Start Costume Shopping Early!

13-09-30 zombie costume 900x617

As Halloween approaches, the countdown is on. Do you know what your child will be wearing? Halloween is easily becoming one of the hardest working holidays for moms. So here are a few tips to help save time, money and tears.

Start early

The more time you have to plan ahead the better. Especially for homemade costumes, adequate preparation is a necessity. As soon as possible, start getting ideas from your children; however, remember that they are prone to changing their minds often so do not run out and buy an expensive outfit that you will not be able to return. When you do have an idea on what type of fairy, superhero or creature your child will be, start looking in thrift shops and secondhand stores for any lower priced items or accessories. With time on your side you can also call on family and friends to provide hand-me-down options. For example, a relative's old nurse’s scrubs or a friend's too-small uniform can be a great way to save money and recycle at the same time.

Encourage creativity

Zombies are definitely back in style, and any old clothes can be repurposed into a whole new undead version with a little make-up and scissors. The sky is the limit; do not feel trapped into traditional characters. Plan ahead and look for unorthodox ideas that can be made at home. Creations like these can be endearing and comical, and are usually the popular stand-outs for festive enthusiasts.

So you have decided to forgo the Halloween madness of costume shopping and are taking your child’s fate into your own hands? Where to start? Arts and crafts stores are a great way to find individual pieces that you can use to enhance an original outfit. Also with a little tailoring, and a lot of faith, a few yards of fabric can make a whimsical wizard or a baby bumble bee. When buying for multiple children, outfits like these can save money and provide a theme for the entire family. For example, the materials needed to make a farmer, animals and a scarecrow can be found in your closets and in a craft store.

Plan ahead, find your creative flair, and stay safe -- and you can take a lot of the stress out of Halloween and find yourself having a scary good time.

Finding Some Me Time

13-09-23 woman in cafe 900x600

A common struggle for most mothers is trying to find a few minutes to get away and have some alone time to escape the chaos and noise that is often a norm when raising kids. Whether spending 30 minutes soaking in a bubble bath to getting a pedicure at the local salon, there are a number of ways to feel rejuvenated once every week or two. Schedule some time in advance, so the weeks don't slip by while you're thinking "next week" there will be time.

Journal Over Coffee

One of the best ways to get a bit of R and R for the day is to slip away to a coffee shop and enjoy journaling to catch up on thoughts and dreams for the future. Not only is it extremely therapeutic, but it's a great way to discover more about yourself without feeling like your identity is consumed with motherhood.

Go For a Walk

Whether taking the dog along or going solo, taking a walk through the neighborhood will provide peace of mind and a bit of exercise. Not only will the mobility release endorphins, but it's a great way to enjoy some peace and quiet while getting fresh air.

Grab Dessert

Spending an hour or two alone doesn't need to be complicated. In fact, it oftentimes has to be simple when leaving kids at home with a sitter or a spouse. Enjoy having fun by getting a scoop of ice cream to enjoy for a guilt-free experience that doesn't involve anyone but you (no sharing!). You can read a good book or even people watch while enjoying the dessert.

See a Movie

For just two hours, a great way to escape is by catching a movie at the local theater. You can enjoy grabbing a bag of popcorn that doesn't need to be shared, while sitting wherever you want and watching a film that appeals to your preference...all without interruptions. Plan ahead by purchasing the movie ticket earlier in the week to prevent procrastination and to have something to look forward to in your hectic schedule.

Enroll in a Class

Spend time learning more about a hobby you have by taking a class at a community center for a bit of fun. It will force you to get away at least once a week while investing time in yourself with a passion that can include cooking, photography, or even creating art. Plan ahead to ensure you reserve a space before the class becomes full.