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Halloween Contests 2007You’ve been toiling away on your costume (or pumpkin, prop, spooky art, whatever the case may be) to freak out the impending trick-or-treaters. Your creation can win you a handful of treats, too! Some of these contests are frightfully simple to enter, while the rest require varying degrees of participation. Whether you only have a moment to join a mailing list, or have set aside months to create a fantastic costume or prop, you’ll find a contest perfect for you.

MAKE/CRAFT DIY Halloween Contest: Submit images of your homemade Halloween creations to the flickr pool. Categories include pumpkins, costumes, decorations or gadgets, and food.
Prizes: A trip to Maker Faire San Francisco and a bunch of other TBA prizes
Deadline: November 4, 2007

Curbly Candy Corn Challenge: To enter, transform these syrupy wedges into something seasonally superior for your home. Or, take a cue from its traditional three color stripes, and use it as an aesthetic for you next creation.
Prize: $75 gift card to Amazon.com
Deadline: October 29, 2007 (extended!)

Etsy Costume Contest: To enter, make a handmade costume or accessory and put it for sale in your Etsy shop. Categories include Pet, Kid & Baby, T-Shirt Costume, Sci-Fi, Green, and General Awesomeness.
Prizes: 18 winners will share over $2,000 worth of goods and prizes including $150 shopping sprees at Etsy & Threadless
Deadline: October 26, 2007

BloodSucking Cinema Halloween Contest: Send them an email with your name, age, address and the subject line HALLOWEEN CONTEST! Include your USERNAME from the boards. As always new members are always welcome to enter, but they will check to see if you registered and are a member posting on the site.
Prizes: Portable DVD Player, horror DVDs, and tons of various (mostly zombie themed) items
Deadline: Not stated

Penelope Illustration Monster Mash: Create a monster by any means you prefer: drawing, sculpture, design, textile, etc. and submit a picture.
Prizes: 3 winners get a $20 certificate to Amazon
Deadline: October 31, 2007

October Oddness Drawing: Leave a voicemail (or e-mail a recorded submission) related to Halloween, ghosts, goblins, news and any other October related subject matter.
Prizes: Podcast related swag
Deadline: October 25 & 30, 2007 (depending on which prize you’re aiming for)

Raven’s Barrow Halloween Prize Pack: Just sign up for the e-mail newsletter for a chance to win.
Prizes: A whole bunch of prizes
Deadline: October 20, 2007

Halloween Photo Spell Contest: Take photos of letters or things that look like letters to spell out the word “Halloween” in one image.
Prize: a gift card or some other small token
Deadline: October 21, 2007

Fujifilm Picture Perfect Halloween Contest: Categories include Best Pumpkins, Cutest Baby Costumes, Best Pets, Best Kid’s Costumes, Best Teens and Adult Costumes.
Prizes: A trip for 4 to PA for the HERSHEY Trick or Treat Adventure in October 2008, Digital Photography course, $50.00 Visa debit card, or a sheet of customized stamps
Deadline: November 3, 2007

Disney Halloween Costume Contest: Upload a photo of your homemade costume and instructions. Doesn’t have to be 100% homemade, but costumes must consist of some homemade elements. Categories include Most Unique, Family Costumes, & Easy to Make.
Prizes: All inclusive trip for 4 to Walt Disney World, digital camera, or “picnic basket” of goodies.
Deadline: October 31, 2007

Do you know of any Halloween contests that we missed? Leave a comment so we can add it to the list.

Posted on October 15th, 2007 in
Halloween Fun, Odds and Ends by Lauren

Hey Halloween discount seekers, I have a few sales and coupons for you;

Buy Costumes BlowoutUse coupon code clear25 to get 25% off all clearance costumes. They’re already marked way down so if you’re looking for the absolute cheapest costume, this sale is for you. Expires October 15, 2007

Costume CrazeUse coupon code GET5 to get 5% off all orders. Expires October 31, 2007

Illuminations– All Halloween items are 25% off (no coupon needed), shipping is free on orders over $75, plus get 15% off your order total with this link (again, no coupon needed).

One Step Ahead & Leaps and Bounds– On either site you can use coupon code HAUNT10 to get $10 off orders $75+ that include one or more costumes. Expires October 21, 2007

The Big Horror DVD Sale– Save up to 55% on hundreds of scary movies.

We’re in prime Halloween shopping time so there’s nothing really spectacular to report yet. Those killer deals will show up next week so check back soon. If you know of any good sales or coupons, please drop a comment. Happy shopping, boys and ghouls.

Posted on October 13th, 2007 in
Halloween Sales by Lauren

Healthy Halloween Tips and Healthy Halloween IdeasEvery year, usually between gooey mouthfuls of sweets, I find myself lamenting that the concept of putting “Halloween” and “healthy” together doesn’t seem to garnish enough interest. The most popular focus of Halloween definitely seems to be the spooky factor, and yet sugar finds its way into everything. For example, take even a quick look at Halloween recipes available (online or in magazines/books), and you will find all manner of creepy looking creations; witch’s fingers, worm-ridden dirt cups, bleeding Jello hearts, kitty litter cakes, etc. (Many of those “recipes” are nothing more than covering a pre-prepared sweet with pre-prepared frosting or meltable chocolate, but I’ll save that topic for another post.) Finding one of those recipes that isn’t made of 90% junk ingredients is a lot more difficult. People want to have their freaky Halloween foods, but the resources to help us make those recipes a bit more healthy can be difficult to find. We all want to eat and feel better, but don’t want to compromise very much on taste. As the owner of a sweet tooth (or rather, a whole mouthful of them), I totally relate.

Hopefully this list will help get you thinking outside the box and inspire some new Halloween recipes that are creepy, delicious, and healthy. These include whole foods, which are naturally colored in vibrant Halloween shades and contain long lists of essential nutrients. To preserve the most color, nutrition, and flavor, try to keep cooking to a minimum. If you can’t serve an item raw, just lightly steam or bake it.

  • BLACK: poppy seeds, raisins, currents, black beans, cocoa, carob
  • PURPLE: blueberries, purple cabbages, blackberries, eggplant/plum (skin only)
  • GREEN: leafy greens, broccoli, kiwis, peas, green beans, avocados, celery, green onions, herbs, green apples (skin only)
  • ORANGE: pumpkin and other winter squash, oranges, carrots, cantaloupes, persimmons, orange bell peppers, yams
  • RED: beets, strawberries, cherries, raspberries, red bell peppers, cranberries, tomatoes, pomegranates, red onions, red delicious apples (skin only)
  • YELLOW: pineapples, bananas, corn, yellow bell peppers
  • WHITE: coconuts, potatoes, sweet potatoes, lychees, dragonfruit (some varieties)

When baking, try alternative sweeteners to white sugar. This will help you reduce the Glycemic Index, calories, and the “sugar high” that ends in a blood sugar crash (which contributes to fatigue and over-eating, among other things). I prefer fructose, as you don’t need to change up a recipe too much to substitute it in there, and it behaves very much like sugar.

To Replace 1 cup White Sugar:

  • Fructose = 2/3 cup (reduce other liquids by 1/8 cup)
  • Agave Nectar = 3/4 cup (reduce other liquids by 1/3 cup)
  • Barley Malt = 1 1/2 cups (reduce other liquids by 1/4 cup)
  • Brown Rice Syrup = 1 1/3 cup (reduce other liquids by 1/4 cup and add 1/4 tsp. baking soda)
  • Molasses 1 1/3 cup (reduce other liquids by 1/4 cup and add 1/2 tsp. baking soda)
  • Fruit Juice Concentrate = 1 1/2 cups (reduce other liquids by 1/4 cup)
  • Xylitol = 1 cup (not for use with yeasted recipes like bread or rolls)
  • Maple Syrup = 3/4 cup (reduce other liquids by 1/8 cup)

Another easy way to add some nutrition to a baked recipe is to use flours other than white wheat. I almost always use a 50/50 mix of spelt flour and whole wheat flour, and the taste and performance is almost totally unnoticeable. There are many other kinds of non-wheat flours available as well.

Here are a few more general tips that can help you eat and feel better this season:

  • Get really creative and make your own recipes using the lists above as inspiration. Aim for lots of colors and textures, and try new ingredients, and you’ll never be bored with healthy eating.
  • Create homemade meals and treats whenever possible. Pre-packaged and fast food is loaded with sugar, chemicals, trans-fats, sodium, artificial colors & flavorings, etc.
  • Eat healthy foods first and save treats for dessert time. If you fill up on real food, you will be less likely to over indulge on junk food.
  • Drink plenty of water. We often mistake thirst for hunger (especially when eating too much sugar), which causes us to over eat.
  • Use frozen vegetables instead of canned to cut sodium and increase flavor and nutrition.
  • Eat lots of raw fruits and veggies! You will get load of enzymes that aid in digestion, detoxing, and repairing your body. To avoid a tummy ache, eat fruit by itself, preferably on an empty stomach.
  • Avoid all artificial chemical sweeteners, all of which fall into 2 categories: either we don’t have nearly enough long term information on it, or it has been documented by the FDA to promote numerous health problems. Your health is too precious to risk on a product that might be deadly, and there are excellent alternatives, like Stevia.

What are your favorite healthy Halloween recipes and tips? Please leave your suggestions in the comments!

Posted on October 12th, 2007 in
Halloween Food by Lauren

fair trade halloween kit We’ve been waiting all year for October to roll around for one exciting reason: Fair Trade month! OK, you probably didn’t mark your calendar for that but it’s a cool idea to celebrate anyway. With chocolate candies flowing like wine this season, why not take a moment to learn a little about their creation? You’ve probably watched one of the mouth-watering videos that take you on a factory tour. There are Willy Wonka like rivers of melted chocolate, and endless conveyors of chocolate candies. But what happens before the ingredients get to the factory? Unfortunately, it’s a pretty messed up story that includes child slave labor and third world farmers who get paid pennies for their delicious cocoa. Talk about a Halloween horror story. Here’s a short video that gives some info on why standard (non Fair Trade) chocolate production is still able to exi$t, as well as one guys creative way to bring attention to this problem:

So what can you do to help end child labor in the production of cocoa & chocolate? It’s easy, just spend your money with companies that adhere to Fair Trade practices. There are lots of companies who produce Fair Trade chocolate, and many retailers who sell it, including Amazon. There is even a Fair Trade Halloween kit available for treat-giving on The Big Night. In addition to 42 delicious chocolates, the kit has 42 Halloween postcards to hand out that give knowledge about the importance of Fair Trade. You can still give out yummy chocolate candies, but toss an informative postcard into their candy sacks at the same time and you’ll help spread the word, too. Another alternative: give non-chocolate goodies on Halloween.

Our favorites are Lara Bars (their Chocolat line uses cocoa) and Dagoba, Green & Blacks and Endangered Species. What’s your favorite brand of Fair Trade chocolate?

Posted on October 12th, 2007 in
Halloween Food by Lauren
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Scary Movie ListBlog updates have been a little sporadic lately because we’ve been slaving away in our dungeon creating pages such as the List of Top Scary Movies.

Like we mentioned earlier, October is obviously the month when everyone wants to watch lots of scary movies. We’ve made it quick to find the scary movie you’re in the mood for by breaking them up into easy to scan categories. What are my favorite categories you ask? Thanks for asking. I tend to search through the Zombies and Horror Comedy first, but it’s hard to go through October without watching a few Cult Classics.

This list is big, but by no means exhaustive. We need your opinions on what you think should be added to the list! We will definitely update it throughout the year, so please leave a comment with your suggestions.

Posted on October 10th, 2007 in
Halloween Entertainment, Site News by Sean

Derby of the DamnedHey guys, it’s Sean, remember me? I haven’t been posting very often, but rest assured I’ve been working behind the scenes. I’ve risen shortly to tell you about some Halloween flavored t-shirts newly available from Threadless.
The one that caught my eye the most is the Derby of the Damned, which portrays some girls you don’t want to go up against in your next roller derby match. Or would you? Either way it’s definitely a 365 Halloween favorite due to the great artwork, color, and zombie/of-the-damned theme. I’m sure the pink chainsaw had something to do with it as well. Be sure to snatch this one up quick as I’m betting it will sell out quickly.
For those that need more orange in your wardrobe there is the nicely designed When I Was Pumpkin shirt. It opens our eyes to what our skillfully carved jack-o-lanterns might see on Halloween night. Another shirt, that looks to be a hit with the kids, is the Imposter. With it’s simple skeleton theme and glow in the dark print it’s a great t-shirt to sport when you know you’ll be in some black lights, or just plain darkness.

Pumpkin EatersFor those that don’t know how Threadless works, t-shirts are printed when users vote for them highly. So in an effort to get some more Halloween type shirts printed we’d like to encourage everyone to vote for the design entitled Pumpkin Eaters. Check it out, rate it yourself and feel free to vote for some other designs you’d like to see printed on a shirt.

Posted on October 8th, 2007 in
Spooky Art, Zombies by Sean
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