Happy Halloween!

MomSense Book giveaway winner

 I have a great Halloween gift for one of my lucky readers! The MomSense Book Giveaway has ended and Rafflecopter chose a winner via Random.org this morning. Congratulations to entry #14 Heidi Daily! If you did not win it, you can purchase MomSense: A Common-Sense Guide to Confident Mothering by Jean Blackmer on Amazon right now. I believe this is a book that every mom should read because it encourages moms to embrace their motherly instincts and become the best mom for their children.

If you remember my Baby’s First Halloween post, I mentioned that we are going on a vacation during my baby’s second Halloween. I didn’t do much for my baby’s first Halloween but we are having a blast this Halloween. Our family just arrived in Sevierville, Tennessee yesterday afternoon and, thanks to my husband’s parents, we will be staying here for free these next two weeks. My In-Laws own Wyndham Timeshares and had plenty of points to share for us to stay at The Great Smokies Lodge. It is absolutely beautiful  here and I will definitely update you on Wednesday. For now, I plan to enjoy my Smoky Mountain Halloween and the beginning of a wonderful, nearly free vacation. Happy Halloween and don’t forget to read my Spooktacular Halloween Fun Facts!

Puppies vs. Babies Ultimate Smackdown

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Puppies vs. Babies. All opinions are 100% mine.

cutest babyHave you heard of the Puppies vs. Babies online contest being held by Animal Planet? I think this is an awesome idea. Right now the public opinion can finally put to rest the age old battle over which is cuter- puppies or babies. My vote is for babies although the cutest baby in the world was not featured in their photo lineup. If they had a picture of my baby then there would be no competition though, it just would not be fair for those puppies. She has the cutest dance and the most adorable baby giggle, plus just look at those pinchable dimples. I think babies win hands down.




I suppose all parents probably feel this way but even if your baby is not in the competition, you can still vote for those babies that you think are the cutest. Or if you actually think puppies are cuter than babies, you can vote for the puppies. Just remember, puppies have bad breathe and babies do not. Before I had a baby, I probably would have voted for puppies, but something about motherhood makes all little children look extra cute and so precious. So, go ahead and cast your vote deciding the fate of Puppies vs. Babies along with who will eventually win the $5,000 prize.

I would love to hear your opinion, so please feel free to leave a comment talking about which is cuter puppies or babies and why you will be voting that way. Also, if you have a baby or puppy in the competition, let us know. I would love to vote for your cute photo. Hurry and vote so the question of which is cuter can be put to rest- the voting ends November 23.

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Spooktacular Halloween Fun Facts

halloween fun factsDo you know the origins of Halloween and where the traditions come from? What is the reason for all of the superstitions associated with Halloween and what do they all mean? I’ve been wondering these things for years and finally decided to do a little research to find out. I also included some fun statistics about Halloween that I stumbled across too. I hope you enjoy, and don’t forget about my book giveaway that ends on Halloween at 12:01 a.m. CST.

Halloween Origins

Halloween is derived from the ritual of Samhain (pronounced sah-ween) begun by the ancient Celts over 2,000 years ago to mark the end of the Celtic calendar year and the beginning of winter. They believed that on their New Year’s Eve (Halloween) the boundary between the living and dead was most blurred and they associated the winter season with death. The Druids, who were the leaders as well as priests in the Celtic tribes, would lead superstitious rituals that have come to be associated with Halloween even today. When Catholic missionaries tried to convert the Celts, they established All Saints Day on November 1 to counteract the pagan holiday. Although this was accepted by the Celts, it did not squelch their superstitions and the evening before was renamed All Hallow’s (Saints) Eve. Over time All Hallows Evening was slurred and shortened to become Halloween.

all hallows eve halloween facts

Bonfire – Superstitious ritual, originally called a bone fire, conducted by Druids when Celts burned sacrificial animals or foods to appease the spirits.

Halloween Costumes – During the bonfire, Celts would dress up in costumes made from animal heads and skins.As time went by, this was converted to the more traditional costumes of Halloween.

Trick-or-Treat – Trick-or-Treating began as a result of the superstitious belief that treats needed to be left out to appease the fairies and spirits that roamed the earth on Halloween. It was first called “souling” as people began to dress up as spirits and skeletons and went door to door gathering treats while saying prayers for the dead.

pumpkin carving halloween factsPumpkin Carving – Pumpkin carving was actually derived from the Irish tradition of carving turnips and potatoes for Halloween. When Irish settlers came to America they began to carve pumpkins because of the good pumpkin harvests. Irish would call them “jack-o-lanterns” because of the old Irish legend about a man named stingy Jack who was too stingy to go to heaven and tricked the devil too much to go to hell. Jack’s soul was left to roam the earth for eternity with his lantern. and people began carving vegetables to put a candle in them hoping it will ward off Jack.

Halloween Fun Facts

1.5 Billion pounds of pumpkins are grown every year.

1,810 lb. 8 oz. – heaviest pumpkin on record, presented at the Stillwater Harvest Festival in 2010.

24.7 pounds of candy is consumed per person every year in America.

25% of all candy purchased in the U.S. is solely for Halloween.

41 Million – Estimated number of trick-or-treaters (between the ages of 5-14) in 2010.

92% of households consider their neighborhood safe for trick-or-treating.

Halloween Capital of the world – Anoka, Minnesota declares itself to be the Halloween capital of the world because the city has had a week long celebration of Halloween every year since 1920 to deter pranks.

Samhainphobia is the fear of Halloween, remember that Halloween is derived from the ancient festival of Samhain.

50% of children prefer chocolate candy for Halloween.

Dia de los Muertos is the name of the Halloween celebration in Mexico, and it means Day of the Dead.

Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated in England as an alternative to Halloween due to early Protestant influence. It was the day England executed the notorious traitor, Guy Fawkes- what a way to be commemorated in history.

Harry Houdini died Halloween night in 1926 as a result of an appendicitis attack.

11.5% of Americans will dress up their pets for Halloween.

$5.8 Billion is estimated to be spent in America on Halloween every year.

Happy Halloween! If you enjoy the work I put in to my posts, then please vote for me on the left side bar. I would really appreciate it. Thanks! I hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween. If you want to learn more about Halloween or just want to check out my sources, here they are:

{sources: History.com, Library of Congress, U.S. Census Bureau, USA.gov, and RandomHistory.com}

Flashback to Baby’s First Halloween

As Halloween is quickly approaching, I have been thinking of my baby’s first Halloween last year and deciding what we will be doing this year. Unlike many of the moms I read about on the internet and those perfect family photos that pop up everywhere, I did not have a blowout celebration for my baby’s first Halloween. Our family did not really celebrate at all, unless you count the hoards of post Halloween candy that we bought on sale.

sleeping baby first halloween
Anneliese and I slept through her first Halloween.

Would I have enjoyed seeing my little bug dressed up as a Lady Bug? Of course, but I did not want to spend money on an outfit that she would wear once and that very few people would actually see. Since I was not going door to door trick-or-treating with a 2 month old baby and my family was not able to come see us, my husband and I would have been the only ones to enjoy the outfit that our baby can only wear once.

We are not big fans of the Halloween holiday anyway and would prefer to keep to ourselves doing our own thing on October 31. Growing up, I did enjoy going to harvest festivals, haunted houses, and hayrides during this time but I was not getting enough sleep to care about those things last year. So, instead of celebrating our baby’s first Halloween,we spent the day like any other day.The baby’s routine didn’t change much from eat, poop, sleep, and go for a walk. I don’t think she minded too much though, and if you ask her, she will probably give you a big smile.

smiling baby first halloween
Anneliese doesn't seem to mind skipping Halloween.

If you are stressing out over your baby’s first Halloween and running on little rest, maybe you should just take a break and not worry about it. I enjoy my memories just the way they are, and I am glad I did not splurge on an outfit my baby will only wear once. Also, not worrying about celebrating or making it memorable helped me keep my sanity. This year, for baby’s second Halloween,we will not even be in this state- so no big celebrations for us.

That’s right- we are going on an (almost) all expenses paid vacation, but I will tell you more about it as we get there. Meanwhile, I would love to hear how you celebrated your baby’s first Halloween. What did your baby wear for their first Halloween costume?

Giveaway Announcements!!!

BabyTone Fitness DVD giveaway winner

Thanks to everyone who entered in the BabyTone Fitness DVD giveaway! We now have a winner chosen by Random.org this morning- congratulations entry #2 Tania. If you did not win this time- don’t give up hope because there is one final giveaway this month that is still open for entries.By the way, the winner has been announced on the DVD Giveaway Rafflecopter form if you would like to see it.

momsense book giveawayThe book by Jean Blackmer MomSense: A Common-Sense Guide to Confident Mothering, is still up for grabs until October 31 (Halloween). Hurry and enter or you will be sorry you passed on the opportunity to win this inspiring book. It has already helped countless moms find their own MomSense and encouraged many to grow into the kind of mother that their children need. I hope to see many more entries for the giveaway of this wonderful book and that is why I included so many different additional entry options. It is extremely easy to enter and you just might be the next winner chosen via random.org, so what are you waiting for?!