Friday Funday: Free Christmas Tree Skirt Patterns

“Tree Skirt 2” Free Pattern designed by Robert Kaufmann Fabrics

“Tree Skirt” Free Pattern designed by Robert Kaufmann Fabrics

“Tree Skirt Pattern” Free Pattern designed by Robert Kaufmann Fabrics

“Patchwork Christmas Tree Skirt” Free Pattern designed by Leisel Payzant from Brown Paper Packages

“A Spiral Christmas Tree Skirt” Free Pattern designed by Kathleen Aho from My All

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    Candy Alternatives for Trick or Treaters

    Candy Alternatives for Trick or Treaters from

    While Halloween has long been synonymous with costumes and candy, some parents are looking for alternative treats. With a rise in childhood obesity and overall poor eating habits, many parents are concerned about the amount of sugar getting consumed on Halloween night and after. Plus, with fears of poisoning, razor blades, and other hazards from less than savory characters, it is no wonder that for some, candy is taking a back seat.

    No matter the reasons behind your choice, you can still choose treats for your trick or treaters that are fun if not sweet. Here are some ideas of things that you can give out instead.

    Pencils, pens, and erasers

    Since many of the trick or treaters that you will see will be of the school-age variety, these can be a fun gift. You can often find these in fun Halloween themes at your local store. Look for fun designs with pumpkins, bats, and other Halloween themes. Shaped erasers can also be fun. You will just want to be careful that none would be considered a possible choking hazard for the little trick or treaters that will knock on your door.

    Stickers and temporary tattoos

    Nearly every kid loves stickers, and you can often find these inexpensively in bulk. You can look for Halloween themed ones if you would like, or simply of characters and items that are popular at the moment. For instance, Dora and Elmo are popular with the preschool set, while older kids may enjoy princesses, butterflies, superheroes, and cartoon characters. You can also find temporary tattoos with similar themes to hand out as well.

    Game tokens and coupons

    If there is a popular hang out in your neighborhood that has games kids can play using tokens, handing out a couple of tokens to each child can be a fun Halloween surprise. Also, some retailers will sell coupon books for a free item to hand out on Halloween – such as a free ice cream cone. This allows parents to save the treat for a time that is not so sugar-laden. Pizza coupons are a great opportunity to help increase a pizza business’s customer base while giving a gift that a family can use at their convenience.

    Party favors

    Your local party supply store will often have a large stock of Halloween party favors available in October. Things like plastic spider rings, glow sticks, rubber bats, and fake teeth can all be fun alternatives to hand out in the place of candy.  Again, make sure you have approved favors for the young tykes.

    Clearance sales and dollar stores

    Often, you can find a selection of small toys for very little money by browsing the clearance section of your favorite store and/or local dollar stores. Look for things like small toys, crayons, books, and other kid-friendly items. If you plan ahead and shop throughout the year, you can certainly develop a varied cache before Halloween. Kids will be so impressed with the cool items that you have they won’t even miss the few extra pieces of candy!


    It may seem ridiculous but pennies are a fabulous Halloween gift.  10 pennies placed in zipper-type bags go a long way to bringing smiles to little ghosts and goblins.  For children under three, choose one of the other items listed here.

    Sugar free or single serving packages

    If you still want to do an edible item, you could choose sugar-free candy.  There are many more options in the grocery aisles for sugar free treats.  Many grocery stores sell snacks in single serving packages. For instance, many companies are joining in on the 100 calorie pack trend, so you can find a variety of snacks that are still somewhat healthy. Fruit snacks, juice boxes, or even mini bags of pretzels can be a good option. It is usually advisable to stay away from things that include nuts because of allergies some of your trick or treaters might have.

    With a little creativity, you can come up with fun Halloween treats that don’t involve sweets that your trick or treaters will love just the same.


    Share and Enjoy!

      Friday Funday: Free Christmas Stocking Patterns

      “Cowboy Boot Christmas Stocking” Free Pattern designed by Allison from Dream a Little Bigger

      “Easy Quilted Christmas Stockings” Free Pattern designed by Allison from U Create

      “Falling Flakes quilt-as-you-go Christmas Stocking” Free Pattern designed by Anne Weaver for Imagine Gnats from Craft Gossip

      “Christmas Stocking Fun” Free Pattern designed by Lynn from Nebraska Views

      “Helvetica Stockings” Free Pattern designed by Jackie from School of Decorating

      Share and Enjoy!

        How to Take The Stress Out of Christmas!

        A fun look at how you can learn…”How to Take the Stress Out Of Christmas!” by Ken Northams

        Don’t Let The Stress and Worry Ruin Your Christmas, Help Is At Hand To Help You Relax and Have Fun Over The Holidays!

        Are you freaking out because Christmas is coming and you have not done half the things that you wanted to do? Do you envision, each year, a picture perfect Christmas holiday that never lives up to your expectations? Do you find yourself running around at the last minute buying gifts that you forgot? Are you credit cards crying out “please, no more?”

        I feel your pain. Because I lived a stress filled Christmas season for most of my adult life. I wanted to do everything, bake everything, buy everything, decorate everything and have a picture perfect Christmas dinner – just like on TV. And nothing ever lived up to what I expected.

        I was stressed. My credit cards were stressed. And when it was over, it hardly seemed worth it. I began to get to the point where I was dreading Christmas, a holiday that is supposed to bring “good cheer” and celebrate family. A holiday that I had only fond memories of as a child. But it soon became a stressful time. Until it hit me. That having a stressed out Christmas takes the joy out of the season and the one holiday that is supposed to be nothing but joy. So I learned how to get out of the stress of Christmases past and moved on to stress-free Christmases of the present and future. And now, reading this fun little e-book, so can you!

        You can have some fun reading this book, my disastrous attempts to make things “perfect” and how I learned how to stop fretting and start enjoying this holiday. You’ll laugh at some of the stories, but you’ll also, I hope, take some of the many lessons that I have outlined here on how to get rid of the stress in your Christmas celebrations and start to actually have some fun.

        Here’s What You Will Find In This Guide…….

        • How to shop for gifts stress free

        • How to decorate stress free

        • How to find Christmas activities that the ENTIRE FAMILY will enjoy

        • Tips on baking and cooking easy Christmas cookies and dinners

        • How to learn to start new traditions for you and your family

        • And a lot more!

        Click Here to Purchase this Fun eBook!

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          October’s Quilt Dash

          Nothing screams OCTOBER like some pumpkins!  The October Quilt Dash members who complete the Quilt Dash will receive a free quilt pattern called “Pumpkin Time”.  And let me tell you, this quilt will make you want to curl up in front of a toasty fireplace, hot cider cupped in your hands and wrapped in this inviting quilt.

          And as a BONUS, if you complete this month’s Quilt Dash, you will also receive 12 great “Sweet Treat” recipes compiled by the Quilt Dash kitchen!

          Join Us at Quilt Dash!

          Pumpkin Time

          Pumpkin Time

          A pieced and appliqué quilt pattern.
          Size 50 1/2” W x 60 1/2” H
          Block size 10 1/2” x 10 1/2” Unfinished, 10” x 10” Finished

          Share and Enjoy!