It's October again, and for teens and pre-teens in the Bay Area, that means Great America's Halloween Haunt is back! We visited Halloween Haunt for the first time last year, and we enjoyed ourselves so much that I bought Gold Season Passes (which offers unlimited Halloween Haunt admission) this year. There just isn't enough time to see all 8 haunted mazes in a single visit, so we have been looking forward to going multiple times this year so we can enjoy each and every one.
The only problem? The Pea doesn't like haunted mazes. She hates getting startled when costumed actors come out of nowhere. The Dia de los Muertos maze, which is more is more artsy than scary, was all she could handle last year.
Halloween is my favorite holiday, and part of the fun is gathering insane amounts of candy that I would never let the kids have any other time of the year. Over the years, the kids have graduated from cute little treat bags to gigantic pillowcases, and those longer legs meant greater stamina for collecting candy on Halloween night. So we've ended up with far more candy that even I would let them have. The solution? Candy crafts to the rescue! We've used candy for gingerbread houses (which no one eats), candy wreaths, and candy centerpieces like the one in the photo.
Lollipop trees make great holiday table centerpieces. They're also a great way to display the candy given out at the doctor's office or school front office! You'll need a 3- inch styrofoam ball, a 4-inch decorative flower pot, and a LOT of lollipops.
Simply stick the lollipops into the styrofoam ball, all the way around. If your styrofoam ball is dense, don't use the lollipop sticks to poke holes into the ball, because the sticks will bend. Use a metal skewer instead. You don't have to stick the lollipops all the way in; just an inch or so will do. Try not to leave any space between lollipop heads. When you've covered about three-quarters of the styrofoam ball, rest the ball on top of your flower pot.
I'm the first to admit I'm not the tidiest of people; let's just say I can tolerate a decent amount of disorganization and mess. So I surprised myself today by deciding to do something I'd normally associate with moderate OCD: I organized my spices! In my defense, my spice cupboard is set up in such a way that the best way to utilize the space inside is to store my spice bottles lying down. It's not my fault that most spice makers have neglected to add labels to the tops of the bottles!
FLONASE® compensated me in connection with statements made in this post.
Take a shower. We all take frequent showers to wash away pollen that might have settled on our hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, or skin.
Wash your clothes. Pollen can settle on clothes, so during allergy season we never wear anything, not even jeans, more than once without washing. I also launder throw pillows, blankets, bed sheets and pillowcases more often than usual to wash away any stray pollen.
Use a hepa air filter. We have hepa air filters in all of our rooms, and our vacuum cleaner has a hepa filter to keep the air in our house as allergen-free as possible.
Use allergy-resistant pillow covers and mattress covers. If you or your kids are allergic to dust mites, invest in allergen pillow covers and mattress covers, which feature tightly woven fabric so that dust mites cannot survive in the pillows or mattresses.
Use a nasal allergy spray. Before they started using a nasal allergy spray, my boys would absolutely dread playing soccer on grass. Once their doctor prescribed a nasal allergy spray, the problem went away -- but I've found that I prefer the convenience of over-the-counter sprays like FLONASE® Allergy Relief, because it is full prescription strength and I can get it at our local pharmacy, without a prescription first. It is the first and only OTC nasal spray indicated to relive both nasal congestion & itchy watery eyes. FLONASE® has really helped relieve the worst of our allergy symptoms -- the runny nose, nasal congestion, and watery, itchy eyes. While most over the counter allergy pills only act on histamine, FLONASE® helps act on 6 different inflammatory substances, not just the one.*
*Mechanism vs. most OTC allergy pills. FLONASE® acts on multiple inflammatory substances (histamine, prostaglandins, cytokines, tryptases, chemokines and leukotrienes). The exact number and precise mechanism are unknown.
My boys use the Children's FLONASE® Allergy Relief for kids ages 4+ so they can stop focusing on their allergies and start focusing on their game. And out on the sidelines, my husband, daughter and I can stop focusing on our allergies and start focusing on supporting our soccer players!
Just follow the label and remember that consistent usage is key. For adults and children 12 years of age and older, ask your doctor if you can keep using after 6 months of daily use .
For Children’s FLONASE® Allergy Relief, consistent usage is key. For children 4-11 years of age, talk to your child's doctor if your child needs to use for longer than 2 months a year.
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posted on Friday, August 12, 2016
If you want evidence of Disney's attention to detail, look no further than their theme park restroom signs. Their restroom signs are always clever and witty, and they always match the theme or decor of their surroundings. It has been a while since I've posted photos of Disney restroom signs, because I think I've posted all of the ones around the Disneyland Resort, and I haven't been to any other Disney Park in a while.
We recently visited Disneyland Paris for the first time, so I got to experience the pleasure of finding and photographing new restroom signs all over the park (much to the chagrin of my family, and to the confusion of the other park visitors!). We only had 1 day in each of DLP's 2 theme parks (Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park), and I wanted to spend most of it on rides, not on finding restrooms, so this list is by no means complete. However, I think I've got enough samples to convince me that the tradition of beautiful and clever restroom signs is alive and well at Disneyland Paris. Check out the photos below and see if you agree with me!
One of the things we enjoy most about visiting England is eating chocolate! While I do love an occasional (okay, frequent) Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey's Kiss or and M&M's, they pale in comparison to a Galaxy, Aero, or Cadbury Dairy Milk bar. British chocolates are just so much creamier and chocolaty-er than US chocolate! It's not just my imagination; the minimum percentage of cocoa content required in the US to be labeled as "chocolate" is 10%, while in the UK and Ireland the minimum percentage is 20%. While our true chocolate loyalties lie with Belgian chocolate (minimum 35% cocoa content), as far as chocolate candy bars are concerned we are diehard Cadbury fans.
However, if you live in the US, don't be fooled by the Cadbury bars you see being sold in drugstores and grocery stores. Those aren't made by the UK-based Cadbury company; they are actually manufactured by The Hershey Company in Hershey, PA! Hershey won the rights to manufacture and sell Cadbury chocolate to the US market in 1988. They import the Cadbury chocolate "base" -- a mixture of powdered cocoa, milk, and sugar known as "crumb" -- from the UK, but the end formulation is slightly different. Can you taste the difference? The answer is a resounding YES.
One of my favorite things to do at a Disney park is trade pins. They're the perfect souvenir because they're small, inexpensive, and long-lasting. They're a lot of fun to trade, even for casual traders like me. My pins would be of no interest to the serious pin trader who owns dozens of binders of rare pins worth thousands of dollars, but many Disney park cast members wear lanyards filled with pins, and they are happy to trade any pin you want with them, up to two pins per day. Most of the pins sold in the parks are sold in all parks, but there are some pins that are exclusive to each park. So when we planned our first-ever visit to Disneyland Paris, I was determined to carve out some time to browse, buy, and trade pins.
Disney has six theme parks around the world -- Florida, California, Japan, Paris, Hong Kong, and now Shanghai. Disney parks are not a "once-you've-seen-one-you've-seen-them-all" kind of thing. All parks stay true to the Disney brand, and many experiences will be the same. The Disney characters are the same, many of the rides are the same, even whole areas are the same. In all parks, you'll enjoy immaculate surroundings, friendly cast members, an immersive experience, and attention to detail. But each park has quite a few things unique to the park, and to the culture of the host country, so each park will give visitors a unique experience. That's why I want to visit all the Disney Parks around the world before I die!
Every Harry Potter fan longs to attend Hogwarts, the most magical school in the world. But before you can board the Hogwarts Express, you have to get on to Platform 9 3/4. Do you have what it takes to cross the magical barrier and enter the wizarding world? We visited Platform 9 3/4 to find out! Platform 9 3/4 is located at King's Cross Station in London. King's Cross is both a railway station and a London Underground (Tube) stop, so if you are taking the Tube to King's Cross, you will have to exit the Tube to get to the railway station portion.
Whether you live in Marlborough, UK or Menlo Park, CA, summer is the season for garage sales. The only difference between the garage sales in the US and the ones in England is that the sun doesn't shine on the ones in England, and they're called car boot sales. Instead of holding the sales on their front yards, people pack their stuff up in a car and gather at a common ground.