Boo-tify Your Home with Affordable Halloween Decor

Terrorize your neighborhood this Halloween season by having the most spectacular (spooktacular?) haunted mansion with affordable Halloween decor, ghouls, and party goods from Oriental Trading. Just so you know, I received product from Oriental Trading to facilitate this post. All opinions, ideas, and photos are entirely my own.

ot halloween big reaper hero

I love Halloween. Like, love it, love it. There’s a term my close friends and I use to explain how excited I get about this holiday, but I digress because that term isn’t suitable for my family-friendly site. Anyway, there are three “holidays” that excite me beyond belief…Halloween, Christmas, and Mardi Gras. For my three favorite times of year, I always turn to Oriental Trading for all of my festive home decor, party goods, craft supplies, and in this case…ghouls! Seriously, your one-stop shop for affordable Halloween decor and more. Like ghouls…have I mentioned the ghouls?

Darkness falls across the land, the midnite hour is close at hand.
Creatures crawl in search of blood, to terrorize y’all’s neighborhood.
And whosoever shall be found, without the soul for getting down.
Must stand and face the hounds of hell, and rot inside a corpse’s shell.
The foulest stench is in the air, the funk of forty thousand years.
And grizzly ghouls from every tomb, are closing in to seal your doom.
And though you fight to stay alive, your body starts to shiver.
For no mere mortal can resist, the evil of the thriller.
Can you dig it?!

I totally dig it, do you? If you do and you’re not quite ready for All Hallow’s Eve, I’ve got some last-minute ideas for you. For the record, if you sign up for Oriental Trading’s newsletter, shipping is free (shhhh…don’t tell everyone because that offer is too good to be true and we want to save that freakish deal all to ourselves).

ot halloween house iinao

Since we moved into our house last August, we’ve been rebuilding our holiday decor and Halloween is no exception. It’s starting to get a little scary around here and I’m totally digging it (get it…digging…grave yard…hell yea). Anyway, let me take you on a little tour. We’ve still got a ways to go, but it’s frightfully delicious so far and I’m stoked.

halloween cemetary iinao

As soon as you enter the front gate, you’re immediately haunted by this Crawling Zombie Groundbreaker with the rest of his friends. Watching people walk by on the sidewalk to his motion-sensored screams every night makes me giggle-snort uncontrollably. If you take the cemetery route in your yard, don’t forget the tombstones and skulls because no Halloween yard cemetery would be complete without those!

sonic man iinao

And Sonic Man eerily warns all unsuspecting guests about something spooky ahead! His jaw moves, his eyes light up, and he spouts spooky warnings all at the command of a moving passerby. Again, patio evening entertainment at its finest as people walk by…for me.

ot mummy rat iinao

Scary little items like this Mummy Rat and skull pop up all over the place to add to the frightfully fun ambiance. It’s super important to weave inexpensive decor that fits your theme inside and out to make the most of the experience and maximize the spooktacular on a budget.

ot halloween witch iinao

No, I’m not fooling myself into thinking this Tree Trunk (or porch fly) Witch is scary. That’s just funny right there, and I like funny, even when I’m trying to be scary. Dig?

ot halloween door iinao

A good entrance to your haunted house is a must. This sets the mood for the fright fest your unsuspecting guests are about to enter. Make it count, but be sure to add a little humor in there too to keep things light if you’re anything like me. Drink up, witches!

ot halloween skeleton iinao

A rattling, hysterically laughing skeleton just outside your door never hurts.

halloween desk iinao

Wow them with your totally mad (and completely affordable) Halloween decorating skills as soon as they walk in the door with simple set ups throughout the house. Get creative with skulls, spiders, bloody cloth, and webs that light up eerily with a well-placed strobe light.

halloween small reaper iinao

This creepy little reaper hanging over the staircase scares the snot out of the kids every morning…SCORE! I should feel guilty about that. I totally don’t.

halloween handprints iinao

The best and final details are typically the most affordable and often the most effective. These bloody handprints leading into our guest bathroom…

bloody feet iinao

Are preceded by these bloody footprints…

halloween blood on floor iinao

That left this crime scene. You’re welcome.

It’s that simple and affordable to have a freakishly haunted Halloween this year. Want to get $250 worth of free affordable Halloween decor from Oriental Trading this year for your fright fest? If you act now, you can when you enter their spooky giveaway.Hurry though…contest ends 10/17/15. Don’t be scared, you have as good a chance as any “body”.

What’s your favorite Halloween decoration? What’s your favorite holiday to decorate for? If you don’t say Halloween, Christmas, or Mardi Gras, we can no longer be ghoulfriends. See what I did right there? Overkill? I can’t help myself. Sorry.

Peace out and Happy Halloween!

It’s Fall! Are Your Kids’ School Uniforms Ready?

If your kids are in need of new school uniforms for fall, don’t go from store to store looking for something in their size, visit FrenchToast.com instead. They sent my babies fall uniforms to facilitate this post and we’re hooked!

French Toast School Uniforms for Fall

School uniforms. They’re a great equalizer and I’m kind of a fan. Well, I’m a fan of equalizing the haves and have nots and the no drama morning outfit debate that I don’t have to deal with, but I’m not a fan of trying to find these uniforms at my limited local stores in the right colors, the right sizes, and the right seasonal attire. Until now. Now that I’ve found French Toast, that hopping from store to store to never find what we needed struggle (the struggle was real, y’all) is over!

French Toast School Uniforms for boys and girls

You see, my babies are tiny, and our weather is crazy on the island this time of the year. By tiny I mean, Bug just turned 9 and she wears a size 7 in clothes, but the pants are way too short, and so are the shorts, so we always get skorts with leggings. Bubby will be 7 (be still my heart) this month, and the little guy is still in a size 5…with elastic waistbands. I have no clue where they get their tiny stature from *ahem* but I hope they grow (literally) out of it one day. Until then, we deal with it. But we don’t have to deal with the endless hours of shopping for ill-fitted school uniforms that aren’t seasonal anymore.

Can I get an…

H

O

R

R

A

Y

Please and thank you?

French Toast Uniforms Benefits

French Toast gets that kids come in different sizes, they get that seasonal uniforms are hard to find since the seasons are so different across the nation, so they accommodate year round with a wide variety of school uniform choices and items that can even help my littles out. I easily found long shorts for Bug (not an easy task since she’s got an itty bitty waist and bean stalk legs) and pleated shorts for Bubby that don’t fall off since they have those adjustable waistlines that I can’t find locally. And even though we don’t need them just yet (hello Houston 90º weather in October), I was able to stock up on long sleeved uniform shirts for both because I can never find them when the cooler temps set in. All without leaving the comfort of my living room (and my laptop).

French Toast Uniforms 3 IINAO

I feel really accomplished, y’all. I’m ahead of the game this year when it comes to the babies’ preparedness and if you’ve been following along at all, you know that’s a really huge deal for me this year! We’re ready for fall (OK, not the cold weather, but everything else), are you? Get the kids school ready for fall and *e-gads* winter with the help of French Toast School Uniforms this year. My kids are ready. Are yours?

Dear Kids, About that Allowance You Never Got from Me

An open letter to my kids, all six of them, about that allowance that they never got from me no matter how hard they begged, no matter how hard they worked, no matter how hard they tried to state their case about how much they earned it. Dear Kids, you’re welcome!

Dear Kids, About that allowance I don't give you. You're welcome. Love, Mom

Dear Kids,

About that allowance you never got from me? You’re welcome. All of you have asked for it over the years (except you, Bubby, my youngest and current favorite, but you will). You see, I’m one of those moms that doesn’t believe in a traditional “allowance” because, really, I already pay you enough. I pay you too much, in fact. Let’s dissect allowance, shall we?

Allowance

  • the amount of something that is permitted, especially within a set of regulations or for a specified purpose.

Huh?

Every time you broach this topic, my dear lovelies, I scratch my head. Can I have an allowance? By definition, it makes no sense. With practicality in mind, it makes even less sense.

You cleaned your room and you want an allowance? That’s earning your “keep”.

You washed the truck? Wait. Did you want to take that truck to the prom? Earn your keep, kid.

You did well in school? Good for you! I actually did quite well too and I was proud of myself for working so hard and making my parents proud.

You put your clothes (that I picked up out of your bedroom floor, washed, and folded) away? Wow, amazing. You are an overachiever. Maybe you do deserve an allowance.

BUT you don’t. AT. ALL.

Let me ask you, allowance-hungry children, something. Do you pay me for dinner? Do you pay me for putting a roof over your head? Do you pay me for driving you to school every day and picking you up? Do you pay me for those school clothes and supplies? Do you pay me for doing your laundry? Do you pay me for that TV you watch or the video games you play? Do you pay me for your never-ending electricity (that I try to keep down by constantly turning off lights and fans you hap-hazardly leave on)? Do you pay ME for buying your food (all of your favorites, you’re welcome) and cooking all of your meals and cleaning up after you, even when I don’t (which is almost never) eat that food myself? Do you pay me for any of my many services?

You do NOT. I don’t ask for payment. Why? It’s my job!

Instead, I ask that you “occasionally” clean up after yourselves, my loves. I ask that you flush and close the toilet. I ask that you show me respect and love. I ask that you appreciate that you have food, clothing, shelter, and so much more. Those things are your “allowance”, dear children, and you’re very lucky to have the things that are afforded you. Many children do not have what you have.

Don’t ask me for extra payment for “extra” things you do. Seriously, it’s stupid and you won’t win this argument. You want to charge me? Let’s play that game. Every time you do something, I’ll pay you. BUT every time I do something, you pay me too. My palm is itching. Look it up, I’m about to come into some big money!

Hey! I just unloaded the dishwasher that I loaded after I cooked your dinner that you loved and you remembered to put your plate in the sink. You put your plate in the sink? I owe you $1.00?

I bought the groceries, cooked your dinner, cleaned up the kitchen, ran the dishwasher, and unloaded it. You owe me $50. Wanna just give me that $49 and call it even?

Or do you want me to pay you that allowance for ALL THAT YOU DO?

Your allowance?

I feed you. I clothe you. I buy you everything you need…and more. I clean up after you. I do your laundry, your dishes. I work and I provide. And as busy as I am, I still take the time to talk to you and love you. Yes, you’re welcome.

You say you want an allowance?

I allow you to stay here because you’re my children, I love you, and that’s what I signed up for. I allow you the finer things in life. Again, you’re welcome.

You know what? I grew up on a self-sufficient farm. We got up early, took care of animals and a garden, then we got ready for school and got good grades. We helped my mom clean on weekends (the what you say?) and do you want to know how much “allowance” we got? We got love, food, clothing, and shelter. We didn’t even get video games or cell phones. *GASP*

It was enough. My parents gave me life and the things I needed in life. It was enough and I didn’t DARE ask for more. Why would I need more?

Why do you?

So, my loves, my minions (look up the true meaning of that word…not the yellow guys…and you’ll know why I use it so often). Know how much allowance I owe you? You’re already overpaid considering the services you provide.

You’re welcome.

You may not like it right now, but I’m attempting to raise good humans, productive members of society. That’s hard work, y’all. I deserve a little more payment. Don’t pay me in complaints. Don’t pay me by asking me for more. Do the things you’re asked (which seriously are tasks a 5-year-old could accomplish with ease), and appreciate what you have.

Does all of this sound a little harsh to you? I really am doing you a favor and some day you’ll “get” it (ask Bry, she’s grown and she gets it now, or ask Paetyn who is now a parent herself…she totally gets it). You four youngest really have NO clue at this point in your life. You will, but you don’t now. Have patience. The lightbulb will go off and you’ll thank me.

Life gets harder (like super hard) when you grow up. You’ll honestly have to work for a living and that “allowance” and you’ll look back and wish you didn’t get one again.

So, about that allowance I don’t give you now? You’re welcome.

With Love,

Your Mom (who will never pay you an “allowance”, but will always be proud for raising good humans)

PS – Bubby, when you get old enough to read this and think it’s OK to ask for an allowance. Don’t. Just do what mommy asks and appreciate what you have. You’re my current favorite for a reason. Don’t sully your reputation.