Halloween

Link Love Wednesday: Happy Halloween!

Im-a-mouse-duhWith Halloween just around the corner, I couldn’t resist pulling a few spooktacular links from the blogosphere! I may not have a Halloween costume just yet (is there still time? Please tell me there’s still time!), but I still have my memories of trick-or-treating in princess costumes and pouring out pillowcases of candy at the end of the night. In honor of what was once my favorite day of the year, please enjoy this week’s Link Love, and share your own favorites in the comments section below!

Any great links you’ve picked up this week? Share in the comments below!

The Weekend Five: The Evolution of Halloween Costumes

As I glance at the dry-erase calendar on my wall, I simply can’t believe that Halloween is approaching so quickly! Disregarding the fact that the holiday is smack dab in the middle of the week and takes place during our university’s Homecoming festivities, I’m excited to start planning this year’s costume(s). I love looking back at my costumes throughout the years and the Halloweens I shared with family and friends along the way. Of course, for those of us who celebrate this ghoulish day, our costumes have likely changed a lot throughout the years. Today’s Weekend Five will explore and celebrate these changes in the name of Halloween!

The Weekend Five: The Evolution of Halloween Costumes

1. “Isn’t that precious?”
This category of costumes belongs to babies and young children, typically those young enough to have their costumes chosen for them. Whether your parents dressed you as a woodland creature or a Sesame Street character, their goal was typically to evoke the “Awww” response in all who came into contact with you. Several years later, when you turn twelve, you’ll groan in embarrassment as they show your 4-year-old Halloween pictures to guests. Ten years after that, you’ll scan one of those pictures onto Facebook and make it your default.

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2. The Princesses and Superheroes Phase.
Once you’re old enough to decide what you want to be for Halloween, chances are you’ll select your favorite superhero or your favorite Disney character. In my case, I wore two different Belle costumes – one when I was five and one when I was six – because she was clearly the coolest princess and I had a knack for walking around while reading, much like our heroine. When I was eight, I attempted an original princess costume as well, pairing a purple dress with a ridiculous platinum blonde wig that I thought made me look more royal. This stage of costuming typically takes place during your elementary school years, and may become a little more complex as you get older. Still, you want to make sure your costume is representing the coolest thing out there.

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3. Too Cool For a Costume.
Otherwise known as The Dark Ages, this time period typically takes place during the middle school to early high school years, in which you decide that Halloween is for babies and that dressing up is lame. This is probably a defense mechanism because you’re not-so-secretly bummed that your school doesn’t let you wear costumes, so during this time period you forgo trick-or-treating in favor of grumpily handing out candy.

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4. The Inappropriate Costume.
You’re sixteen years old and invited to a high school Halloween party, so of course you can’t wear any old embarrassing thing. In fact, according to societal rules for girls, you have to wear the most revealing costume you can while still attempting to fit into a theme. What was  advertised on Facebook as a “Halloween party” could really be more accurately described as a lingerie party. Meanwhile, if you’re a guy, you just have to wear a mask, an ironic T-Shirt or a random accessory, and you’re good.

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5. The Twenty-Something Who Doesn’t Care About Cool.
Once you hit college, you decide that you probably don’t want to bare all on Halloween anymore. You also realize that Halloween is a weird holiday in itself, so dressing in a costume that wasn’t considered “cool” when you were a tween is completely acceptable. This is why the costumes at college Halloween parties are the most entertaining — they are funny, creative, and usually not purchased in a package at a costume store. Sometimes, these costumes are reboots of your costume from fourth grade. Other times, your costume might be the clever brainchild of your trips to thrift shops and hole-in-the-wall stores. Perhaps you decide to go all out on a costume because it allows you to decompress from the stress of classes, work and internships, but Halloween in college beats Halloween in high school any day of the week.

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What was one of your favorite Halloween costumes? Did you hit any or all of these stages growing up?

The Friday Five: Holidays to Observe All Year

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s nearly impossible not to have the holidays on your mind. Of course, as much as I enjoy pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce, I absolutely love the holiday’s vibe – the reminder that we should be thankful for all that we have and more. Of course, November 24 is not the only day we should set aside to give thanks — that day should be every day!

This week, I would like to take a look at some of the holidays we should observe more often. Feel free to chime in with your own in the comments section below!

The Friday Five: Holidays to Observe All Year

1. Thanksgiving.
Well, if that wasn’t a given, I don’t know what is. :) We should take some time out of every day to reflect upon how fortunate we are, regardless of how stressful life can be.

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2. Valentine’s Day.
Telling someone “I Love You” shouldn’t be restricted to February 14. Doing something spontaneous and sweet for your significant other will mean a lot more to that person if it happens on a random Tuesday rather than a holiday when everyone feels obligated to be romantic. Similarly, you should show small acts of kindness toward everyone throughout the year, instead of saving up for one grand gesture and a remainder of mediocrity and halfheartedness.

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3. New Year’s.
This doesn’t mean you need to get rip-roaring drunk every night and cheer when the clock strikes 12 — you can save that until December 31. However, many people wait until the New Year (and occasionally Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year) to make amends for past mistakes and to create new goals and resolutions. However, we should spend the whole year working on ourselves, not just one small window of time. If we set reasonable expectations throughout the year, we are more likely to stick to them and see some real results. Besides, it is never too late in the year to reinvent yourself.

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4. Independence Day.
Most people tend to be patriotic around the Fourth of July, Memorial Day or a national disaster, but when barbecues and fireworks aren’t taking place, a lot of us forget what it means to be American. You don’t need to be in-your-face about your nationality, but it is important to be present by recognizing how lucky you are to be where you are. (I understand that some readers do not live in the U.S., so feel free to replace this one with one of your homeland’s own national holidays!)

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5. Halloween.
The spookiest holiday of the year is all about overcoming your fears and allowing yourself to have fun. As Robert California from The Office says in a recent episode, “Fear plays an interesting role in our lives. How dare we let it motivate us? How dare we let it into our decision making, into our livelihoods, into our relationships?” By stepping out of our comfort zones more than once every year, we allow ourselves to develop and grow as human beings (or ghouls).

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What are your favorite holidays, and what have they taught you?

Happy holidays, everyone! :)

What’s Hot/What’s Not: October 2010

Whenever someone mentions October, images of ghosts, witches and haunted houses immediately come to mind. Halloween plays a big role not only in the ways we shop and decorate, but the ways in which we conceptualize an entire month. However, while we may be excited about our upcoming excuse to eat tons of candy and dress however we please, let’s keep our eyes out for other fads and current events in this month’s edition of What’s Hot/What’s Not.

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What’s HOT
Keeping up with the latest trends in Halloween couture.

What’s NOT
Wearing any of these vintage Halloween costumes.

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What’s HOT
Celebrating your college’s Homecoming Week and being surrounded by school spirit!

What’s NOT
The idea that many people are still unable to fully participate.

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What’s HOT
The new seasons of our favorite shows are just starting to get good!

What’s NOT
Just as My Generation was starting to get good, it was canceled! (It was good enough for me to blog about, right?)

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What’s HOT
The lovebugs that were taking over Central Florida seem to be gone!

What’s NOT
Bedbugs are still on the rise. Yuck!

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What’s HOT
Mel Gibson’s removal from The Hangover 2.

What’s NOT
The fact that they even considered casting him!

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What’s HOT
Some stylish ways to stay toasty as the weather cools down.

What’s NOT
Using any of these shoes to keep your feet warm… at any time of the year.

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What’s HOT
Having a new way to rationalize some of our guiltiest pleasures.

What’s NOT
Feeling the need to rationalize them in the first place!

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What’s HOT
Voting in the upcoming elections and having a say in our country’s future.

What’s NOT
Blindly following the masses. :)

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What’s HOT
Finding inspirational quotes that get you through the day.

What’s NOT
Being remembered by some of the worst quotes possible.

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What’s HOT
The discovery of water on the Moon.

What’s NOT
The cancellation of our future Moon missions!