Tuesday, October 13, 2009

get ready for fall

Whether you are decorating for fall, planning a Halloween party, or preparing for trick-or-treating, being organized always helps. Here are a few helpful tips for getting organized during this fun time of year.

1. Make a list of the family members who will need a costume. Consider going with costumes that are simple and reusable. You can pull ideas for costumes from a number of sources, including classic fairy tales, video games, comics, cartoons, etc.

2. If you plan to host a fall/Halloween party, the first thing you need to do is come up with a theme. Then you can pick the location and put together a budget. Make a checklist of all the tasks that need to be done, when they need to be done and the items that need to be purchased, such as invitations, food and decorations. Plan fun activities and games for your party. Bobbing for apples is a one example of a classic game associated with the holiday. Do not forget to set the mood with music. Planning these details ahead of time makes for a smooth event which in turn allows you, the host, to enjoy the party too.

3. To get your home ready for trick-or-treaters, make sure your walkways are well lit. Remove objects from your yard that could present a hazard. Be sure your pets are secured and away from the entryway. And don't forget to get into the spirit of the occasion by putting on a costume yourself. The trick-or-treaters will enjoy seeing you dressed up.

4. Fall decorations do not have to be difficult and elaborate. You can create a festive centerpiece for your table by filling a vase with dried flowers, brown leaves and empty branches and then simply tie a dark ribbon around it. Pumpkins and gourds of all colors are plentiful this time of year. Put them together with corn stalks, hay or other decorations for a festive look. Stores also have a large variety of decorations available for your decorating projects that fit many different budgets.

5. Buy your treats ahead of time and have them ready for trick-or-treaters. In the event you choose not to give out candy, consider these healthier options: sugarless gum, trail mix, peanuts, fruit, roasted pumpkin seeds, small bags of popcorn or pretzels, sunflower seeds, or pre- packaged cheese and crackers. Great non-food items to give as treats include Halloween-themed stickers, coloring books, pencils, erasers, temporary tattoos and other small prizes.

6. There are unlimited ways to make food fun and fitting for Halloween. It is a great time to let your creative juices flow. For example, put out snacks such as gummy worms and other Halloween candy treats. Simple party food can be turned into Halloween fare with Halloween embellishments. Freeze raisins in ice cubes and it looks like bugs. Green, red and blue food coloring added to scrambled eggs makes it look like brains. Green jell-o is festive. If you are at a loss for ideas, the Internet, books and magazines are a great source of inspiration.

7. Take advantage of all the fresh produce and head out to a u-pick apple orchard or pumpkin patch. Go for a hay ride, have a bonfire, walk through a corn maze or visit a haunted house. There are so many fun things to do outsideā€¦and in a few months, you will wish you could head outside again.

Take some time this fall and do something festive with your family and/or friends.

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