october and halloween 2013

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october photo dump : radmomcoolkid.com

How was your October? Ours was pretty great. There were lots of nice weather days and the fall came slowly. I need a good long transition from summer to winter or I’m hateful.

My favorite thing about October came courtesy of Isca. She makes a calendar at school for each month and we hang it on the fridge. She is obsessed with marking each day off as the month unfolds. She is also learning the concept of ordinal numbers and every day she asked me, “Which Octobereth is it?” Octobereth is my new favorite word. I hope I say it forever.

We didn’t carve pumpkins this year. Lame, huh? We’ve been pretty hit or miss our whole married lives with it. We’ve always just been so busy and this year was no different plus we were all battling the mega cold and we just don’t care.

Luke and the big kids went to Trunk or Treat at our church on Wednesday…Holl and I stayed in with our kleenex and jammies and blew our noses and coughed all night.

trunk or treat 2013 : radmomcoolkid.com

We made an appearance on the actual Halloween to trick or treat around our decked out neighborhood- we got  hand-spun cotton candy, freshly popped popcorn, hot cocoa…and 800 lbs. of candy. There were fire pits, coffins, black lights, smoke, strobe lights, jack-o-lanterns, and about 4 million families out. Lest you get super jealous that we live in the best place ever, we came home to our metal chairs thrown into our bushes and our creepy squeeky mice stolen. Boo.

october and halloween 2013 : radmomcoolkid.com

october and halloween 2013 : radmomcoolkid.com

We finished the night with Luke making us watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. I hate Charlie Brown, okay? I’d give that mofo rocks, too.

DIY: little witch hat headband

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Looking for last minute witch costume ideas? Something easy and low key?

I have the answer!

This is my little witch hat headband and it is a cinch to whip up!

witch costume : rad mom cool kid

I first made this a few years ago but it got smashed up by my devil spawn darling angel children and it was kind of crappily made in the first place so I tossed it. BOO. This time around, I whipped it up in about 10 minutes and it is SO. EASY.

How to Make the Little Witch Hat Headband : Witch Costume

witch costume : rad mom cool kid

1 headband
1 witch hat
1 craft knife or sharp scissors
embellishments: netting, ribbon, bows, wine glass charms, etc.

witch costume : rad mom cool kid

Cut a hole in the brim and side of the hat so that they match up. Leave a bit of space between so you don’t rip through the hat when you thread the headband through. You want the holes to be just big enough to shove the headband through but small enough that it’s a tight fit. This will keep it from sliding off the headband. Next, do the same thing on the opposite side of the hat.

witch costume : rad mom cool kid

Once your holes are cut, smash the hat up to give it a sorting hat feel. What. I love Harry Potter, okay?

witch costume : rad mom cool kid

Then, thread the headband through all 4 holes. I like my hat angled on one side but play around to see what looks best on you.

witch costume : rad mom cool kid

Last, decorate! I cut a strip of net from some old Halloween decor and tied a bow around the hat. I also had some wine glass charms hanging around so I added one to the center of my bow. You could use tulle, ribbons, whatever!

witch costume : rad mom cool kid

Sorry (not really) I’m kind of flipping the bird^^

What are you going to be for Halloween this year?

linked to: artsyfartsymama, livelaughrowe, summerscraps

grapefruit rosemary vanilla room simmer

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I made a citrus salad over the weekend and instead of tossing the grapefruit peels in the garbage, I put them in a pot, added a few things from the pantry and simmered it on the stove.  This grapefruit rosemary vanilla room simmer is a REALLY good one.  I had an extra grapefruit so I made the simmer in gift form for a few of my neighbor friends- one had surgery recently and it was the other’s birthday :)

grapefruit rosemary vanilla room simmer

1/2-1 grapefruit, sliced thin or just the peels
1 tsp. dry rosemary
1 tsp. vanilla

Put all the ingredients in a small pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer.  Continue adding water as needed.  You can also use a bowl or mug and a candle warmer.

I have a few other simmer recipes :

orange cinnamon lemon ginger room simmer
orange vanilla cinnamon simmer

orange cinnamon lemon ginger room simmer

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I’m currently obsessed with this orange cinnamon lemon ginger room simmer.  Like I simmer it every day.  It is so cozy and bright, perfect for the seriously frigid temps I’m dealing with here in Utah right now.  15 degrees F felt warm to me last night.  It’s coooooooooold.  I hope you are staying toasty wherever you are.  And if you are, don’t tell me, I will hate you.

So, here’s my newest simmer love:

orange cinnamon lemon ginger simmer

1 orange, sliced thin, or just the peels…I simmer the peels and my kids eat the segments
1 cinnamon stick or 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 lemon ginger tea bag, I use Stash Ginger Lemon Tea
Combine ingredients in a small sauce pan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer.  REMEMBER: check often and continue adding water as needed!

You can use the simmer for 2-3 days if you put it in the fridge over night.  It will look absolutely disgusting but it will still smell good.

Simmers are a great way to add moisture to the air.  Heaters dry out the air inside which leads to dry skin and hair, bloody noses, everything you touch shocking the living daylights out of you, and it dries out our mucous membranes (‘germ trappers’) so we are more prone to sickness.  Plus, simmers smell good.  Real good.

Some of my other favorite simmers:

grapefruit rosemary vanilla room simmer
orange vanilla cinnamon simmer

happy halloween

Noa: Air Force Corporal, Isca: Rapunzel, Hollis: Chick, Luke: Chick Magnet

Happy Halloween!!

I LOVE Halloween.  It’s creepy, fun, you get to dress up, people give you candy, teenagers steal your pumpkins and smash them in front of your house, you eat your weight in candy corns, your children become demons for 3 days after from the steady stream of sugar in their veins.  It’s tradition!

Speaking of tradition, here’s an idea I picked up from aunt last year.  It will help your devilish babes be nicer and it will keep you from dipping into their stashes 15 times a day…

Here’s what you do:  When you get home, during the sorting and admiring part of the night, have each child choose 25 pieces to put in a Christmas Advent calander.  If Christmas isn’t your thing, you could use it to count down to anything…Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day, a birthday…the point is, you get rid of it right away and put it to use for something else.  Great idea, huh? I hope you have a happy Halloween!

Do you have a candy strategy?  Share!

what we’re reading: halloween

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I like reading something spooky (not horrifying) around Halloween.  I love being just a little creeped out but my imagination runs a bit wild so we read our Halloween books during the day….here’s our terrible line-up:

What they’re reading:

Noa- first grade- 7, Isca- preschool- 4 1/2

Monster Soup: And Other Spooky Poems
compiled by Dilys Evans

We love the goofy poems in Monster Soup and all the creepy pictures! It will have your kids giggling and squealing with delightful Halloween terror and joy!

Bears in the Night
by Stan and Jan Berenstain

Our copy of Bears in the Night was handed down to us from Luke’s grandmother several years ago. It’s a book she read to him when he was a kid and we are so happy to have that same copy in our home to read with our little ones! It is well loved and has been read by many!

What I’m reading:

Great Tales of Terror
by Edgar Allan Poe

I always love anything by Edgar Allan Poe. It is so fascinating to me how creepy and macabre his writing is. And how brilliant. He is one of my favorite authors when I’m feeling dark and broody!

Do you have any favorite Halloween books or stories? How about your kids?

orange vanilla cinnamon simmer

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The weather is turning into garbage here in Utah (snow before Halloween!) so we are snuggling up and spending more time at home.  My last candle burned out a few days ago and my kitchen needed a little warmth so I started looking through my pantry to see what I could come up with to simmer on the stove.  I made an easy simmer that smells delicious, like you have some wonderful and fancy cake baking up in your oven.  It’s spicy, sweet, and creamy and super cozy on a freezy snow day.  And the best part is it’s so EASY to make!

Slice your orange into segments then remove the peel from the meat of the fruit.  My kids eat up the leftovers…

Toss the orange peels into a saucepan with a cinnamon stick and a Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Vanilla Tea bag.

Fill the pan with water and bring to a boil.

Orange Vanilla Cinnamon Simmer

Reduce heat to a simmer and continue adding water as needed.  That’s it.  No chemicals from traditional candles or plug-ins and you get a bit of moisture back if you’re a desert dweller, like me!

Orange Cinnamon Vanilla Simmer

1 orange, peels only
1 cinnamon stick or 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 Sleepytime Vanilla tea bag

Combine all ingredients in a small or medium saucepan and fill with water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer.  Continue adding water as needed.  If you let all the water evaporate, you’ll ruin your pan, so walk by and check it often!

*At bedtime I scooped the solids out of the pan and put them in an airtight container in my fridge.  I put the liquid in a different container in the fridge and then combined them in a pan the next morning.  It smelled even better than the first day!  I’m not sure how long you can stretch the recipe but definitely two days.

Some of my other favorite simmers:

grapefruit rosemary vanilla room simmer
orange cinnamon lemon ginger simmer


cozy fall tea

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I’m not a regular tea drinker but when I’m sick, herbal caffeine-free teas really help clear things up for me.  I find that when I start to feel the very first symptoms of the fall/winter crud (chills, aches, sore throat/glands, stuffy nose, etc.) a hot cup of tea before a long night of sleep will knock whatever it is out.

SIDE NOTE: I am not medically trained, this is my own experience.  I also rarely get sick.  Very, very rarely.

Here’s how I like to make my tea in the Fall, children might prefer this recipe, since tea isn’t naturally sweet or super appealing.

In a microwave safe dish, combine 1/2 c. water with 1/2 c. unsweetened 100% apple juice.  Microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds.  (You can use 1 cup of apple juice but it was way too sweet for me.)

Pour the hot apple juice and water mixture over a tea bag.  I like Celestial Seasonings Wild Berry Zinger.

Give it a good stir and let it steep for a few minutes.  Not too long or it will be bitter!

Discard the tea bag but don’t press the liquid out, it will be bitter.  Give it a stir, snuggle up, and relax!

Cozy Fall Tea

1/2 c. water
1/2 c. unsweetened 100% apple juice
1 herbal, caffeine-free tea bag (like Celestial Seasonings Wild Berry Zinger)

In a microwave safe dish, combine 1/2 c. water with 1/2 c. unsweetened apple juice. Microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds.  Pour the hot apple juice and water mixture over a tea bag.

Let steep about 2 minutes.  Discard tea bag, be careful not to press the liquid out of the bag.

Looking for another tasty hot drink? This one is PERFECT when you’ve got a cold:

hot honey ginger lemonade

Rad Mom Cool Kid

Rad Mom Cool Kid