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Monthly Archives: October 2014

  • Costume Party Etiquette

    If you have just been invited to a costume party, be it for Halloween or a special themed event, there are some rules of etiquette that one must follow to ensure that everyone has a good time while attending the party. Donning a costume and a mask doesn’t give you the go ahead to make a fool of yourself or act any differently than you would without the costume on so following some rules can ensure that you don’t overstep your bounds and do something very foolish that you might regret later on.

    Costume Party Etiquette Costume Party Etiquette

    The Costume

    If you receive an invitation to a costume party, you must wear a costume. There is nothing else to it, wear a costume or decline the invitation. It is considered very rude to show up out of costume and say that you just didn’t feel like wearing one or you didn’t have time. If the invitation was sent out early enough, you had time.

    A costume doesn’t have to be overly elaborate and they don’t have to cost a lot of money. Just be sure it is tasteful and appropriate for the crowd. If there will be children attending the party, you would obviously not want to dress like a “lady of ill repute” or a gory zombie-slasher that could cause nightmares for both the young and old.

    Being respectful of others with your costume is very important and that should dictate which costume you choose. A good rule of thumb is to avoid anything that might make you appear insensitive to race, sex, religion or politics.

    The Hostess Gift

    Any time you visit someone’s home, you should bring a gift, especially if it’s a party. When you arrive, hand the gift directly to the host or hostess and don’t expect it to be used at the party. Sometimes a gift of a bottle of wine or specialty chocolates is appropriate and should be intended for the hostess only, not the guests.

    Thank You Note

    Be sure to send a Thank You note the next day and let the hostess know that you truly appreciated the party and how welcomed you felt. If you had a good time, be sure to say so; if not; keep that to yourself and tell them it was nice anyway.

    Being well mannered and cordial during a costume party is a sure way to get invited back for another or any other special events the host or hostess holds. In short, treat their home as you would your own and treat everyone at the party as you would if you met them at the office.

  • Pet Safety This Halloween

    Pet Safety This Halloween Pet Safety This Halloween

    Halloween is almost here and we are sure that, by now, you already have your costumes picked out, the party decorations picked up and bags upon bags of candy waiting for eager trick-or-treaters. You’ve remembered everything, but what about your pets? If you have a dog or a cat and you want them to have a safe and enjoyable Halloween, here are some tips that will come in handy this season.

    Whether you dress your pet up for Halloween, keep them in their kennel or let them out in the yard, the holiday can be a very stressful time for them. Some pets might not like the idea of wearing a costume even thought their owners think it’s cute. Many cats that run the neighborhood risk injury from vicious people who think hurting animals is fun. And the thought of your dog biting a trick-or-treater in an especially scary costume is something none of us want to think about.

    Rather than exposing your pets to the festivities, follow these tips to keep them happy, healthy and safe this year.

      • No Candy: Pets cannot have candy, it is not safe for them and, in some case, could be lethal. No matter how much your pet begs for that candy bar, don’t give in, it will only lead to problems later on.

      • Pick Up Candy Wrappers: Just as dogs and cats cannot have candy, they cannot have the wrappers either. Being natural scavengers, dogs will sniff out that last piece of chocolate residue on the wrapper and eat it. This wrapper could get caught in their digestive tract causing illness or death. To counter this and the No Candy rule, keep candy and candy wrappers away from pets and maybe have some extra pet treats around for them instead.

      • Keep Large Dogs Away From Open Flames: Candles, jack-o-lanterns and large dogs with wagging tails is a recipe for disaster. A knocked over candle could start a fire that can get out of control in a hurry. Keep pets away from open flames or opt for the new flameless LED candles instead.

    • Use the Kennel: If you are hosting a Halloween party at your home, it is best to put your pets in their kennels so they, and your guests, will have a better evening. The noise, lighting and bustling crowd of people can stress your pet and cause them to do things they wouldn’t normally do. To avoid any problems, kennel your pets, give them plenty of food and water and have an Halloween that everyone can enjoy.

  • The Science of Scare - Why We Like Being Scared on Halloween

    Halloween Party Halloween Party

    Why do we like being scared on Halloween? For many of us, it’s a thrill that gets our heart racing and the hair on the back of our neck standing up. Still, others seem to like the challenge of seeing just how much fear and anxiety their bodies can handle. Whatever the reason, the physical and psychological responses are the same for everyone; intense breathing, increased heart rate, sweating and a deep sense of fear that release certain hormones inside us that can stimulate our fight or flight responses.

    The very instant that we feel threatened and fear starts to take over us. Our bodies release hormones that trick our brain into making us believe that we are much stronger than we are, much more powerful physically and more intuitive emotionally. This adrenaline rush has been hard wired into humans making us almost drawn to this feeling.

    Psychologically, we have always had a certain appeal for the forbidden or bizarre things in our world. For most of us, we can watch these things unfold on the big screen from the safety of our living room and never have to delve any deeper than Hollywood let us. There are even those of us who identify with the villains in movies and on some dark, hidden level, we are cheering them on and hoping they don’t get caught just yet.

    It’s this emotional connection to the dark side of human nature that causes us to relish in the thrill of anything scary or twisted. Scary movies, and even scary stories, allow us to release strong emotions that most of us have no other way to release. This is especially therapeutic as it keeps us from keeping these dark feelings trapped inside us until one day we end up releasing them in a not so friendly way. Allowing ourselves to act out these emotions through the eyes of a movie villain is much safer for us and everyone around us as well.

    So just as one person’s horror is another’s ecstasy, we all like different things and different ways of being scared. And although that is very true, we all react to it the same way because of our human nature and way we are made up both physically and mentally. Personal pleasure can vary widely, so whether you are about to face your fears by doing something terrifying at Halloween or by watching a scary movie, either one can feel gratifying and rewarding at the same time.

  • Halloween Costume Safety for Children

    Halloween Costume by Character Fancy Dress Halloween Costume by Character Fancy Dress

    With Halloween coming soon, the time to think about ghosts and goblins, ghouls and pirates is upon us. With the large selection of Halloween costume available, it can be difficult to choose one that your children like. It has to be their favorite character and it has to be “just so”, or they won’t enjoy wearing it. Choosing a safe costume is as important as choosing just the right one, so we have created a list of things to look for to ensure your children have a safe and fun Halloween.

      • 1. Find a Good Fit. You want to be sure to find a costume that fits them well; not too tight and not too loose. Your children will be running around, going door to door and playing with others, you want to make sure they are comfortable and help them avoid and falls or accidents from an ill-fitting costume.


      • 2. Look for Flame Resistant Material. Halloween costume often brings with it candles, bonfires and jack-o-lanterns. These can pose some fire hazards for children who aren’t watching out for them. Choosing a flame resistant costume will ensure their safety if they do come in contact with flammable objects.


      • 3. Nothing Around the Neck. Making sure your child’s neck area is clear of any restrictions is important. Be sure to look for any cords or sashes that could become a strangulation hazard.


      • 4. Choose Masks Carefully. When choosing a mask for your child’s Halloween costume, you want to make sure that the mask doesn’t obstruct their vision as this could be very hazardous, especially at night time. Go ahead and try it on yourself to make sure you can see clearly and your airways aren’t obstructed.


      • 5. Make Sure They Can be Seen. If your child’s Halloween costume doesn’t include and reflective material, feel free to sew on a strip or two to the back as well as the front. This will help them become more visible to drivers late at night and help provide them with an extra level of safety when crossing the street.


    • 6. Finally, Choose Accessories Carefully. This is important as many of today’s more popular Halloween costume come with a wide range of accessories available for them. Look for any sharp edges on wands, swords, knives and staffs as these could be harmful to your child or another if used improperly.


    Watching out for these potential hazards will ensure that your children have a safe and enjoyable Halloween. Happy Trick-or-Treating!

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