Halloween Party Ideas

The picture from Pinterest

Are you having a Halloween party this year?  If so, you might need some of the following:

•    Spooky decorations, interior and exterior!  Look on Pinterest for great ideas.  I made this snake wreath last year.  (The challenge was getting the paint to stick to the snakes!)
•    A costume for yourself and your family members
•    Candy for trick-or-treaters.  I prepare 50 treat bags for my neighborhood.  This year they are getting 3 mini Mars candy bars, 6 pieces of gum, 3 Laffy Taffys and 2 Charms Blow Pops.  Yes, I bought my candy from Sam’s because Halloween candy is stupid expensive.  I will also add some toys.  Rings or pencils or glow sticks…

My wreath. Ha!

•    Some Jack-o-Lanterns.
•    Some yard decorations like fake tombstones or bats to hang from your porch.  Fake cobwebs, body parts, glowing eyes in your shrubs made with glow sticks and toilet paper tubes with eye cutouts. Hanging ghosts, Walking Dead torso and fog machine.  A whole spook house extravaganza.  It’s up to you.
•    A great punch recipe (anything red that looks like blood will work).   Eyeball ices cubes are fun.  Some scary finger foods and desserts that look like severed fingers, eyeballs, etc.
•    If you’ll have kids at this party, you may want to have some party games for them.
•    If this is mainly an adult party, you might want to look for some Halloween-themed liquor or mixed drink recipes.  Perhaps run a Nightmare on Elm Street marathon.
•    Spooky Halloween music!  Create a play list of popular songs like “The Monster Mash” or the Ghostbusters theme.

Don’t forget to do a Facebook invitation!

Late Summer Flowers

Just because we’re into late summer doesn’t mean the flowerbeds are going to start looking sparse.  On the contrary, there are a lot of really awesome and beautiful flowers that bloom between August and October.  The se late summer and early fall flowers can be just as bright and colorful as their summer counterparts.  In fact, many of them rank among the most popular flowers!  Here are a few of these gorgeous late summer blooms.  Some of them are pretty common, but some are rare or not as well-known.

•    The small white aster
•    Jimsonweed
•    Sweet Everlasting
•    The White Vervain
•    The Calico Aster
•    The Nodding Burr Marigold
•    The Evening Primrose
•    The Partridge Pea
•    The Arrow-leaved Tearthumb
•    The Morning Glory
•    The New England Aster
•    The Slender Speedwell

Happy gardening!

 

Summer Fun in St. Petersburg, FL

Are you glad the hottest part of the summer is over with?  If you’ve been hiding from the heat for the past month or so, you may be going a little stir-crazy.  Fortunately, temperatures are starting to drop a little bit, and being outdoors is no longer quite as horrible.  There’s still some summer left, even though the kids may have already gone back to school, and you can fill the remaining weekends of the season with some fun activities.

Swimming is always a popular summer activity, and the pools are still open for a few more months.  Take the kids after school or on the weekends, or skip out of work for an afternoon and go yourself.  Spraygrounds, a popular new twist on the playground, are also fun.  They incorporate water hoses, sprinklers, and sprays into the playground.

Get out and enjoy nature.  There are plenty of parks and outdoor locations in and around St. Petersburg.  Head over to the Boyd Hill Nature Park for a nice, relaxing walk, or go play games and have a picnic at Pioneer Park.  These are just two of the amazingly beautiful locations nearby.

Another great outing is to go to Tampa Bay.  The water is absolutely gorgeous!  You can rent a boat, go sailing, play on the beach, or even visit with the dolphins at the Dolphin Landings Charter Boat Center.

If you’re a sports fan, you can check out the Tampa Bay Rays major league baseball team.  They play at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.  They will be playing a number of games at home through October.

Of course, you can have a lot of summer fun in your own back yard.  Just set up your own little swimming pool, have a cookout, or play some basketball.  No matter what you do, enjoy the rest of the summer!

Fourth of July Fun

Fourth of July can be a lot of fun.  Often, the holiday is celebrated outdoors with a cookout.  While many people go outside only to watch fireworks displays or even fire off their own, there are many other things you can do outdoors on the Fourth of July for fun.

Cookouts are an Independence Day tradition for many families.  Dad would fire up the grill and cook hamburgers, hotdogs, and other food.  While many people cook outdoors, most people prefer to eat inside because of the heat and the bugs.  However, if you have a picnic table and a shady spot, you might enjoy eating outdoors.  If you don’t want to eat your whole meal outside, wait until the fireworks show begins and take some snacks out with you, such as some cool, refreshing watermelon.

Even if you don’t eat outside, you can have some outdoor fun during the afternoon or early evening.  Outdoor games can be great for the entire family.  Kids enjoy doing daytime fireworks like Black Cats and smoke bombs, too.  Even little kids can get into the fun with the small poppers that they throw on the ground and, later, sparklers.

If you don’t do fireworks yourself, many local communities put on firework shows.  If you can’t see them from your home, head out to a good spot and take your lawn chairs and coolers.  Sit back and enjoy the show!