Fall is by far my favorite season. When I see the mums appearing outside, I know it won't be long before we have the pleasantly cool weather and the changing of the leaves. With fall comes the funnest holiday... Halloween!
In the past, when fall rolled around, I'd decorate with mums and cornstalks. I would forgo the Halloween decorations. It was just T & I, after all, and we are adults now (or so I've been told).
So this September, I'm sticking with my traditional "fall" decorating. But now that we have Monkey and she's old enough to have some fun with it (I'll just keep telling that to myself), October is going to be filled with ghoulish decor!
Last week, I went to buy mums to start the process. Wal-mart has great deals. Here's my first money saving tip for decorating: Hit up Wal-mart early. For $2.50 and $4.50 for mums, the nice ones go quickly. For a total of $25, I have all the fall flowers I need to start the transformation. If you wait too long, you're going to end up with a wilted selection - or need to go elsewhere and pay more.
We have also gone to pick our pumpkins. Money saving tip #2: Find a local pick your own pumpkin patch (a good place to start your search is http://farms.2havefun.com/). Our spot is Rocky Ridge Farm in Corinth. We've been going there since we moved to our house 4 1/2 years ago. In the past, it was $1 per pumpkin, but this year they've upped the price to $1.5o per pumpkin. That is still an insanely cheap price for pumpkins! (This is not per pound - it is per pumpkin!!). For a total of $15, we now have our second phase of our fall transformation.
I'm currently planning the next phase of our transformation.. but that's for another day (and I will share pictures when I finish up).
Back to Halloween. Growing up, my Mom made our costumes (and more often than not dressed up with us). We actually still have one that she made for me out of a suit she wore while pregnant for me. It's a little Indian (Native American, to be politically correct) costume that she lovingly designed and sewed for me to wear as a toddler. It originally was a skirt but she turned it into shorts when it was my brother's turn to wear it. It then got passed on to my aunt's 2 kids and has since made its way back to bro, for C, my nephew, to hopefully wear in the next year or 2. (It won't fit Monkey until she's at least 5 because she's so darn tiny!). So this is one of those fun things I was looking forward to as a parent.
We were gifted at a baby shower, appropriately enough, a monkey costume for last year. So I dressed as a zookeeper and hauled around my little monkey to visit my sister-in-law, friends and co-workers. This year, however, I'm making Monkey's costume. After much consideration and brainstorming, I've settled on her dressing as a Bumble Bee (and, I, obviously, will dress as a Bee Keeper).
I purchased a pair of black tights for her this weekend ($4/pair - ouch - but she can wear them all winter, so I'll still get my money's worth out of them). I also found a long sleeve black t-shirt for $4 with shipping on E-bay. This is the base of her costume. Today, I am going to Wal-mart to buy some yellow fleece - and depending on cost, either black fleece or black ribbon (which ever is more cost effective) to make the stripes. I'm just missing the hat, but I remember seeing a bee antennae headband at Jo Ann Fabrics last week, so I'm going to bring my 40% coupon (sign up for their mail fliers - money saving tip #3!) and see if it's still there.
T is heading north after work tonight to take care of my in-law's firewood (my father-in-law obviously can't cut, split, haul and pile wood this year after having his surgery a week ago). My parents are in Bar Harbor for a couple days but are coming to visit Monkey and I tomorrow (and spending the night before heading back north). Little does my Dad know, I'm sending him outdoors to entertain Monkey so Mom can help me sew my first Halloween costume for my daughter. I look forward to carrying on the traditions my parents made for us as I look back on my childhood fondly.
Besides, I need to enjoy the childhood years before they turn into teenage terror years....