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The National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts Halloween spending is on the rise this year with Americans averaging $66.28 on costumes, with total holiday spending expected to reach $5.8 billion. Consumers who look up “party supply stores” in Yellow Pages local search tools will spend an even greater amount, averaging $109 per visit, according to the Local Media Tracking study conducted by Burke for the Yellow Pages Association (YPA).

Just days away from Halloween and consumers across the country racing to party supply stores to make their last-minute preparations to celebrate the big day. Of the more than 28 million yearly references made to the party supplies heading in print and Internet Yellow Pages, there is a marked increase in searches occurring in October.

Additional stats you may find interesting:

· Families drive references: Married women with families drive references in the party supplies category. More than four out of five references are made by women (83%), with higher than average usage among those who are married and have more than three total family members.

· Consumers make contact after search: 90.5% of consumers contact a business after referencing the heading. While 67% of consumers do so by phone, another 41% make an in-person visit to the store, which is significantly higher than the all-headings average of 23%.

· Consumers purchase after search: 64.3% of consumers who reference the heading make a purchase, averaging $109 per visit. Of those consumers, 59.3% are new customers to the store.

Posted on October 31st, 2010 in
Halloween Sales, Odds and Ends by admin

Trick or Tracker

Laguna Hills, CA, October 21, 2010 – Halloween is meant to be a fun & scary holiday, but, as parents would undoubtedly agree, not a dangerous one. Costumes, creepy decorations and, for better or worse, eating tons of candy are the hardcore traditions of the ghoulish day, and in today’s high-tech world, Iconosys unveils a new Smartphone app that enables responsible parents to know the exact whereabouts of their trick-or-treating kids without requiring them to follow alongside in the family car (risking the lives of others that may stray into their paths, as they are distracted by the task of diligently watching their children from the car window).

Iconosys, Inc., the Laguna Hills, CA developer of safety enhancing mobile apps for the Smartphone that help curb Distracted Driving, (Texting While Driving/Mobile Phone Talking While Driving) and Cyberbullying, among other dangerous societal problems, has created TrickorTracker™ so that parents can safely monitor their kids via their Smartphone, while their children are out and about gathering treats. TrickorTracker™ is free of charge for Halloween (it does expire afterwards), or can be purchased for $9.99 thereafter for full lifetime coverage of family members.

“Kids are highly vulnerable even in large groups when they trick-or-treat,” commented Wayne Irving II, inventor of the TrickorTracker™ and Iconosys CEO and Founder. “It’s nighttime, kids are going door-to-door taking gifts from mostly people they don’t know, they are in costume/disguised and their parents may be miles away. TrickorTracker™ can help give parents peace of mind without sacrificing any of the Halloween holiday fun.”

To highlight several of the new app’s important features:

* TrickorTracker™ can locate a trick-or-treater with the touch of a single button on the user’s Smartphone for ultimate convenience.

* The app installs easily on both the parent’s phone and the child’s own phone (note– if the child is too young to use a Smartphone, Iconosys believes that they are probably too young to trick-or-treat without being accompanied by a parent or guardian in any event).

* The TrickorTracker™ is available in English as well as Spanish.

* Messages can be sent to the child’s phone using a special code that is picked up and responded to via pre-set coordinates.

* The child’s phone will have special “Where Am I?” and “Where’s My Parent?” buttons, and the parent’s phone will have a corresponding “Where’s My Child?” button.

* Parents can program their phone to receive messages at regular intervals –or more often if necessary — revealing exactly where their child is on an hourly basis.

* Only the child’s phone must be an Android OS phone. For the parent, any Google maps-loaded phone (including iPhone, Blackberry, or Windows Phone 7) will work using a simple manual process. If both parent and child have Android phones, 2-way parent-child tethering is available, so the child knows where the parent is.

* The app also has a very handy flashlight feature that illuminates the phone screen, casting a ray of light on a child’s path and allowing them to travel more safely in the dark or into their treat bag to sneak a treat along their journey. This is available in white and five glow-stick colors (orange, pink, blue, red, and green).

“The bottom line is that we have designed this technology to promote safety and security for the children who are out there celebrating what should be a fun and happy Halloween experience,” added Irving.

TrickorTracker™ is now available for download from the Android Market, iconosys.com, and TrickOrTracker.com

Posted on October 30th, 2010 in
Halloween Sales, Odds and Ends by admin

Check out the awesome Halloween Masks in the video below titled “House of Masks“.

My wife, myself, and my brother-in-law have always wished Halloween was a bit longer than one day. We absolutely love Halloween, so this year we purchased silicone masks from compositeeffects.com.

Posted on October 29th, 2010 in
Halloween Entertainment, Halloween Fun, Site News by admin

Ever wonder what goes into building the spectacularly spookiest costumes each Halloween? While it may take you days to compile your own (or your kids’ costumes), a new contest from Windows Live Movie Maker and Instructables.com asks trick-or-treaters to show off their movie-making in a matter of minutes. Simply create a 30-second movie (using photos and videos) to showcase the process of building their Halloween costume for the opportunity to win a new iCore 5 Gateway laptop with Windows 7 and Windows Live Essentials. To enter users can register an Instructables.com account and download Windows Live Essentials 2011. Contestants must submit their entries by Sunday, November 7. Winner is selected based on the use of Movie Maker and creativity in costume.

One winner will receive the Ultimate Windows Live Movie Maker Package:

* Brand new iCore 5 Gateway laptop with Windows 7 and Windows Live Essentials – perfect for home movie making and keeping your digital media organized!
* A Pure Digital – Flip Video MinoHD Camcorder
* Two year Pro Membership to Instructables.com
* Additionally, three contestants will receive a brand new Flip video camera and a 2-year Pro Membership for Instructables.com

Sunday, November 7 the Windows Live team will select the winners. If you need tips for completing your movie in Movie Maker, check out this page. For more information on the Movie Maker contest check out the Windows Experience Blog.

Posted on October 28th, 2010 in
Halloween Events, Odds and Ends, Site News by admin

Enjoy this documentary about enthusiasts in Austin, Texas who love Halloween. Follow Bud Hasert (budcrud.com) as he designs and builds his Halloween costume over several months. He then parades it down 6th Street, as he has done for the past 20 years. This guy takes his costume planning and design seriously.

Posted on October 26th, 2010 in
Halloween Entertainment, Halloween Events, Site News by admin

Max’s Top 5 Organic Candy Picks for Halloween

Halloween is no longer all about feeding kids junk food that is bad for their teeth and keeps them up all night. Parents now have much healthier options. These are Halloween treats that not only taste good but are made from the highest quality ingredients.

Max Goldberg runs an organic food blog called livingmaxwell.com. His blog focuses on his passion for organic food as a means to educate people about the organic experience and to inspire others to make positive lifestyle changes. Readers follow Max from his self-destructive and tumultuous journey to his emergence as a health and organic advocate.

His blog can be followed at www.livingmaxwell.com and on twitter at www.twitter.com/livingmaxwell.

Below are Max’s Top 5 choices for organic Halloween treats on the market this year.

ANGELL ORGANIC CANDY BARS
Angell Organic Candy Bar Co-Founder Christopher Angell says it is the only certified organic and fair trade candy bar on the market. The taste is rich, and the middle is soft and chewy. There are three flavors, one of which is vegan (Dark Angell) and one of which is gluten-free (Angell Crisp).

The bars are all available on Amazon – Click for the Angell Crisp, Snow Angell
and Dark Angell.

Dark Angell

ANNIE’S ORGANIC BUNNY FRUIT SNACKS
An alternative to traditional Gummy Bears, Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks have a softer and less chewy texture. The large bag of Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks contains 24 small packs of fruit snacks that are all shaped like bunnies. The three flavors (strawberry, cherry and raspberry) are made with real fruit juice and contain 100% of the recommended daily vitamin C. Click HERE for nutrition info. The product is available nationwide. Find a store near you.

YOGAVIVE APPLE CHIPS
Yogavive Apple Chips are similar to other chips on the market, in that they taste great, but the sole ingredient in these snacks is fruit. For some of the flavored varieties, a small amount of all-natural flavorings is used.

The product, made with certified organic Fuji apples and no preservatives, is baked using a two-part drying process and then is popped to deliver a snack that is 100% fat-free and bursting with real apple flavor. The five flavors include: Original, Apple Cinnamon, Caramel, Peach, and Strawberry.

For Halloween, the small 10g bags are ideal. Yogavive Apple Chips are available nationwide. Click HERE for a store locator. They can also be purchased online.
Yogavive Apple Chips

YUMMY EARTH ORGANIC FRUIT LOLLIPOPS
Yummy Earth Organic Fruit Lollipops. They come in four fantastic flavors: Mango Tango, Pomegranate Pucker, Tooberry Blueberry, and Wet-Face Watermelon. Each bag contains 15 lollipops. Yummy Earth Organic Fruit Lollipops are available nationwide. Click HERE for a store locator. They can also be purchased online.

GO FUDGE BROWNIE
Not only is the Go Fudge Brownie the perfect size for a Halloween treat but it is a 100% dairy-free and sugar-free snack. This brownie is rich and filling, possibly being one of Max’s favorite desserts. It is sweetened with agave and the other ingredients include almonds, cacao, cashews, vanilla and Himalayan salt. Furthermore, the Go Fudge Brownie is raw, which means that nothing has been heated above 118 degrees, and therefore it retains all of the nutrients and enzymes. This brownie is available at health stores/organic markets nationwide and online.

This year, don’t get tricked with the same old sugary treats. Have a safe, healthy and organic Halloween!

About livingmaxwell / Max Goldberg

Max Goldberg started livingmaxwell.com in 2009. His blog focuses on his passion for organic food as a means to educate people about its importance and to inspire others to live a healthier lifestyle. Readers follow Max on his journey to eating organic after a long personal battle with high-stress, depression and self-destructive behavior, including his decision to quit Prozac, an antidepressant he had been taking for more than a decade.

Max’s organic food blog gives readers useful information about the best products, news, trends, and legislation, and provides interviews with the industry’s leading CEOs. Max is a former Wall Street investment banker whose goal is to inspire people to change their relationship with food.

His blog can be followed at www.livingmaxwell.com and on twitter at www.twitter.com/livingmaxwell

Posted on October 25th, 2010 in
Halloween Food, Halloween Sales, Site News by admin
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