Trade Your Halloween.  You can hand out bite-sized Fair Trade chocolates and let parents of Trick-or-Treaters know why Fair Trade matters.  In addition, thousands of families across the U.S. are taking part in local "reverse trick-or-treating" to educate other families about the abuse of children in the cocoa production.  
  4. Help raise awareness by holding a screening in your home of "The Dark Side of Chocolate." Filmmakers Miki Mistrati and U. Robin Romano traveled to cocoa farms in Cote d'Ivoire and what they found was dark.  Few improvements have been made on the ground and egregious labor rights abuses continue, years after major chocolate companies committed to ending this exploitation.  Get more information about how to get involved at
  5. Take Green America's new action targeting Hershey.   Don't just avoid Hershey chocolates; let this company know what you think.  Go to to send your message to a Hershey's executive now.
  6. Take action on Facebook.   You can start by "liking" Green America's latest posts at about Hershey, so your friends can see them.  You can also go to Hershey's Facebook page at and leave your own comments for them and their customers to see.  Every few days, Hershey posts a new question designed to keep up the chatter on their page, constantly exposing their brand to more eyeballs.  That's where you can add your comments about expecting Hershey to be more responsible.
  7. Send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.   You'll find all the background information that you need for your letter to the editor by downloading the "Time to Raise the Bar" report here.

For more information of Green America please visit

What are you going to do? Today? Halloween? Everyday?
Will you make a difference?

Because together... we can. 

Look for fair trade symbols on your groceries. Coffee, sugar, rice and especially your chocolate. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Halloween Tricks and TREATS

It's that time of year again where we can all play with our food and be applauded for the creativity!

If you are attending or hosting an All Hollows Haunting you'll want to breeze through here for some great ideas of treats...with just a couple tricks to learn from. 

A feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds!

The first step is picking your menu- And if you are going for gore or glam? NO matter your taste these treats will have both you and your guests Ooo-ing and AHHHH!!-ing

It's amazing that Sprite with a syringe full of grenadine (cherry juice) can make SUCH a visual impact! 
To make this elixir  adult friendly fill the syringe mostly with cherry vodka and about 1/4 grenadine. 

No matter which poison you pick for your attendees plan ahead with these great cubes of frozen horrors.

Freeze toy spiders or other insects in your ice trays and you'll have shrieks and shrills all night!

Not serving individual portions of potion?

Fill a none powdered surgical glove with water and freeze!Insert in any punch bowl for extra cool points.  
Make sure to make a couple, you made need an extra hand or to 
as the nights goes on. 

If you will be participating in the traditional house party game of beer pong, make sure you get the proper Halloween ping pongs and ORANGE cups!

Now that you have been the proper host and distributed liquid vivations to all, bit's time to bring out that yearly fruit bowl of boringness!

Psh... please.

Carves and gut your melon to resemble Chopper (Mario geeks will understand) or Jaws for the rest of you. Fill half way with your favorite fruit mixture. Insert Malibu Stacey with some red marker for bloody effect and finish filling with fruit. For an extra laugh make sure she's in her bikini! I personally like to have my water melon sitting in a pan of blue jello!

If you prefer berries, you must try BOO BERRIES!

Miss Candiquik gives excellent instruction on how to create these spectacular spirits! Just click the link below!


You could easily do soup, chili, pot pie or shepherd's pie in a ramekin and add your puff pastry or rolled out pizza dough into a tentacle shape and add some olives for eyes. I like to do spiders and get creative with added puff pastry fangs!

But everyone knows Halloween is about two things: 
Dressing up and SUGAR!

So we'll start off with pure sugar :)

Get some cotton candy and add one of those wee plastic spiders to create a massive spidey egg sack!

Speaking of spiders...

This is so easy its scary!
Bake you chocolate chip cookies as normal. 
When you take them out of the oven, before they cool, take a toothpick and spread one of the gooey chips to have "legs"! If none of your chocolate chips are positioned well for this- simply pop one on and wait for that warm cookie to melt it slightly. 

We're on a roll!
More eight legged creepy crawlies!

If you are even slightly talented at pipping all you have to do is back chocolate cupcakes, serve them on over sized plates and pipe chocolate frosting to the shape of a spider head and eight long legs! 

If pipping isn't really your talent by trade, here's the simplest Halloween cupcake idea I have ever seen!

Bake and ice your cupcakes and when all is completed take a straw, toothpick or other such handy item and make two penetrations for fang marks. Complete with a tiny bit or red food coloring or icing running out of the bite marks. 

As simply chic as that is- I have a slightly more complex one that takes the cake for my all time favorite!

I would love to see these at EVERY Fright Festival I go to so I have included the instructions for your convenience at the bottom of this post!

Easy to eat Caramel Apple Slices!
Cut and apple in half and scrape out some of the insides to make from for the caramel and put in the refrigerator until the caramel has stiffened! Then slice away!

Enjoy you Grub and Happy Hauntings!

Broken Glass Cupcakes


1 Can white frosting

1 Box Red Velvet Cake Mix

Sugar Glass:

2 cups water

1 cup light corn syrup

3 1/2 cups white sugar

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Edible Blood:

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 cup water, or more as needed

15 drops red food coloring

3 drops blue food coloring


Prepare Red Velvet Cake Mix According to box, line cupcake tins

with paper cupcake liners.

Divide cake batter between lined cupcake tins.

Bake according to box instructions. Let cool and frost cupcakes

with white frosting.

Make the sugar glass. Mix 2 cups water, 1 cup corn syrup, white 

sugar, and cream of tartar in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. 

Use a candy thermometer and boil sugar syrup until temperature 

reaches 300 degrees (hard ball), stirring constantly. The

mixture will thicken as water evaporates. When sugar reaches 300 

degrees, quickly pour onto a metal baking pan. Cool until 

completely hardened. Break into “shards” using a meat mallet.

Make the edible blood. Mix together 1/2 cup corn syrup and 

cornstarch in a large bowl. Slowly stir in the 1/4 cup of water, 

adding more if necessary, until the corn syrup mixture has 

thickened to the consistency of blood. Stir in the red and blue

food coloring.

Stab each frosted cupcake with a few shards of broken sugar 

glass. Drizzle on drops of “blood” to complete the effect.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Decor That Won't Bore: Halloween Pt 3

The tips and tricks below are guaranteed to send a least one of your party guests into a state of, "NUH UH!" as we will be focuses on decoration with two items that are actual fears for a major part of the population.

The fear of spiders or Arachnophobia is the rated as the 3rd most populated phobia category; with death being 2nd oddly enough and public speaking being 1st. 
I question these statistics myself but hey, I found it on the internet so it must be true right? ::Rolls eyes and continues::

The fear of snakes also known as Ophidiophobia is another phobia that is widely suffered.

And the fact that you are aware of these makes you all the more dangerous of a host :)

Make sure to set the mood for your guests before they even walk through the door! In fact, make getting through the door a feat in itself. 

Take a common none-leafy wreath of any color (don't hassle trying to find a black one) and buy a some cheap toy snakes, again don't worry about the colors. Attache the snakes twisting and winding around the wreath and tie them in place with either fishing wire or florist wire which can be found at any craft store. Next, GO OUTSIDE and spray paint your finished product black. Let it dry completely and then you will be hated among several but cheered by more!

If your snakephobia guests are taking a bit too long to cross the threshold, primarily due to holding a steady gaze at your masterpiece, calmly point their attention down... 

Make sure you get a few extra of those toy snakes to put sneaking out from under your door mat. Your already uneasy guests will leap back or over, so get out of their way!

Once inside, don't let your captives think that they are now safe. Take pretty glass or plastic containers and fill them with either one large or several mini phobia-related creatures. 
Make sure to have a couple containers toppled with their inhabitants escaping.

You can have your party goers ducking and dodging 
all night with these little beauties!

Take a pair of white tights and cut the legs off- Mwahaha
Put a white balloon that has been slightly inflated (NOT with helium) in the bottom, foot-area of your tights along with a few black plastic spiders. Again, you can always spray paint so don't go crazy trying to find the perfect ones. And then glue several spiders on the outside of the tights as well, with more clustered at the bottom than the top. 
Attach to the ceiling an VOILA!

You can also use this scare with cotton fillers and 
sheets from the craft store!

This next piece has been a favorite of mine this season and as always- it's quite simple to accomplish.

For full instructions please go to 

But any black vase and flower arrangement can be altered to provoke questioning glances.

Just add a bit of cheap webbing that you find anywhere Halloween items are sold and spread it around the top of your bouquet. Bring a small amount of webbing to the base of your vase

If you really are not trying to make your attendees uncomfortable then you could always use stylish decor that will leave their breathing at a regular pace. 
Find white crochet doilies and white yarn to attach the piece to the corner of your choice. The trick here is to not make the "web even, so tie your yarn at varying points and pull in uneven directions. 

There will be more spider related treats in Part 4 of this series- And they will be edible :)

Decor That Won't Bore: Halloween Pt 2

Greetings Ghosts and Ghouls!

I hope you enjoyed the last Halloween Decor post on Atmosphere and twists on the traditional Pumpkin

This time we're going to focus on some little decor details- with a couple surprises along the way. 

This first one is something that my mother put into action at one of her last parties and it was a huge hit!


It is very simple to find a rat silhouette online. Pick the shapes you like and cut them out and you're ready for placing!

I found something similar if you wish that your guests remain downstairs for the evening. 

It's a very nice way of saying, "DO NOT ENTER!"

But maybe you want to say that in a way that will 
cause a fright or two....

Placing one of these at the top of your stairs will catch more than one unsuspecting climber off guard!
Use a mannequin or sewing form (with a Styrofoam wig head attached) then covered your piece with dark fabric of your choice and finally drape in tulle or gauze or another white see through fabric guaranteed to give the heebie jeebies

Back to some easy cut-outs. We've already covered the floor so lets focus our attention...up.

Again, very simple to find bat silhouettes online and all you have to do and cut them out and set them up. 
I've found that this effect works best when you attached the body of your bats to the ceiling or walls but 
let the wings hang freely. 

Let's think a little bit bigger...

You're going to need a lot of large black construction board or even a roll of black craft paper. Measure the width and height of your windows and then have fun creating creature and tentacles that fit nicely inside those perimeters. Make sure to vary the height of your monsters!

That's all this time Freaks and Shrieks! Up next on the Halloween Decor- Spiders and Snakes!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Decor That Won't Bore: Halloween

Hello my favorite monsters!

It's that time of year where Tales from the Crypt only pause for trick or treating and 
Hocus Pocus is on constant replay. 

Are you hosting a Who's Who costume party
A Creature Feature?
A Haunted Happening?

But let me guess...

You're tired of decorating with the same cut-outs that the teachers are using in their classrooms; the plastic door covers and all?

Here are some of my favorite finds for this season 
on throwing a Shining Shindig

Now, say it with me ATMOSPHERE!

And what is atmosphere without mood lighting?
Now this look above definitely works best for the red to show up better but you could still possibly use black or purple for a more subtle look. 

This ambiance is not for the faint of heart. If you are wanting something a little less gore and a lot more glam- try this! 

Simply put your tea light candles on top of your apple and trace around the connecting point. Then cut your shape and gut out the middle to make space to sit your candle inside. Super easy!

So your not into gore but this isn't "Halloweeny" enough-- 
I know just the thing!

Very similar technique as used with the apples-
Take the back off of the frame of your choice, put it up to your pumpkin and trace the inside of the frame 
where the two come together.
Instead of emptying your pumpkin from the top - you would cut out the shape you just drew and empty the beast out from there.
Glue your frame to the pumpkin and be careful not to get glue on the inside for fire safety!

Another simple yet elegant way of combining the two without the fire hazard risk! 

Now speaking of Pumpkins!

Simply finding a new way to display these little traditions is eye catching, but what if you decorated them differently for your Goulish Gala?

A trending way to reVAMP the old carving technique is to paint your pumpkin white and then paint something slightly whimsical in black on the surface. Very kid friendly with no knives involved!

Here is one that I LOVE
 And the good thing is most of you won't have to go out and spend money on pretty black lace! And old pair of black tights with a lovely design on them work just as well, as shown above!

But you still want something... a little different? 
A little disturbing?

Use what ever you like to cut small circle or hole punch your orange gourd and then pop in little toy mice, going in and out and climbing onto and below! You could also use toy centipedes and tarantulas instead!   

If you need some help with the shapes check out the next idea!

Use cookie cutters and rubber mallet or hammer to make your shapes with ease! A star pumpkin would be amazing!

How about Jack-O-Lanterns that serve a purpose?!

This is my favorite!
You want to pick out a nice wide pumpkin for this 
and then cut off the top third of it. 
Scrape everything out! You want to insert a glass bowl to keep your gourd from getting soggy and eventually falling apart. 
If the bowl isa bit too big there's no need to panic! 
Just scrape some move of the inside out.
You pumpkin bowl is now ready for your beverages of choice and don't forget the ice to keep them chilled.

Another way to use a gutted gourd is put a can or vase inside inside of a bowl and use it as a flower pot

So you have this amazing guacamole recipe but everyone wipes it out before you ever get any yourself... 

There's a pumpkin for that!

Carve an ill face with a large hole for the mouth at the bottom and scope in the guac! It's a great statement piece but the food does tend to last a little longer.

Here's a treat for what you can expect in the next post:
Cut out shapes, bloody cakes, creepy spiders and slithering snakes! Have a Frightening Festival!


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