4 Tips to Keep Your Children Safe This Halloween

Guest post by Charlotte from Home Safety Hub.org.  Thank you for these safety tips.

4 Tips to Keep Your Children Safe This Halloween

blog-pic-safe-halloween-10-16Photo by Antranius via Pixabay

When many people think about Halloween safety for children, they think about horrible things that bad people can do. Not a year goes by when we don’t hear tales of razor blades in candy or apples, poison, or other tampering. This year, in case you haven’t seen the news reports from around the country, there seems to be a rash of creepy clown sightings leading up to the holiday (some of which have actually posed legitimate threats), so parents and grandparents should definitely be paying special attention to the safety of their kids as they set out to trick-or-treat.

The obvious tip is to simply accompany them on their quest for candy and keep an eye on them as they go door-to-door. In actuality, it’s more likely that some type of accident will spoil your halloween than people with ill intent, so our four safety tips start there.

     1. Make Sure Your Kids Are Visible

Depending on where you live, there’s a good chance your kids will be trick-or-treating in the dark. Typically, the event begins when there’s still daylight, but this time of year, the sun is starting to go down earlier. Beware of the dark and the dangers that come with it.

The biggest danger is traffic. While drivers should be on high alert during trick-or-treat time, they may not always see kids in darkly colored costumes, especially if they’re distracted or have come from a party where alcohol was served. Make sure your kids are wearing bright colors or have something that glows or reflects on them. This could be as simple as carrying glow sticks along with their trick-or-treat bag.

     2. Make Sure the World is Visible to Them!

Just as others may have a hard time seeing your children in the dark, your children may have problems seeing as well if you don’t take precautions. Make sure their vision isn’t impaired by a mask. It’s also not a bad idea to have them carry a flashlight in case they have trouble seeing where they’re walking. They may be walking through yards and on walkways that have steps or other obstacles they could trip over. You’ll also want to make sure their costume doesn’t have pieces that can be tripped over.

     3. Make Sure They Understand Not to Go Into People’s Homes

You would advise your kids not to go into strangers’ homes any other time of the year, but the very event of trick-or-treating seems to directly contradict the old “don’t take candy from strangers” adage, and could send your child mixed messages. Some people believe it’s best to simply limit trick-or-treating to people you actually know, and that’s certainly the safest bet. In reality, many kids are going to be going all over the neighborhood trying to get their bags filled up. Chances are, you don’t know every person in every house. As I said earlier, it’s best to accompany them and keep an eye on them, but you should still make sure they understand that they should not go into anyone’s home without your permission.

     4. Make Sure Treats are Safe

Speaking of that whole “taking candy from strangers thing,” no Halloween safety list would be complete without the reminder that you must make sure the treats your children received are safe. They’ll be eager to dig in, but you need to take a few minutes to inspect candy wrappers to make sure they haven’t been tampered with. If you were given unpackaged treats, just put them right in the trash (assuming they didn’t come from someone you know personally). Your kids might take issue with this, but just explain to them why you’re doing it and that you have their best interest in mind. Besides, most kids are much more interested in candy bars than baked goods.

Those stories we hear each year about candy tampering are usually exposed as hoaxes. This stuff really doesn’t happen as often as one might assume. However, it only takes one bad experience to cause a serious problem. Choose safety!

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

How to Be an Encourager

I think we all like to be around an encouraging person. They uplift us and motivate us. They help keep us focused on our goals or priorities in life. We need those types of people in our lives.

If you read my last post and notice the date, you’ll see that it’s been four months since then.  I truly meant to post and have an updated look.  A friend of mine, who is an encourager, noticed that I’m not posting anything on my blog and is motivating me to write.  He has mentioned it two or three times, and I know Ryan will continue to do so in a caring and uplifting way.

How does he encourage me?  How can we be encouragers?  These are some ways we can  uplift and be a blessing to others:

  • Take the time to do it.  In this busy world, most people are in a time crunch. Just say something uplifting in conversation, in an email or text message, or add it to their “to do list” and surprise them.
  • Show genuine care and concern.
  • Do it more than once.  Follow up on your encouragement and see how things are going.

So what about my new theme?  It hasn’t happened yet.  Not yet anyway.  My daughter and son are going to help me whenever we can all find the time to get together and work on it.  But I’m not going to wait on the theme update anymore.  The content is what’s more important…and having an encouraging friend to keep me accountable on my goal to blog again.

Healthy Home Blog’s New Look

Hi! I haven’t posted in a long time and hardly anything since September 2013.  Sometimes our lives are turned completely upside down and our hearts are completely broken.  But after the healing, we can look back with hearts full of sweet memories and get on with our life.

Just want you to know that I’m back again and Healthy Home Blog will hopefully have a new look this month.  My blog is about home, happiness in life, and healthy habits for body, mind, and spirit.  I’d love to share my experiences with you in this journey we’re all making together.  I’d love for you to share your experiences with me, too.

I would be honored if you would subscribe to my blog so we can share the journey!  The Subscribe box is on my home page.  Also, check out my updated About page.  Thanks!

Hope you have a day that is blessed with sweet memories in the making.

Memories

Potpourri can be made from fresh flowers and can be especially meaningful if the flowers were from something that touched your heart.  Just let the flowers dry for several days and then place in a pretty bowl, maybe a crystal bowl.  If you have a bowl that you really like, maybe one that was your mother’s or your grandmother’s, then that is perfect for displaying your potpourri in a doubly meaningful way.

The dried flowers pictured below are special to me, given to us when I lost my husband.  The bowl is special, too, given to me by my son-in-law’s mother on my 50th birthday.  So when I look at this, I remember my husband.  I remember my surprise 50th birthday party which was such a happy time, and the flowers remind me of all the love and support that was shown to me when I lost my husband.  Lots of sweet memories!

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Mediterranean Cuisine

Have you been to a Mediterranean Restaurant?  I went with two teacher friends this past week, and one friend and I had no idea what to order.   I don’t know much about Mediterranean foods except for the fact that it’s very healthy and that hummus and olive oil are a part of it, but our other friend knew what’s really good.  We ended up ordering soup & salad:  Fatoush Salad & Fasoolia Bean Soup, and they were sooo good!

We also shared a large appetizer tray which had things like hummus (which I’ve already had many times), and baba ganoush, falafel, feta cheese with olive oil, and a couple of dips.  We had a lot of fun trying everything, and I don’t think there was anything we didn’t like.  I give it a thumbs up! I must admit I brought home one of their paper menus so I could tell people what I had eaten.  Otherwise, I would’ve just said, “Mediterranean food.”  Now, I want to research how to incorporate more of this healthy diet into our meal plan.

Movie Review: Gimme Shelter

We went to see Gimme Shelter last night, and my friends and I really, really liked it! Well, maybe they just really liked it but I really, really liked it.  It’s a story that can’t help but touch your heart about a 16 year old girl who finds herself expecting a baby, has an abusive mother, and decides to run away from home.  She finds shelter in a home for young girls who are expecting babies.  I won’t give any more details for those of you who plan to see the movie, but it’s a story of healing and reconciliation.  If you like that type of movie then I highly recommend it.  It’s a good family movie for families with older teens.

Pumpkin Custard

This is delicious served warm on a cold, winter’s day!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 or 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup sugar (I use 1/4 cup sugar & Stevia equivalent for nearly 1/2 cup sugar – 7 KAL spoonfuls)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix ingredients together.  Pour in a greased baking dish.  Bake in a preheated oven at 450 degrees for 20 minutes and then at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  Let cool for 10-20 minutes and then eat while warm.

Good served with frozen vanilla yogurt or whipped cream.

Crock Pot Boneless Turkey Breast

Here’s an easy recipe that’s great when you’re short on time.  Cooking the turkey breast in the crock pot makes it so moist and tender, and I think maybe it’s the best we’ve ever had. And the great thing is that it’s so easy.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3-pound boneless turkey breast
  • Can of chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (or minced garlic)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of minced onion flakes (or onion slices)
  • Optional:  your favorite herbs can be added such as fresh rosemary in place of the garlic

In the sink or a large dish, cut the plastic bag off the turkey breast with kitchen shears and also cut off the netting.   There will be a lot of juices in the bag that will make a mess, so be sure to have something to catch the juices.  Then place the turkey with the above ingredients in the crock pot.   Cook on high for 2 hours and then on low for 6-8 hours.

Getting Ready for the Holidays

There’s a saying that the best motivator for cleaning one’s house is having company.  I think that’s true for most people, especially me!  Some people are probably hire a house cleaner to come in during this time of year to clean their house when maybe they do it themselves the rest of the year.  There’s so much to do during the holidays that it really helps relieve some of the stress to have extra help.  I believe it’s worth the extra cost to have more time to enjoy being with family and friends!

How many of our traditions during the holidays are meaningful to the majority of the family?  I remember reading about a mom who worked hard to make this certain complicated dessert for Christmas dinner.  She had read an article about taking family polls about traditions so she did that with her family.  It turns out no one in her family cared whether she made that dessert or not.  It had been a tradition that had served its purpose in the past, but now could be replaced by having more quality time with the family.

Zoo or Tropical Forest?

If you answered “zoo,” you’re correct. The Fort Worth Zoo is a beautiful place to visit.  Definitely worth coming to if you’re anywhere in the area.  It has won awards and is included in the top museums of the U.S., depending on which list you’re reading.

Most people have their favorite animals they enjoy watching.  At this zoo, the giraffes, zebras, lions and elephants are amazing to me.  What awesome creatures!  But they are not the only ones I enjoy.  Just about every exhibit is interesting and fascinating.

I do have one word of warning!  If you go in the wire-enclosed area where birds fly around and above you, beware!  I went with my family, and my grand kids were enjoying looking around, that is until one of them pooped down the back of my grandson’s head and neck.  He was terrified and it really was so gross.  It wasn’t just a little bit of poop.  It was massive!  Needless to say, Mom and Dad cleaned him up and had to throw away his shirt.  The gift shop saved the day by selling T-shirts and then everything was OK.

Now, I must add for those of you that answered, “Rain Forest,” that the Fort Worth Zoo does have a rain forest in their atrium area.  And I forget to mention that the atrium is another one of my favorite things about this zoo.  So if you’re thinking about visiting, I don’t believe you’ll be disappointed.  I’ve never known anyone who was.

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