Monday, October 26, 2009
Halloween is right around the corner and you know what that means: trick or treating, spectacular costumes; candy corn; Halloween parties; pumpkins and more! As much fun as this holiday is – I have to admit, it’s one of my favorites – it’s really easy to get lost in the whirlwind of candy wrappers, one-time wear costumes, rotting pumpkins, and so forth. Follow the tips below for a screaming Green time:
Go Vintage: Check out some of the vintage stores in your area (see below) or hit up sites such as American Apparel’s California Select and/or ebay.com for some hip, vintage wear.
My Little Fashionista, Rebecca Gutentag, ordered her rockin’ 80s dress, complete with full shoulder pads and all, on ebay.com (see image to the right.) After a couple of simple adjustments, some heavy makeup and an outrageous hairdo, this girl is ready to bust out some of her best 80s dance moves (anyone remember “The Sprinkler”?) and get down to some old favorites by bands like Duran Duran and “old school” rappers like Slick Rick and Run DMC!
Vintage Shops Around L.A.:
The Way We Wore
334 S. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Aaardvark's Odd Ark
7579 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Iguana Vintage Clothing
14422 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
You can also use pieces from old costumes to come up with new ones. For the ladies: if you have a tutu from an old ballerina costume and some butterfly wings from another, douse yourself in some glitter, put all of the pieces together and you’ve got yourself one sparklin’ fairy costume! For the guys: grab that silk robe you wore when you dressed up as the “Playboy” himself, Hugh Hefner, borrow a pair of boxing gloves from a friend and you’ve just morphed yourself into one knock-out boxer!
Sew your own costume using scraps of fabric you have laying around the house or by cutting up old shirts, dresses, etc. that you never plan to wear again. This technique would be great for creating a pirate costume, Argh!
To keep things simple, you can always ask to borrow a costume from a friend and in return lend him/her one of yours!
If you do decide that you absolutely must have those sky high platforms to go with your Disco Queen costume, or the checkered, plaid, long sleeve shirt to pull off your Lumberjack look, make sure it’s something that you are willing to wear again, otherwise it’s just a waste of your money and materials.
For those of you that love to stay home and scare the kiddies when they come to your door for candy, or even for those of you who love to use Halloween as an excuse to chow down on candy, below are several great sites that sell all sorts of Fair Trade, Organic, etc. candies. Enjoy!
Check out NaturalCandyStore.com for TONS of organic, fair trade or gluten free (etc.) candies.
Awaken trick or treaters’ taste buds with these Fair Trade, Divine Dark Mini Bars.
You can also help endangered species by purchasing any one of Endangered Species Chocolates’ Halloween 2009 candy bars and 10% of their net profits will be donated “to help support species, habitat and humanity.”
Buy your pumpkin from a pumpkin patch that grows them at a local farm - just make sure that they do not use any toxic chemicals. Check out Pumpkin Patches and More.org to find your nearest Pumpkin Patch.
After carving out all of the gook from the inside, save the seeds and bake ‘em! Check out this amazing recipe my sister, Laurie, came up with:
Pumpkin Seeds (with a kick!):
Seeds from 2 Medium Pumpkins, cleaned
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Paprika
2 tablespoons Red Chili Powder
Garlic Salt, to taste
Black Pepper, to taste
Cayenne Pepper (optional)
Preheat oven to 375º
After seeding pumpkins, get as much of the pumpkin meat off of the seeds as you can. Place the seeds in a large bowl and fill with water. Swirl the water around to try to get the seeds as clean as you can (even though they will never be totally clean). Take them out of the water next and place them on a bunch of paper towels, patting them dry.
Pour the dried pumpkin seeds onto a large cookie sheet, spreading evenly in one layer. Drizzle Olive Oil over them to coat. I usually eyeball the spices, so you can be as generous or frugal with the paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper as you like. If you are going to use cayenne pepper, remember that a little goes a long way. Coat the seeds well with these spices (this means getting your hands dirty and mixing them around), making sure they lay in a single layer on the sheet.
Cook until browned and crispy on the top rack (about 15-20 min, maybe more or less depending on your oven). Check the seeds often to make sure they do not burn. Enjoy warm or cold.
If you love to bake and are craving pumpkin pie (which I always am!), check out Make it from Scratch for a savory Pumpkin Pie recipe. If however, you just don’t have any baking skills, or you find that your pumpkin has rotted by the time you are through with it, go ahead and compost the sucker instead.
Hope you have a spooktacular time!
Images via: Like To Cook, http://www.flickr.com/photos/kristyanndesigns/2985468736/ & http://www.flickr.com/photos/fsumaria/2982640323/