Halloween Decorations: Get ‘Em Before They’re Gone

Halloween will be here in just a few short weeks. There’s still plenty of time to get your orders in, receive the goods and put up your decorations in time for Halloween. Our favorite haunted holiday comes and goes too quickly. The good news is you can proudly display your scary decorations for the entire month of October if you want. Get your Halloween decorations while there’s still time! Here’s a few of our Halloween favorites.

It’s Alive!
These frightening Halloween decorations move, light up or make spooky sounds!

The scary Barking Skeleton Dog is perfect for frightening Halloween guests and trick-or-treaters. Sound and touch activated, it unleashes a devilish barking noise (and its eyes light up red) when people get too close.

The Radio Control Tarantula looks so real it might scare your friends! Move the tarantula forward, backward and side-to-side, or press the auto-movement feature to make it crawl and spin on its own. Eyes light up red.

55″ Animated Demoness springs to life to startle trick-or-treaters who dare approach your door. Hanging by shackles, the sound-activated demoness’ eyes glow red, and she shakes as she belts out scary warnings.

Wicked Witches
Go for a classic Halloween look with a classic Halloween character…

Transform your yard into a ghostly gathering spot with the Halloween Silhouettes. The solar lanterns create spooky shadows at night. The 3-Pc. Stake Set creates a scene of witches working over a steamy cauldron.

Halloween Witch’s Brooms accent your home in the spirit of the season. It features natural elements such as grapevine, burlap and raffia alongside spooky accents and a witty phrase. Easily disassembles for storage.

Enjoy the funnier side of Halloween with Sound & Motion Crashing Witch. The poor thing looks like she just crashed into a wall. Activated by sound, her legs start kicking, and she screams and says several phrases.

Perfect Pumpkins
Enjoy the lighter side of Halloween with Jack-O’-Lanterns and decorative pumpkins!

Metal Polka Dot Pumpkins add playful color for your autumn home. Metal tabs attach leaves to the pumpkin. The scrollwork stem doubles as a hanger so you can display the pumpkin from a hook for an original look.

The color-changing 14″ Lighted Stacked Pumpkins adds a cute look to your Halloween decor. Each friendly jack-o’-lantern face lights up different shades. Their carved wood look fits in nicely with rustic country decor.

Add some rustic charm to your Halloween porch with the Country Lighted Welcome Pumpkin. Perfect as a friendly greeting, the LED light inside simulates real candlelight, safely shining through the six cutout stars.

Halloween Crunch Time: Final Ideas for the Big Day

It’s Halloween crunch time! No need to freak out if you haven’t yet transformed your house into that haunted dream mansion. There’s still a little time to stock up on spooky decorations, costume accessories and more. Plan, brainstorm and get excited about the holiday with these informative Halloween articles from Lakeside.


Tips for Carving Your Halloween Pumpkin
Halloween is on its way! While you’re coming up with clever costume ideas for a big night of trick-or-treating, you can also begin decorating. Pumpkin carving is at the top of the list for most of our holiday checklists, so make sure you do it right. Here are a few pumpkin-carving tips for an easy and long-lasting jack-o-lantern.


Alternative Halloween Activities for Non-Trick-or-Treaters
Halloween is one of the most exciting holidays, but not every family celebrates the same way. Some kids aren’t the right age, neighborhood safety could be a concern, trick-or-treating might not be popular in your area. It’s smart to have alternatives up your sleeve. Consider these different ways to celebrate Halloween.


How to Create a Spooky Bedroom for Your Kids
Kids love spooky haunted houses on Halloween, but creating that eerie feeling in your home can be a lot of work with your busy schedule. If you want to give kids the horrifying Halloween experience they’ve been begging for, consider confining it to their room. Here are four ideas to create a spooky bedroom for kids.


Opportunity Knocks: Treat Yourself to a Tricked-Out Door
Transforming your porch into a Halloween haven can take a lot of time. But you don’t have to spend a lot of time or money to create awesome, kid-friendly Halloween decor. With easy-to-find supplies, free printables, and creativity, you can take advantage of the most visited aspect of your Halloween home: your front door!


Halloween Pet Safety Tips
Halloween is a frightful night! While the kids love to get spooked when they patrol for candy, there can be safety concerns, and they’re not limited to children. Even if the treats are safe for kids, they may not be for our pets. Here are six important things to watch out for to keep our pets safe during Halloween festivities.

Festivals of the Dead: Celebrations of the Dearly Departed Around the World

animated-demonWe are barreling toward Halloween, the scariest, creepiest holiday of the year. The holiday is celebrated mostly in the United States and the United Kingdom, but other countries and cultures honor the dead with unique traditions as well. Here are some of the most interesting celebrations of the dearly departed around the world.

Dia de Los Muertos Probably the closest to the day of Halloween and geographically closest to the United States is Mexico’s Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), which starts on November 1 and ends on November 2. It’s rooted in Aztec tradition going back thousands of years and has evolved alongside Mexican culture. The skull is the biggest symbol — it’s used to honor the dead. People make elaborate sugar skulls with the names of dead relatives and wear skull masks and dance to celebrate their dearly departed relatives.  Families often go on picnics at gravesites of loved ones and bring gifts to leave at their headstones. Other families create altars dedicated to departed loved ones where they place pictures and candles to honor them on Dia de los Muertos.

skull-candleYu Lan Pen In China, they celebrate Yu Lan (The Hungry Ghost Festival). It’s held on the 15th day of the 7th month of the lunar calendar — August, which is considered “Ghost Month.” Like the Aztecs, it’s about honoring those you love who have passed. During the Hungry Ghost Festival, people make special offerings of food or incense to the spirits. Some families have feasts and set a place for spirits at the table. Others release lighted boats on lakes, ponds or rivers to give spirits a guiding light for their earthly travels.

Gai Jatra In Nepal, they celebrate Gai Jatra (Festival of Cows) in August, which honors the dead as well as pays respect to the feared god of death, Yamaraj. Because the Nepalese people consider cows one of the most sacred creatures (holy cows), families who have lost loved ones in the last year, lead a cow in a big procession with the belief the cows would lead the spirits to heaven.

creepy-handsPchum Ben In Cambodia, they honor the dead on Pchum Ben (Ancestors’ Day) which falls at the end of Vassa (the sort of Buddhist Lent) — usually at the end of September/beginning of October. It is believed the tortured souls of dead loved ones return to the pagoda for relief from the brutal afterlife. That’s where Cambodians leave food as offerings — they believe the spirits will curse them if they don’t make an offering so most every Cambodian participates in the festival.

While other cultures’ takes on honoring the dead is fascinating, we love our own Halloween traditions and Lakeside has hundreds of products to keep it alive to honor the dead and the living at every holiday. Halloween, Christmas or the 4th of July, we have everything to make your holidays special.


The Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items of the Week for Halloween

The first of the season’s holidays is creeping up on us! You’re probably not thinking about Halloween costumes and decor yet, but you should be! We put together of some of our favorite Halloween products to inspire you to come up with the spookiest costumes and decor you can. Here is this week’s The Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items of the Week for Halloween.halloween-bloomers

Cute & Spooky She’ll look adorable in Ruffly Rumps Holiday Bloomers & Legwarmers. The festive set is wonderful for pictures and family parties. The bloomers fit over a diaper and give any outfit extra color. It features an elastic waist and cuffs, as well as 3 tiers of ruffles. Stretchy, coordinating legwarmers also have ruffled cuffs.skull-gloves

Subtly Scary LED Flashing Skull Gloves will make you the spooky center of attention. High-quality gloves have a cool skeleton design, complete with finger bones. Color-changing LEDs glow on each fingertip in shades of red to blue to green. At night, the black knit seems to disappear, drawing all eyes to the lights. Watch them shift colors, or pick just one. Wear them for Halloween parties, camping, performances and more.reaper-swinger

Chilling Welcome Welcome party guests or trick-or-treaters with this Light & Sound Animated Swinger. Sound-activated ghoul has eyes that light up in red as it wildly kicks its legs in a scissors-like motion. The witch says creepy phrases, while the Reaper lets out evil laughter. For use indoors or on a covered porch.pumpkin-tablecloth

Elegantly Creepy Drape your table in elegance with the sheer design of this Lace Pumpkin Tablecloth. Plump pumpkins and smiling jack-o’-lanterns are scattered all over the tablecloth in an eye-catching pattern. A scalloped border makes an attractive finishing touch.metal-lanterns

Eerily Eclectic Create a glowing ambiance with this Set of 2 Metal Lanterns. Their sturdy construction allows you to leave them out all season long. At dusk, place your favorite tea lights in each lantern and watch the light shine through the cutout designs. Place on your front steps, porch or even hang by the attached handle and light up the way for your visitors.

5 Halloween Myths and Folklore Explained

girl-in-witch-costumeHalloween is the spookiest of holidays with a lot of folklore surrounding it. Your kids get dressed up every year as all sorts of creepy creatures without a reasonable explanation. Here are 5 Halloween myths and folklore explained.

All Hallows Eve The word “Halloween” is the short form of the phrase “All Hallows Eve.” “All Hallows” and All Saints Day along with All Souls Day which are Christian holidays set aside to pray for the souls of the deceased to reach Heaven. All Hallows Eve coincides with the Gaelic festival “Samhain” which celebrates the end of summer and the beginning of winter. Samhain is considered a time when there is overlap between the world of the living and the world of the dead — and where we get a lot of our Halloween traditions.


Ghosts, Ghouls & Goblins As the idea of the world between the living and dead is bridged on Halloween, according to Samhain tradition, on that day there were fears about running into “lost souls.” To avoid wrath of the evil, misdirected souls, people would dress up as ghosts hoping to blend in with the spirits. Ghosts came in many forms: 1) Goblins were demons who looked for trouble and caused harm to humans (gnomes and gremlins fall into the category of goblin). 2) Ghouls were also demons who set out to harm humans, but they also preyed on the dead and were thought to be grave robbers.

jack-o-lanternJack-O-lanterns Jack-o-lanterns have a sinister story behind them brought to you by the Irish. According to Irish folklore, Jack was a farmer known as Stingy Jack. He was a cheat and could trick just about anyone — including the Devil. As the legend goes, Stingy Jack managed to trick the Devil into making several promises, but the last one came back to haunt Stingy Jack. He convinced the Devil to climb a tree to grab a piece of fruit, but before the Devil could come down, Jack carved crosses into the trunk making it impossible for the Devil to get out of the tree. In exchange for freedom from the tree, Jack made the Devil promise not to take his soul when he died. When Jack died, the Devil kept his promise, but God wouldn’t let him into Heaven either. With the last laugh, the Devil tossed him an ember and, from a turnip he had in his pocket, Jack carved a lantern to carry the ember as he wandered Purgatory for eternity. Jack was then re-named “Jack of the Lantern” which was shortened by the Irish to “Jack O’Lantern.” According to folklore, people would hollow out turnips — and later pumpkins — to make lanterns and put them on their porches to guide lost souls home on Halloween.

creapy-candlesVampires, Mummies and Frankenstein The association of vampires, mummies and Frankenstein with Halloween may have something to do with literature and Hollywood and the fascination with bringing the dead back to life. But whether we’re dressing up as a vampire or decorating with mummies, we run with the idea!

Mummification is the process of preserving a body after death. Though mummies can be found all over the world, ancient Egypt is what comes to mind when we think of mummies. When people died in Egypt, part of mummification was wrapping the bodies in linen cloth — which is how we imagine mummies today. The idea of bringing mummies back to life is a relatively new idea. It allegedly first appeared in the 1800s book by Jane Loudon Webb called “The Mummy.” It was about a mummy who comes back to life seeking revenge. From there, many stories and movies were hatched about reanimating mummies. Bram Stoker’s 19th century novel “Dracula” put a story to the fabled vampires that have been lurking in Eastern European folk tales for centuries. Mary Shelley’s 1818 book did the same for Frankenstein. There is no direct connection between these mythical creatures and Halloween except they are all caught in that overlap of the mortal and spiritual worlds.

witchWitches & Broomsticks Samhain is considered to be the most important holiday for witches. It marks the third and last harvest before the darker half of the year begins. As a symbol for Halloween, a witch is seldom seen without her broomstick. There are a few theories behind the witch and her broomstick: One explanation was the broomstick had purpose, but it wasn’t for flying around — they were used to bless crops. Witches would jump up and down with the brooms in the fields and it was thought that the higher you jump, the taller the crops would grow. One other explanation for the broomsticks is hallucinogens. In “Murder, Magic, and Medicine” John Mann says witches were known for concocting brews of tropane alkaloids which give the sensation of flying and the connection was made to broomsticks. Whether broomsticks were used to help crops grow or flying was part of hallucinogenic experience in centuries past, today a witch without a broomstick on Halloween is just an ugly old lady.

Celebrating Halloween doesn’t have quite the same meaning today as it did when the festival started. But even as a modern holiday, there are traditions from the days of yore we will never let go of — however spooky their histories are. Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Halloween Pet Safety Tips

halloween-dog-collarHalloween is a night everyone gets dressed up and hits the streets for candy! We love to take our pets with us, but there are some Halloween pet safety tips to think about before we start putting up Halloween decorations or bring out the candy for trick-or-treaters.

halloween-dog-costumeCute Costumes We can’t resist dogs and cats in costumes! But our pets might not be as keen on costumes as we are. When you have the costume picked out and ready to go, let your pet do a test run. Make sure there are no little pieces they want to chew off to become a choking hazard. Check that  they can see, hear, move comfortably, and they’re not irritated by the costume. It can cause a lot of stress for our furry friends and we want them to be as happy as possible. If they don’t like the full costume, a bow or fancy collar may please both pet and owner.

Ghoulish Goodies

Get special dog treats for Halloween to steer them away from Halloween candy! Children’s candy can be a toxic temptation for pets. Dogs love chocolate, but chocolate does not love them. It contains theobromine which is toxic to pets. The darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains. A few bites of milk chocolate which contains the least amount can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Baking chocolate contains the most — even the smallest amount can kill a dog.

Sugar-free candy can also be hazardous for your pets. The artificial sweetener xylitol is toxic for dogs. It can cause a dramatic drop in blood sugar leading to tremors, seizures and sometimes death. It’s found in human treats like gum and mints. halloween-dog-treats


On Halloween night, only take dogs with you if they are crowd-friendly. While they might be OK going out on their morning walks, Halloween brings out a lot more people — who don’t necessarily look like people. You don’t want them to get stressed out; they may not react the way they normally do even in a familiar neighborhood.

For those pets staying at home, all the people coming to the door and all of the opening and closing may cause alarm to your pets. To be kind to your dog and the kids in costumes, block off the entryway so they don’t get too excited or get out.

If your pet is an indoor-outdoor pet, keep them indoors on Halloween for the same reason you shouldn’t take them trick-or-treating; the unfamiliar costumes and number of people out and about may stress them out. Additionally, though there are myths surrounding black cats being the victims of pranksters around Halloween, the bigger concern is that they can’t be seen in the dark and get hit by cars. As an extra precaution on Halloween, make sure all pets have an ID tag in case they do get loose in the chaos of the holiday.

pumpkin-headDevilish Decorations

You know your pets and you know what they like to chew on, rub up against or bat. When you’re putting up Halloween decor, look out for little things that can be easily chewed off and swallowed. If you have a cat, think about what they like to climb and if your Halloween decor might be a temptation.

Be careful with jack-o-lanterns. Pumpkin in small amounts can be good for dogs’ digestion, if they eat too much, it will upset their stomachs. It’s also high in vitamin A which can be toxic if a dog consumes too much.

Use LED lights instead of candles. Cats and dogs don’t know the power of their tails and they can knock over candles or jack-o-lanterns lit by tea lights causing a fire. LED lights also eliminates the risk of a curious kitten getting burned.

We ramp up safety precautions for our kids on Halloween, but pets are part of the family, too; it only makes sense for us to take care of their Halloween needs as well.

Fun Facts About Candy Corn

Candy CornLove it or hate it, Halloween would not be quite the same without candy corn. It’s been around as long as we can remember — but the confection we’re so used to seeing this time of year just becomes part of the Halloween decorations. But it has a few interesting details you may not be familiar with. Here are some fun facts about candy corn — the fall candy Americans fell in love with more than a century ago.

Chicken Feed Little has changed about candy corn since it was first manufactured in the 1880s except for the name. Candy corn was originally called “Chicken Feed” and the packaging featured a rooster as part of the logo. It originally had a very strong following among farmers.

Wedding Cake One of the ingredients that gives candy corn it’s unusual hard-yet-soft texture is fondant. Fondant is sugar and water heated together just long enough for it to be moldable. Fondant is used as icing on elaborate wedding cakes because you can sculpt it and make beautiful, ornamental cakes you can’t make with regular icing.

Candy CornSpecial Recipe Though Brach’s wasn’t the company to introduce candy corn to America, they’ve been making it for a long time with their own recipe – and that recipe includes honey. Most other candy corn is made with plain corn syrup.

Not for Vegans Even if you opt for the makers who don’t use honey (honey is not a vegan product), it still wouldn’t be a vegan treat because one of the ingredients in candy corn is marshmallow which contains gelatin. Gelatin is made from animal protein. More specifically, gelatin is made from collagen which comes from bones and joints of animals. It’s an ingredient in many of the things we eat but it’s a no-no for a vegan diet.

Shellac Shine Candy corn allegedly contains shellac – it’s what makes fingernail polish shiny. Shellac is a resin secreted from a lac bug found in India and Thailand. It’s used in all sorts of products and candies to give them a sheen – but it’s another reason candy corn isn’t considered vegan.

candy pumpkinPurple Corn You’re probably familiar with the slight variations in shapes and colors — pumpkins for Halloween or bunnies for Easter — but in eastern Canada, they produce a purple candy corn. The flavor is blackberry cobbler.

Of course, if you really love candy corn, you don’t have to wait until October every year to have it – you can eat it year-round if you make it. The Food Network’s Alton Brown has his own recipe for the fall favorite. Otherwise, there is plenty of candy corn coming at you in the next few weeks!


Pinteresting Picks for September

Fall is a great time for home-improvement projects and crafts. Our Pinterest followers are in a mood for decorating and DIY. Many already are casting their eyes toward Halloween. The Lakeside Collection has a huge selection of eerie decor for the indoors and outside to make your home boo-tiful for trick-or-treaters. Here are our Pinteresting Picks for September.

Trade your real candles for this Set of 6 LED Candles for the safety of your children or pets.

Trade your real candles for this Set of 6 LED Candles for the safety of your children or pets.

Sculpted Pumpkin Planters are handpainted to look like real pumpkins!

Sculpted Pumpkin Planters are handpainted to look like real pumpkins!


Make yours the scariest house on the block for Halloween night with these Lighted Ghosts Yard Stakes.

Make yours the scariest house on the block for Halloween night with these Lighted Ghosts Yard Stakes.

Handprint Ornament Kit gives your Christmas tree a personalized touch from your kids.

Handprint Ornament Kit gives your Christmas tree a personalized touch from your kids.


Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items of the Week

As the weather gracefully transforms the world to autumn, it is time to start making the indoors cozy for the coming winter. Pile your bed high with new, soft bedding, and don’t forget to decorate for Halloween and the harvest season. Add a sparkling layer to your favorite outfit for extra style. Here is The Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items of the Week.

Dress your dining room for your Halloween celebration with this spooky 5-Pc. Spiderweb Lace Table Set.

Dress your dining room for your Halloween celebration with this spooky 5-Pc. Spiderweb Lace Table Set.

Camo Fleece Sheet Sets make it a lot easier to hide in bed all day.

Camo Fleece Sheet Sets make it a lot easier to hide in bed all day.

Add a little bling to your wardrobe with a Plus-Size Sparkle Cardigan.

Add a little bling to your wardrobe with a Plus-Size Sparkle Cardigan.

You'll want to stay in bed forever, once you experience the astonishing softness of this Plush Microfleece Sheet Set!

You’ll want to stay in bed forever, once you experience the astonishing softness of this Plush Microfleece Sheet Set!

The High Back Sherpa Comfort Pillow lets you relax in softness and comfort while reading a book, watching TV and more.

The High Back Sherpa Comfort Pillow lets you relax in softness and comfort while reading a book, watching TV and more.


5 Halloween Treat Recipes

Meringue-GhostsHalloween treats and candy are practically synonymous, but not all treats have to come from the store. With these fun, simple Halloween recipes, you can create homemade treats for your friends, family and co-workers.

Factory-wrapped candy is fine for trick-or-treaters, but for your Halloween party, make something memorable with something special from your kitchen.

Sweet and Salty Popcorn Treats
Skip the candy corn and go straight for the real corn with this Halloween treat rich with candy bits, nuts, marshmallows and popcorn.

You will need:
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups popped popcorn
  • 6 cups mini marshmallows
  • 3 cookies, crumbled
  • ½ cup chocolate chips or candy-coated chocolates
  • ½ cup crushed pretzels
  • chopped nuts (optional)

Melt the marshmallows with the butter until the mixture is creamy and mix it with the popcorn in a sprayed mixing bowl until the popcorn is completely coated. Add the cookie bits, chocolate chips or candies, crushed pretzels, nuts or other chopped or bite-sized treats you like. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray and form the popcorn and candy mixture into balls about two and a half to three inches wide. Let the mixture cool and serve as a snack or party treat.

pumpkin-dishesPumpkin Fudge
Pumpkin treats are always right for Halloween, and this pumpkin fudge combines two sensational flavors in one sweet dish.

  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 7 ounces jarred marshmallow creme
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bring the evaporated milk and sugar to a boil over medium heat, then mix in the pumpkin puree and return the mixture to a boil. Add the marshmallow fluff and butter. Let the mixture cook for 18 minutes, stirring frequently to keep it from sticking. Remove it from the heat and add the spices, chips and vanilla. Stir until the mixture’s smooth and creamy, then pour it into a sprayed or lined baking pan to harden. Refrigerate and cut into squares or use Halloween cookie cutters to make seasonal shapes.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
After carving your jack-o’-lantern, don’t just toss those seeds; save them for one of the tastiest Halloween treats!

Clean seeds thoroughly and boil them for 10 minutes in salted water. This step makes the outer layer crispy during roasting. Drain and dry the seeds, then spread them on a baking sheet and toss them with just enough vegetable oil to coat them lightly. Sprinkle them with salt and any seasoning mixture you like. Roast them in the oven at 325 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes, checking frequently to make sure they don’t get too toasty. The soft inner part cooks more quickly than the crisp outer layer, so break open a few and check during the last minutes of roasting.

Meringue Ghosts
Not every Halloween treat has to be heavy. Light, fluffy meringue cookies are low in calories and contain no fat.

  • 6 egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

ghostBeat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until they’re foamy. Blend in the sugar gradually as you continue to beat the egg white mixture until it forms stiff peaks. Add the vanilla and scoop the mixture into a pastry bag or a plastic bag with one corner snipped off. Pipe ghostly meringue shapes onto a cookie sheet and bake at 200 degrees for two hours. Meringue is delicate, so turn the oven off and let them sit in the cooling oven for another four hours to dry and set. You can also add detail to the ghosts’ faces with food coloring or mini chocolate chips.

Microwave Pralines
Pumpkins aren’t the only seasonal delight that belongs on your Halloween table. Fall is prime pecan season, and these classic New Orleans style pralines make the most of them.

  • 16 ounces light brown sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups toasted pecans

Mix the brown sugar, cream and corn syrup in a microwave-safe mixing bowl and microwave it on high for 12 to 13 minutes, checking toward the end of cooking time to see that the sugar has dissolved. Add the butter and stir the mixture constantly until it starts to turn thick and creamy, then incorporate the pecans as you continue to stir. Drop the pralines onto a parchment-covered cookie sheet or baking pan and allow to cool.

These Halloween treats are sure to please a crowd at your party or event! Have some favorites of your own? We’d love to hear about them!

 Image Credit: butterfloureggs.com